Struggling to get pregnant? You’re not alone! This article unveils the top diets for enhancing fertility, so you can find the best plan for your body’s individual needs.
Quick facts: Best Diet For Fertility
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When trying to conceive, there are a number of things that couples can do to increase their chances. One of the most important aspects of fertility is diet. What you eat has an impact on your overall health, as well as your reproductive health. For those who are looking to maximize their chances at conceiving, understanding what foods help and hinder fertility is essential.
In this article, we will provide an introduction to the best diet for fertility and how it can help couples achieve a successful pregnancy. We will discuss the benefits of eating a balanced diet, being mindful of your food choices and understanding which foods are beneficial for fertility. By making small tweaks to your diet, you can make a big difference in terms of maximizing your chances of conception and have a healthy baby in the future.
Nutrition is an important factor to consider when trying to conceive. Eating healthily and incorporating a balanced diet can have a positive impact on fertility. Different studies have shown that certain foods and diets can help increase fertility rates. It is important to be aware of the nutritional guidelines when planning a diet for fertility. Let’s discuss some key points:
- Nutrition and fertility
- The importance of a balanced diet
- Foods that can help increase fertility
- Nutritional guidelines for fertility
Increase intake of fruits and vegetables
Increasing intake of fruits and vegetables is a key part of any diet that aims to promote fertility. Fruits and vegetables are rich in key vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, all of which can help improve overall health and wellbeing. Studies have also shown that a high intake of fruits and vegetables can increase fertility in both men and women.
For a balanced diet, it’s recommended to eat at least five servings of fruit or vegetables each day. Eating a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables will ensure you get the widest range of essential nutrients to support your fertility journey. Try to avoid processed foods as much as possible – limit these to no more than once per week – and instead opt for fresh fruits and vegetables where possible.
Eat healthy fats
Healthy fats provide vitamins and nutrients that are important for those attempting to conceive a baby. Avoid trans fats, hydrogenated oils, and deep-fried foods. Instead, focus on consuming healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish like salmon.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are linked to enhanced fertility in both men and women as well as promoting good health of both parents and the developing baby. Other sources of omega-3s include walnuts, flaxseed oil and ground flaxseed.
Eating healthy fats can also reduce inflammation which can improve your overall fertility health. Additionally, it has been suggested that balanced levels of healthy fat consumption may improve egg quality in women, leading to increased chances for a successful pregnancy.
Reduce intake of processed foods
Reducing the intake of processed foods is an important part of any fertility diet and can be beneficial for both men and women. Processed foods are those that contain added sugar, salt, preservatives, and artificial colorings. These additives can have a negative impact on fertility because they can increase inflammation in the body. Eating too many processed foods can also lead to obesity, which negatively affects hormone levels in both men and women.
To reduce your intake of processed foods, focus on eating whole, unprocessed food items like:
- Whole grains
- Lean sources of protein
Meal prepping and batch cooking are good strategies to help you stay on track with avoiding processed items.
Increase intake of lean proteins
Lean proteins such as fish and poultry, tofu, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds are considered to be the best dietary sources of protein for fertility. Eating lean proteins can help to reduce inflammation in the body which is helpful for achieving a healthy balance of hormones which is required for successful pregnancy and fetal development.
The recommended daily intakes of lean proteins should be based on the individual’s age, gender and activity level. Depending on the individual’s situation, these intake amounts could range from 0.5-1 gram per pound of body weight for adults or 2-4 ounces per day for young children.
Potential health benefits associated with increasing intake of lean proteins include improved insulin sensitivity, regulation of cholesterol levels as well as improved overall fertility. Furthermore, aiming to follow a balanced diet which includes all food groups including fruits, vegetables and whole grains in addition to lean protein sources can help to ensure all essential nutrients are available to achieve optimal health outcomes (fertility included).
Increase intake of whole grains
Whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet, especially when it comes to fertility. Whole grains, such as oats and buckwheat, contain several important vitamins and minerals that help keep the body functioning properly. They can provide important nutrients to help regulate hormones and support overall health.
Additionally, these whole grains help promote the production of gender-specific hormones like estrogen and progesterone in women, which are essential for ovulation and conception. Increasing intake of whole grains can also reduce inflammation in the body which can be beneficial for fertility. Furthermore, adding whole grains to your diet may help you maintain a healthy weight which is another key factor in improving your chances of pregnancy success.
Therefore, when looking to improve fertility through dietary change it’s important to increase intake of whole grains such as oats, buckwheat and barley.
Supplements can be an important part of improving fertility. They can be a great way to make sure you are getting all the nutrients necessary to optimize your fertility. Different supplements can help with different fertility issues, so it’s important to do your research and talk to your doctor before you start taking any supplements.
Let’s look at some of the best supplements for fertility:
Vitamin B is important for fertility in both men and women. B vitamins have been reported to have a positive impact on menstrual cycle regularity, fertility, and overall reproductive health. It can also help protect against neural tube defects in the developing fetus.
The different forms of Vitamin B needed for fertility are:
- Thiamin (B1)
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Niacin (B3)
- Pantothenic acid (B5)
- Pyridoxine (B6)
- Biotin (B7)
- Folate/folic acid (B9)
- Cobalamin (B12)
Many of these vitamins help with converting food into energy as well as enzyme production, hormone regulation, healthy red blood cell formation and maintenance of the nervous system. Therefore, having adequate amounts of Vitamin B is essential for any type of fertility-related goal. One should look for a multivitamin that contains all the necessary types of Vitamin B which can be found in most health food stores or online retailers.
Folate is an important nutrient for fertility. Folate is a B vitamin that helps form and repair our genetic material, which is known as DNA. When it comes to fertility, folate can help create healthy eggs and sperm, which are the essential ingredients for successful conception. Because of this, many fertility experts recommend that couples who want to conceive should supplement their diets with the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of folate.
Food sources of folate include:
- Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale and collard greens;
- Legumes like beans;
- Citrus fruits such as oranges;
- Fortified grains like cereal and pastas;
- Nuts like peanuts and almonds;
- Seeds like flax and sesame;
- Poultry such as chicken;
- Pork products such as bacon;
- Seafood including salmon and oysters;
- Fortified beverages like juices or soy milk;
- Avocados and more!
Taking a daily supplement of 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid prior to conception is recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids found mainly in fish, eggs, and some plant sources. Studies have shown that these fatty acids can improve fertility by increasing the number and quality of the ova produced and by strengthening immune response in both men and women. They also help reduce inflammation associated with hormonal imbalances that can interfere with conception.
Supplements are available in capsule or liquid form, or you can increase your intake by eating foods like salmon, tuna, walnuts, almonds, flaxseed oil, olive oil and avocados. Omega-3 is also found in fish oils such as cod liver oil or krill oil. It’s best to talk to a licensed healthcare professional about which form will be most beneficial for you before using any supplement.
Iron is an essential mineral for reproductive health and fertility in both men and women. Iron is required for healthy red blood cells, which transport oxygen to your tissues. It also plays an important role in helping your body create hormones, enzymes and other proteins we need to function properly.
Women should strive to have 18mg of Iron per day while men should have 8mg of Iron each day. If a woman’s iron levels are too low, it can lead to fatigue, lack of concentration and reduced fertility.
Good sources of dietary iron include:
- Lean red meats such as beef, pork, chicken and turkey;
- Green leafy vegetables;
- Legumes such as beans and lentils;
- Whole grains such as oats and quinoa;
- Dark-chocolate (rich in iron);
- Fortified cereals.
Additionally, Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron more efficiently so eating foods rich in Vitamin C (such as citrus fruits or orange juice) with meals that include iron-rich foods can help improve absorption rates. Supplements containing Iron may also be useful to ensure you’re getting enough daily intake if needed.
Zinc is an important nutrient for fertility and reproductive health. It is found in high concentrations in organs and fluids associated with reproduction, including semen, seminal plasma, and the ovaries. Zinc is important for both male and female fertility; it plays an essential role in normal sperm production and motility, normal egg fertilization and embryo development, hormone production, and healthy reproductive tissues.
Some studies have linked zinc deficiency to lower sperm count, impaired motility (sperm movement), or morphological defects (abnormal shape or size of sperm) in men. It can also be beneficial for women trying to conceive; low levels of zinc have been linked to poorer egg quality and endometriosis.
Zinc can be found naturally in food sources like:
- Nuts (especially pumpkin seeds)
- Seafood (particularly oysters)
- Red meat
- Legumes such as beans or lentils
- Wholegrain cereals such as oats or quinoa
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Nutritional yeast
Alternatively you can supplement with up to 30mg per day of zinc citrate or picolinate form.
Foods to Avoid
When trying to conceive, it is important to pay attention to your diet. Certain foods can be detrimental to fertility and should be avoided. For example, high levels of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and processed carbohydrates should be limited.
Let’s look at some of the other foods that might be best to avoid when trying to conceive:
Trans fats, or trans fatty acids, are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oils to make them solid and more shelf-stable. Foods that contain trans fats have a longer shelf life and can be found in many processed food products, such as baked goods, fried foods, snacks and margarines. They also tend to be high in calories.
Studies strongly suggest that consumption of trans fats can increase one’s risk for infertility as they reduce the amount of healthy omega-3 fatty acids found in the body which play an important role in fertility rates. It is important to note that while trans fats appear on Nutrition Facts labels, manufacturers are allowed to list the amount of trans fat as zero if it contains less than 0.5 grams per serving size. However, it is still important to read labels thoroughly and limit these foods from your diet for optimal fertility results.
High-mercury fish are seafood items that contain higher than average levels of mercury, a toxic element. If consumed in large amounts, mercury can be poisonous and cause health issues such as brain damage and infertility.
Women who are trying to conceive should take extra caution when eating these fish as they can affect their fertility. Those considering a pregnancy should avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish due to the high level of mercury present in these products. It’s also important to note that farm-raised or wild-caught salmon can still have high levels of mercury as well.
Therefore, it’s advised to only consume low-mercury fish such as river trout or wild Alaskan salmon instead. Additionally, those looking to increase their pregnancy chances should limit consumption of canned tuna and other types of canned seafood which are known to contain high levels of mercury too.
Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white pasta, and white rice are foods to avoid when trying to improve fertility. These types of carbohydrates are considered unhealthy due to their lack of fiber and nutrients. They cause an increase in blood sugar that can lead to increased insulin levels and inflammation, which can disrupt hormone balance. Refined carbs also take longer for the body to digest, which leaves you feeling full for a shorter amount of time causing unhealthy cravings.
Replacing refined carbs with unrefined ones such as brown rice and whole wheat pasta is a great way to get more fiber and essential nutrients into the diet without over-consuming calories. Eating a balanced and healthy diet overall is key for optimizing fertility health.
It is advised to avoid alcohol when trying to conceive or during pregnancy. This is because it can have a detrimental effect on both the man and woman’s fertility.
- For women, drinking alcohol can disrupt ovulation by reducing estrogen levels and causing irregular menstrual cycles.
- As for men, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to reduced sperm motility (movement) and quality. Excessive drinking can also make it difficult for the male libido to function properly and therefore make it more difficult for conception.
There are also additional risks associated with drinking while pregnant such as premature birth, miscarriage and foetal abnormalities which should be taken into account. It is therefore advisable that both partners abstain from any type of alcohol consumption if they are looking to become pregnant or if they already are pregnant.
The best diet for fertility is one that is rich in whole and minimally processed foods and low in added sugar, refined carbohydrates, highly-processed foods and unhealthy fats. Eating plenty of healthy fats, taking a prenatal vitamin, limiting alcohol intake and focusing on nutrient-dense foods are all beneficial approaches to preparing for pregnancy.
While everyone’s dietary needs differ, overall it’s important to focus on eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods as part of an overall balanced diet. Eating well can make a big difference when it comes to reproductive health, so make sure to keep your body nourished and fueled with the best nutrients possible.
FAQs about: Best Diet For Fertility
Q1: What diet is best for fertility?
A1: Eating a diet rich in whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats is recommended for optimal fertility. Additionally, avoiding processed foods and limiting red meat, alcohol, and caffeine intake is essential.
Q2: What foods should I avoid when trying to conceive?
A2: Foods to avoid when trying to conceive include processed foods, red meat, alcohol, and caffeine. Additionally, it is important to limit your intake of sugar, trans fats, and artificial sweeteners.
Q3: What vitamins are beneficial for fertility?
A3: Vitamins that are beneficial for fertility include vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folic acid, and zinc. Additionally, it is beneficial to take a multivitamin that is specifically designed for fertility.