For women who suffer with infertility, there are not many things they won’t try in order to increase their chances of conception. From monitoring their basal body temperature to eating foods that increase fertility, here are a quite a few ways that women can prepare their body for pregnancy.
There are certain foods and drinks that will give your body the essential nutrients to promote a healthy reproductive system and optimal fertility health. Additionally, another perk of these superfoods is that they also promote overall health, which can increase a woman’s chances of conception in and of itself.
Top Foods That Boost Fertility
It is important to understand that eating a fertility superfood here and there with an otherwise unhealthy diet will not suffice. In order to use these nutrient-rich foods to help with getting pregnant, you must integrate them wholly and frequently into your regular diet. For the best chances at increasing your fertility, you should replace unhealthy foods with these healthier fertility foods.
Foods that are linked to increased fertility include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Full-fat diary products
- Cow liver
- Whole grains
- Salmon and other fatty fish
- Lean protein
Nuts and Seeds
Walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds are very rich in omega fatty acids, folate, vitamin E, zinc, and selenium, which are all nutrients that increase male fertility by improving sperm vitality and motility. These healthy fats are also a necessary part of a woman’s overall health. Brazil nuts are packed with the essential mineral selenium which helps prevent oxidation and DNA damage to a woman’s eggs.
Seeds are another great fertility food. Sunflower, hemp, flax, pumpkin, sesame, and chia seeds are sources of vitamin E, folate, omega fatty acids, and other nutrients that boost male fertility by improving sperm count, increasing sperm motility, and enhancing DNA fragmentation.
For more information about Nuts and Seeds head over to Very Well Family.
Full-Fat Diary Products
Consuming low or non-fat dairy products can result in ovulation problems in women, so if you are trying to conceive, you should make a conscious effort to replace your low and non-fat dairy foods with their full-fat versions. It is possible to enjoy full-fat ice cream and cream cheese.
Furthermore, mature cheeses have a high concentration of polyamines that improve the health of both sperm and eggs. Some mature cheeses are cheddar, parmesan, and manchego. Because full-fat dairy products are high in calories and saturated fat, it is recommended to limit your intake of them.
All liver is beneficial to health, but cow liver is especially good for boosting fertility. It is rich in many different nutrients that are important for reproductive health. In just a single serving of cow liver (which is 68 grams), you consume the following: vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin, folate, selenium, choline, zinc, and coenzyme Q10. Both egg quality and sperm motility are boosted with these nutrients, and the risk of birth defects is reduced.
Oysters are one of the most well-known foods that increase fertility. They provide iron, vitamin B12, selenium, and zinc. Zinc is one of the most crucial nutrients for conception. A zinc deficiency can lead to disruptions in the menstrual cycle and slow the production of quality eggs. Zinc also increases sperm motility and semen volume.
Quinoa and Whole Grains
Quinoa is definitely a fertility superfood. Not only is quinoa a gluten-free and plant-based carb, but it provides protein, folate, zinc, and fiber into your diet. These nutrients can help to regulate and stabilize your blood sugar and your menstrual cycle. As a result, it is much easier to estimate your most fertile days.
For more information about Quinoa head over to The Bump!
Other whole grains and their nutritional benefits include:
- Millet – phosphorus, manganese, and magnesium
- Barley – fiber, selenium, and manganese
- Buckwheat – magnesium and manganese, also gluten-free
- Spelt – manganese, niacin, phosphorus, protein, and fiber
- Brown rice – vitamin B3, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese, phosphorus, iron, fiber, and essential fatty acids
Salmon and other Fatty Fish
Salmon, sardines, and herring are fish that are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The most commonly consumed fatty fish is salmon, which not only offers healthy fats but also provides DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid. DHA is crucial for fetal brain and eye development. Make sure to limit your consumption because fish can contain trace amounts of mercury.
Eggs are an amazing and inexpensive source of lean protein that also contains choline and multiple B-vitamins. You can also purchase omega-enriched eggs that contain omega-3 fatty acids for an extra dose of nutrients. Make sure to eat the yolk – that is where tons of nutrients are. Trying to conceive means making sure you get all the fertility help that you can!
Lean proteins are excellent sources of protein, zinc, and iron. Lean-trimmed turkey, chicken, pork, and beef are all good options.
Fruits for Fertility
During TTC, there are plenty of fruits that you can eat to help increase fertility. Fruits that boost fertility include pomegranate, pineapple, tomatoes, avocadoes, citrus fruits, and berries.
|Pomegranate (especially the juice)||High in antioxidants which is helpful for male fertility; improves sperm concentration and motility|
|Pineapple||Rich in vitamin C, which can help women who suffer with PCOS and boost male fertility; believed to help with the implantation of embryos during in-vitro fertilization (although this belief is not backed by science)|
|Tomatoes, cooked||Contains lycopene, an antioxidant that helps to increase male fertility by creating healthier semen|
|Avocadoes||Vitamin K for hormonal balance; vitamin E to protect against oxidative damage which is beneficial for women who suffer with PCOS and diabetes; contains folate|
|Citrus fruits (ie. oranges and grapefruits)||Packed with vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and folate; folate is a vitamin that regulates ovulation and creates a healthy environment for eggs|
|Berries (ie. blueberries and raspberries)||Rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory qualities that boost both female and male fertility; high in folate and vitamin C for fetal development; great source of fiber and can aid weight loss|
Vegetables for Fertility
You’ve been told since childhood to eat your vegetables, but which vegetables qualify as foods that increase fertility? Fertility-boosting vegetables include asparagus, lentils and beans (especially black beans), and leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard.
- Cooked asparagus is an incredible superfood that is packed with the following nutrients: folate, vitamin K, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and thiamin – and it’s also low-calorie!
- Lentils and beans (especially black beans) are amazing sources of protein, folate and fiber.
- Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard contain essential nutrients like calcium, iron, and folate.
Foods to Avoid When Trying to Conceive
Just like there are foods that help to increase your fertility, there are also foods that can decrease your fertility. As a rule, it is wise to avoid foods that may contain artificial ingredients, synthetic hormones, and potential contaminants.
Some foods that you should avoid or heavily moderate while trying to get pregnant are:
- High-mercury fish like swordfish and tuna. High mercury levels in your body can affect the formation of a baby’s nervous system.
- Soda. Both regular and diet sodas have been linked to decreased fertility.
- Trans fats. These harmful fats are found in foods like chips, fried foods, and microwave popcorn. Trans fats cause inflammation within the body and insulin resistance – both of which lower fertility. In men, trans fats can lower the sperm count and quality.
- High-glycemic index foods. Consuming these foods can cause inflammation, change your hormones, and decrease your ovulation.
- Low-fat dairy. The androgens (residual male hormones) within low-fat dairy products can interfere with menstrual cycles.
- Excess Alcohol. While you are TTC, it is advised that you abstain from drinking alcohol completely. If you do want to drink, you should limit your alcohol consumption to no more than 7 drinks per week. Alcohol depletes the vitamin B stores in your body and decreases your fertility.
- Unpasteurized soft cheeses, deli meats, and raw animal products. These foods are a much higher risk of being contaminated with bacteria like listeria, salmonella, and more.
Which Drinks Help When Trying to Conceive?
It isn’t only food that can help boost fertility. There are certain drinks that can assist with getting pregnant as well. Whole milk, almond milk, grapefruit juice, orange juice, and fertility teas can all be wonderful additions to your fertility diet.
Whole milk is extremely easy to work into your diet. As with other dairy products, full-fat options help to prevent ovulation issues. Almond milk is a great substitute for whole milk as well. Almonds are one of the most beneficial fertility nuts because they contain manganese, biotin, vitamin E, fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Grapefruit and orange juice offer fertility boosts for males and females, improving both semen and egg health and helping to balance hormones in women.
Fertility teas have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and has made its way into the United States as a viable fertility aid. The teas use mixtures of herbs that are specifically chosen for their ability to provide nutritional support, promote hormone balance, increase fertility, and support the health of the entire reproductive system.
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Real Food For Pregnancy By Lily Nichols
The journey to conception can be a long one for some women, but there are many ways to improve your chances of conceiving. A fertility diet not only helps to increase your chances of getting pregnant, it also improves your overall health. Incorporating these fertility superfoods into your daily diet will ensure that your reproductive system is healthy and protect your fertility.
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