The best (and worst!) hawker dishes for fertility
In the best case scenario, you’d be preparing healthy, nutritious meals in your kitchen every day, but let’s face it – with the amount of hours that the average Singaporean puts in at work, playing Martha Stewart in the kitchen on a regular basis isn’t exactly achievable. The good news? Even if you eat at hawker centres for the majority of your meals, you can still find healthy food options that will help you to boost your fertility (for women who are looking to get pregnant), or make your pregnancy as smooth-sailing as possible (for those already pregnant!)
What to eat at hawker centres:
#1: Sliced Fish Soup
Fish is a great source of protein – and you don’t have to worry about the mercury levels in any of the fish dishes that you get in Singapore, because the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) ensures that all the fish imported into Singapore is safe for consumption. Make sure you’re opting for steamed fish (instead of fried fish), because fried food contains tons of trans fats, which are known to decrease fertility in women.
#2: Yong Tau Fu
Another popular dish amongst those who eat clean, Yong Tau Foo is also a great choice for women who are trying to conceive. When you’re picking your ingredients, steer clear of the fried items such as luncheon meat and seaweed chicken. Instead, pile your bowl full of leafy greens such as kang kong and watercress – these contain Vitamin B, which aids in the process of egg implantation.
#3: Thunder Tea Rice
Thunder Tea Rice is essentially a rice bowl and tea soup combination, and it contains ingredients such as basil, mint, long beans, peanuts, and ikan bilis (dried anchovies). The long beans, in particular, are a great source of protein for women who are attempting to get pregnant; any form of plant protein, in fact, is said to be 39% less likely to cause infertility as compared to animal protein, according to a study from the Harvard School of Public Health.
What to avoid at hawker centres:
Rojak is a full-bodied, exceedingly flavourful dish which many locals love; however, it’s not the best choice for women who are trying to get pregnant. Because rojak is predominantly made up of uncooked fruit and vegetables such as raw cucumbers, pineapples, and turnip, there’s a slight risk that consumption will lead to food-related illnesses such as listeriosis. On the off chance that you’re in an early stage pregnancy (and you haven’t realised it yet), these illnesses could possibly lead to miscarriages, premature births, or even stillbirths.
Also for women who are already pregnant, cockles (or any dishes containing cockles, such as laksa) are a big no-no. Because cockles are “scavengers” that thrive under unsanitary conditions such as sewage systems, they may potentially cause food poisoning, and aren’t the most appropriate dish for pregnant women to consume. Stay clear – at least for these 9 months!
Free 45 minute fertility consultation
Diet plays an exceedingly important role in getting pregnant; if you and your partner would like to learn more about this, sign up for BeNatural’s free 45 minute consultation with our fertility coach Marie Otsuka. In this session, Marie will seek to understand your situation, offer insights she’s gained through her 10 years of experience in working with infertile Singaporeans, and work with our dieticians to come up with customized meal plans for you if necessary. Slots are limited and on a first come first serve basis; contact us here to schedule an appointment!