Foods That Increase Fertility (And What To Avoid In Your Fertility Diet!)
Before my husband and I made an active effort to get pregnant, we already had a healthy, clean diet. But we had no idea this was one of the missing links when it came to struggling with infertility. Honestly, it made my fertility journey way more difficult than it needed to be.
After months went by without a positive pregnancy test, I started researching ways to increase my chances of getting pregnant. Again and again, I found that foods that increase fertility were among the many solutions available to me on my fertility journey.
The sad reality was my doctor didn’t address my diet, let alone educate me on how important a well-structured fertility diet is when you’re trying to conceive. At the time, I had no idea what to do. I tried almost everything I read online if it had even the smallest chance of boosting my fertility. I ditched dairy, gluten, sugar, caffeine, and, of course, alcohol.
Even though I didn’t have much of these in my diet to begin with, where I struggled to get it right was in creating a consistent diet of fertility-friendly foods. Because as much as you can try to cut anything that seems vaguely unhealthy, you can still miss the mark when it comes to eating the right things to boost your chances of falling pregnant.
No woman should have to Google her way to the right fertility diet. Keep reading to get my best info on the foods that increase fertility plus the staples you’ll want to skip if you’re ready to boost your chances of getting pregnant this year.
Eat plenty of antioxidant-rich foods with vitamin C & E, folate, beta-carotene, and lutein.
In any healthy diet, it’s a given that a solid dose of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains are part of the pathway to a healthy life. But when you’re trying to get pregnant, you have to focus on the right foods to target your efforts even more.
To get lots of antioxidants into your diet and keep the free radicals away, I highly recommend eating leafy greens like kale & spinach, beets, berries, grapefruit, tomatoes, and even pomegranates so you get plenty of the nutrients you need to boost your chances of falling pregnant. But one of the most important foods you can incorporate is watermelon, since it has glutathione and lycopen, both of which are important to fertility health.
Avocados are also a great fertility food because monounsaturated fats in the form of avocados can increase IVF success rate. Plus, they’re high in potassium, folate, and vitamin K, making it even easier for you to absorb antioxidants.
If you’re not into eating raw veggies, a great way to get these antioxidants is by creating your own juice blends, acai bowls, or smoothies that include ingredients like kale and gogi berries. You can even add maca, a fertility diet superfood, or bee pollen, as its shown to boost fertility in men and women.
These foods can be a game-changer: antioxidants like folate and zinc have been shown to improve fertility in both women and men. Plus, if you’re planning on undergoing in-vitro, studies also indicate that taking an antioxidant supplement can increase your chances of getting pregnant as much as 23%!
Something else to think about is iron. Because of our menstrual cycles, we women can often have low iron. But having a healthy amount of iron in your diet can only improve your fertility. While a multivitamin can be a good idea, turn to fertility foods high in Vitamin C to increase iron absorption.
Bring plenty of fiber into your diet on a regular basis.
Fiber is a truly important part of your diet because it keeps your blood sugar even and levels out your hormones. The easiest way to get it into your diet? Get in some high-fiber fortified breakfast cereals and avoid white bread if you enjoy toast in the morning.
Not only is cereal fiber associated with 44% lower risk of ovulatory infertility among women in their 30s and 40s, but eating breakfast, in general, can also boost your fertility. A solid diet of whole grains, most fruits, vegetables, and beans are also key. Just be sure not to overdo it on the high-fiber items: too much fiber can make your cycles abnormal so, as with any fertility food, it’s super important to bring everything into your diet in moderation.
Turn to proteins like those in beans, nuts, and seeds.
If you have a fairly healthy diet, you may have plenty of protein in your diet already. But it’s important to know where your protein is coming from. While you don’t need to completely ditch animal proteins, replacing some of the meat, fish, and eggs in your diet with beans, nuts, and seeds is linked to a lower risk of infertility.
Even ensuring that just 5% of your total calories come from veggies instead of animal protein can reduce ovulatory infertility by half! Walnuts, sunflower seeds, and lentils are all solid options when it comes to plant-based proteins.
Enjoy full-fat dairy products.
If you consume dairy, you may regularly consume 2% or fat-free milk. But if you want to easily boost your chances of getting pregnant with a simple swap, try whole milk, full-fat yogurts & ice creams, and high-fat dairy. These can all decrease issues with ovulation and boost fertility! Plus, women who have 1 serving of high-fat dairy daily are almost 30% less likely to be infertile.
What To Avoid in Your Fertility Diet:
It’s a given that alcohol and caffeine like those found in coffee, tea, and soda can lead to infertility. But what else should you avoid as you’re trying to conceive? My general advice is to reduce animal proteins and turn towards more plant-based foods.
You’ll also want to be very conscious of the kinds of fats you consume. Research from Harvard University tells us that women who eat more trans fats, carbs, and animal proteins have a much higher incidence of ovulatory disorder. This is why it’s important to avoid trans fats like those in hydrogenated vegetable oils as well as fried & processed foods. Instead, stick to plant-based fats like those in nuts, avocados, and olive oil to promote fertility and regular ovulation. Healthy fats are the way to go because they can reduce inflammation, promote fertility, and encourage ovulation.
Highly processed carbs are also not a great idea: eating too much of these foods can increase your insulin and testosterone, which can lead to infertility. If you’re going to hit the carbs, stick to complex carbs like those in fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains (like quinoa, farro, and whole grain pasta) instead of the kind you’d find in white bread, cookies, or cakes.
It can be a struggle to get pregnant. Luckily, with the right diet, you’re well on your way to boosting your chances of getting pregnant sooner with a little less stress along the way.
Are you trying to get pregnant this year? Having a fertility coach’s expertise can provide physical, mental, and emotional support as you navigate infertility.
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