Fertility, good health, and diet are currently hot topics. Several factors can reduce the risk of conception. However, it’s still possible to work your way out of your fertility issues by considering lifestyle changes such as your diet. We know that there are people who choose to give up alcohol to increase the chances of conception. Others decide to get active and fit. It is clear that we are what we eat. What you eat influences your reproductive health. So, what are the good foods for fertility?
Good Foods for Fertility
There is a wide range of fertility-friendly foods that can help to promote conception and healthy fetal development. Based on different categories, here are some of the best food sources that can help boost fertility naturally:
When it comes to protein, you must consider the type and amount of intake. This is because high protein intake can impair or increase fertility. The best type of protein that can increase your chances of getting protein is a plant protein. It consists of healthy fats with a relatively low number of calories, and so in some cases, it might promote weight loss. The best sources of protein include:
- Fish: it contains high amounts of protein and other nutrients that support fetal growth. Women and men struggling with fertility issues should take more fatty fish since it helps to protect the egg and sperm’s integrity. This includes swordfish, farmed salmon, sardines, salmon, and tuna.
- Vegetarian foods: they are packed with more protein than regular meat. Vegetarian foods promote various natural processes in the body, including hormone regulation which is important for fertility. The best sources include spinach, soybean, quinoa, black beans, and lentils.
- Lean meats are good sources of quality protein since they have essential nutrients needed during pregnancy. This includes iron, B vitamins, and choline. Good sources of lean meats include poultry such as turkey and chicken, bison, and lean beef.
Fiber improves general health, especially digestive health. However, it also helps regulate healthy hormonal balance, which is important for men and women with fertility issues. Increasing your daily fiber intake by around 10% will reduce your risk of getting gestational diabetes by almost 26%. Some of the best sources of fiber include:
- Whole grains: high intake of whole grains is normally associated with increased chances of implantation, conception, and live birth. They are essential components of a fertility diet since they contain high amounts of B vitamins critical for healthy fertility. The best sources of whole grains include oats, wheat bread, quinoa, and bulgur.
- Fruits and vegetables: they are among the best foods for fertility that are rich in fiber. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants such as zinc, folate, vitamins C & E, lutein, and beta carotene. All these help increase the chances of implantation and reduce the risk of ovulatory infertility. The best sources of healthy vegetables include garlic, broccoli, carrots, kale, Brussel sprout, Swiss chard, bananas, apples, mango, and avocados.
- High-fiber cereals help lower the levels of blood cholesterol and regulate normal bowel movements. A single serving of high-fiber cereal every day can do wonders for your reproductive health. But when shopping for such products, ensure that they are organic and free of synthetic contaminants that can worsen your fertility issues.
- Beans and legumes: research studies show that taking fiber-rich legumes and beans can reduce a woman’s risk of developing ovulatory infertility. Note that legumes are excellent sources of folic acid – an important component in the body that helps to increase the chances of conception and promotes the development of a healthy embryo. The best sources of legumes include black beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, soybeans, kidney beans, etc.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
This is one of the good food types you should focus on when searching for an ideal pre-pregnancy diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are important in regulating ovulation-inducing hormones. Additionally, they help increase blood flow to regions such as the reproductive organs.
For men, omega-3s are important in improving sperm quality, sperm numbers, morphology, and motility.
The best sources of omega-3’s include:
- Nuts and seeds: nuts are rich in fertility-boosting nutrients and can help improve a man’s sperm if taken regularly. The best sources of nuts include walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, almonds, and cashews. On the other hand, seeds such as sesame seeds and flaxseeds contain high amounts of phytoestrogens.
- Grass-fed beef: this type of beef contains twice the amount of mega-3 fatty acid found in grain-fed beef. It’s healthier since grass-fed cattle normally receive less supplementary hormones and fewer antibiotics.
- Seafood: a study by txfertility indicates that almost 92% of couples who routinely ate seafood for over a week ended up quickly conceiving. Seafood varieties rich in omega-3’s include sardines, salmon, and anchovies.
Folate-Based Food Sources
The CDC encourages women trying to conceive to take around 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. Folic acid is a vital vitamin for men and women with fertility issues. Increasing your intake can help reduce the risk of congenital disabilities and promote the formation of healthy cells. Folates aren’t easy to find in whole foods but can be found in large amounts in foods such as:
- Fortified cereals: consider breakfast cereals with 100% of the recommended daily value of folic acid.
- Leafy greens: they include kale, broccoli, spinach, and Swiss chard.
- Beans and nuts: ideal for dealing with digestive issues
- Oranges and strawberries
Other types of good foods for fertility that those who are trying to conceive should consider include:
They help enhance the reproductive system’s efficient functioning, thereby enhancing the possibility of conception. Calcium is also important for developing healthy bones and teeth in babies. The best calcium sources include milk, cheese, kale, yogurt, and broccoli.
They are important for reducing the risk of ovulatory infertility. Women with iron deficiency also risk giving birth prematurely or underweight babies. Good sources of iron include spinach, lean meats, and fortified breakfast cereals.
Good Foods for Fertility Tips – 7 do’s and don’ts
The road to parenthood is not easy for some people, but acting on your diet can increase your chances of conceiving. Food choices are among the best natural boosters to increase your chances of getting pregnant faster. Here are 7 do’s and don’ts to help you get pregnant naturally.
#1 – Avoid Trans Fats
Healthy fats are important for boosting your overall health, including fertility. Meanwhile, trans fats reduce your chances of getting pregnant since they increase the risk of ovulatory infertility by affecting insulin sensitivity. They are commonly found in processed food products, fried foods, and baked goods. Read more here
#2 – Eat Antioxidant-rich Foods
Antioxidants such as zinc and folate eradicate the damaging free radicals found in the body that can damage egg and sperm cells. Studies indicate that antioxidant-rich foods can improve the quality of sperms and increase the rate of implantation. Those struggling with fertility should consider eating grains, fruits, and vegetables.
#3 – Cut Your Caffeine Intake
While the link between caffeine and fertility isn’t completely conclusive, preliminary evidence suggests that there is a direct link between caffeine intake and reduced fertility. If you love caffeinated drinks, then limit this to two cups daily. Check how much caffeine you are having daily using this caffeine calculator.
#4 – Eat High-Fat Dairy
High-fat food may increase fertility and reap the potential benefits of these products, consider eating full-fat yogurt or drinking a glass of whole milk every day.
#5 – Eat More Fibre
Fibre-rich foods help regulate blood sugar levels and flush out excess hormones. Soluble fibre, for instance, can reduce the high levels of progesterone and oestrogen.
#6 – Reduce Your Intake of Refined Carbs
The type and amount of refined carbs you consume matter. Refined carbs are problematic when it comes to fertility since they quickly cause an increase in insulin and blood sugar levels. Consistently high insulin levels minimize the production of reproductive hormones, thereby contributing to slow egg maturation and lack of egg during ovulation.
#7 – Analyze Your Feeding Habits
Are you following a restricted diet because you are managing your health? The chances are that this could lead to a nutritional gap, especially if you didn’t consult a professional. It’s important to ask your fertility doctor how you can fill any nutritional gaps in your diet. Don’t forget to practice good food hygiene because some food-borne diseases can affect your reproductive health, making it difficult for you to conceive.
Your diet is part of your lifestyle, which directly influences fertility. Good nutrition is important for the healthy development and handling of various natural processes in the body. If you want to increase your chances of getting pregnant, you should, therefore, consider what you eat.
Clinical reports indicate that a highly nutritious and healthy diet can boost fertility naturally and prepare your body for pregnancy. Consider eating antioxidant- and protein-rich foods since they help regulate the productive hormones and eliminate free damaging radicals. High-fat dairy products and vegetable protein sources help to improve fertility. Simply eat healthy food products, get active, and don’t let stress get you down.