Eating for optimal fertility follows the same basic principles of any healthy diet. Be sure to fill your diet with lean protein, fresh organic fruits and vegetable, whole grains, and limit your intake of processed foods, refined sugar, white flour, and gluten.
Below is a list of the most nutritionally dense fertility superfoods. These foods are rich in specific vitamins and minerals that are necessary for a healthy reproductive system and hormonal balance.
Remember, whenever possible, purchase organic fruits, vegetables, dairy and meats. Toxins, antibiotics and hormones can throw off your own hormonal balance and cause a buildup of estrogen. A spike in blood sugar can also throw off your hormonal balance, which is another reason to limit white flour and sugars, which cause a spike in insulin.
Click here to view recipes starring these superfoods!
Trying to conceive is a stressful time, so don’t beat yourself up if you stray from your healthy diet once in a while. We all need a glass of wine or a sugary treat to keep our sanity from time to time!
Avocados are a rich source of vitamin E, which is necessary for the motility of sperm. Vitamin E also helps reduce DNA defects of sperm, which can contribute to miscarriages. Avocados are also a great source of folic acid.
Other foods rich in Vitamin E: apples, berries, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, peaches, whole grains, tomatoes, nuts, sunflower seeds, asparagus, butternut squash, potatoes, spinach, carrots & celery
Bananas contain an abundance of Vitamin B6. This is one of the most important vitamins in aiding conception as it regulates the hormones. A B6 deficiency can lead to irregular menstruation and can also lead to poor egg and sperm development.
Berries provide high amounts of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect fertility by defending the eggs and sperm from DNA damage and help keep tissues of the reproductive system healthy.
Broccoli is considered a hormone cleanser and has compounds that help the body get rid of excess estrogen.
Other foods that can also do this are: brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale.
Cabbage contains a phytonutrient called Di-Indole Methan (DIM). DIM helps with estrogen metabolism and prevents fibroids, which are a potential cause of infertility.
Egg yolks are especially rich in choline. Choline helps protect against neural tube defects, like Spina Bifida and anencephaly yet most women don’t get enough choline.
Flax seeds are great for balancing hormones and boosting fertility. They contain lignans, which are associated with reduced fibroids and increased fertility.
Full-fat Natural Yogurt
Like olive oil, full-fat yogurt is rich in the good saturated fat particularly needed for fertility. There has also been evidence that full fat dairy can aid in ovulation. Research has found that women who eat at least one portion of full fat dairy a day are significantly less likely to suffer from fertility problems that those who consistently go for low fat or non dairy options.
Garlic contains an abundance of fertility-boosting nutrients, including selenium, which is an antioxidant that supports healthy conception and protects the embryo from early miscarriage.
Lentils are rich in folate (folic acid). Folic acid is an important nutrient to have in your daily diet before you become pregnant and through pregnancy. Lentils are also rich in iron, fiber and protein.
Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, an important mineral for fertility, is actually one of the nutrients most American’s are deficient in. Zinc is used in many processes of the body; specifically for fertility zinc is used to create genetic material. So, it is important for sperm health, testosterone levels, the immune system, and healthy DNA. It also helps to protect sperm from chromosomal damage. Proper levels of zinc is essential at the time of conception, because it plays a role in normal cell division at the embryonic stage.
Other rich sources of zinc: Oysters, sesame seeds, almonds, rye, peas, and oats
Spinach is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Packed with folic acid, iron, zinc and antioxidants, spinach is a must in every fertility diet. Iron helps build a strong endometrial lining, which helps the zygote successfully attach itself to the uterus and hang on.
Sprouts help create a more alkaline environment in your body, which is especially good for the cervical mucus because it needs to be alkaline (as apposed to acidic) for sperm to survive there.
Walnuts are loaded with Omega 3 essential fatty acids, which are needed for healthy hormone production. Be sure to purchase raw walnuts, as heat damages the essential fatty acids..
Other sources of Omega 3: salmon, chia seeds
Yams actually may contain an ovulation stimulating substance and are rich in important vitamins that are vital for fertility.