Both male and female fertility is essential if you’re trying to conceive or if you’re pregnant. Prenatal vitamins can help the process, but it’s better to get nutrition through foods if you can. There are no foods or combinations of foods that will miraculously increase your chances of conception; a healthy and well-balanced approach to eating can help.
Note that certain serious medical conditions will cause infertility. In these cases, your diet won’t be able to help. Always consult your primary health physician if you have been attempting to get pregnant for a while. It’s best to check with both partners to determine what is going on.
Keeping that caveat in mind, read on to see the fifteen (15) healthy foods to eat that may help support fertility
Fertility support food #1: sunflower seeds
Roasted sunflower seed kernels are high in the following nutrients:
- Vitamin E
- Omega 3 & 6
For maximum health benefits, choose unsalted varieties.
Eating them may help boost sperm count and motility.
Fertility support food #2: citrus
Everyone knows that Citrus is high in vitamin C, but they also contain
- Polyamine putrescine
The combination of vitamins can assist fertility by helping to create a healthy environment in the ovaries, as well as regulating ovulation. These same vitamins also may improve semen health. Common citruses are oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and clementines. If you’re on medications, read the label, as some can react negatively to grapefruit.
Fertility support food #3: avocados
Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated healthy fats and rich in:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
This combination of nutrients is beneficial in helping the uterine lining.
Fertility support food #4: Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts contain selenium, which prevents free radicals and DNA damage in the egg. Low selenium levels may be responsible for multiple miscarriages, low birth weight, and dangerously high blood pressure while pregnant. How much do you need? One Brazil nut, which contains 70- 80 mcg.
Fertility support food #5: Quinoa
Quinoa is an excellent source of
Using plant-based proteins may assist in getting pregnant by helping reduce ovulation disorders. Fibre may promote regular menstruation.
Fertility support food #6: walnuts
Walnuts help both male and female fertility. They contain
- Omega-3 fatty Acids
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
These nutrients encourage fertility by helping improve sperm vitality in men and increase uterine blood flow and DHA (converted from ALA) for fetal brain development in women.
Fertility support food #7: beef liver
Beef liver is exceptionally nutrient-dense, containing
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B12
- Bioavailable Iron
- Omega 3
Other livers may have some of the same benefits but nowhere near as high in concentration levels. Eating liver helps form red blood cells and prevents miscarriages and pregnancy-related anaemia.
Fertility support food #8: fatty fish
Fatty fish is excellent for both male and female fertility. Such fish include herring, sardines (an ingredient in classic Caesar dressing), and Salmon – choose wild-caught. Cod liver oil is another option if you don’t want to eat fish. Like many other items on this list, they are high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Don’t like fish? Eat flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, or almonds.
Fertility support food #9: mature cheeses
Aged cheeses such as parmesan or cheddar contain polyamines, which may boost male and female fertility due to improved egg and sperm health. If you don’t like cheese so much, other full-fat dairy products like cottage cheese, yoghurt, or ice cream may fit the bill. Just don’t overindulge, as the extra calories may outweigh the potential benefits.
Fertility support food #10: complex carbs
Choosing complex carbs such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables is slower digesting. The more stable your blood sugar is, the better your hormones and ovulation tend to be.
Fertility support food #11: cooked tomatoes
Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that can boost male fertility, particularly sperm health. While both raw and cooked tomatoes contain lycopene, it’s more bioavailable when cooked.
Fertility support food #12 oysters
Oysters are a so-called type of ‘natural Viagra’, as it helps blood flow. A serving size of 6 oysters contain
- 43% of iron (daily recommended values)
- 187% of selenium
- 188% of zinc
- 408% of vitamin B12
A zinc deficit can interrupt the menstrual cycle and inhibit healthy egg production.
Fertility support food #13: legumes
There are many types of legumes, including:
- Chickpeas/ garbanzo beans
- Black beans
- Green peas
- Lima beans
- Kidney beans
- Black-eyed peas
- Navy beans
- Great Northern beans
- Pinto beans
They are a beneficial source of polyamine spermidine, fibre, and folate, which help maintain hormonal equilibrium, egg release, and sperm fertilization. When choosing canned beans, ensure you pick up ones that are BPA-free, which can alter estrogen levels.
Fertility support food #14: pomegranates
Pomegranates contain antioxidants that may help increase sperm motility and increase uterine blood flow and its lining, reducing miscarriage risk.
Fertility support food #15: pineapple
Pineapple is an excellent source of Vitamin C and contains the anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning enzyme bromelain, which may help the body become more fertile. High levels of inflammation block fertility by encouraging the body to hold back egg production.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.