7 Foods That Naturally Boost Fertility
Fertility is affected by a large number of internal and external factors, not the least of which is your diet. Even at a healthy body weight, nutrients in the food that you eat can have a significant impact on your ability to conceive. Below are some of the foods that anyone considering a child should add to their diet.
While many types of fruit contain antioxidants, blueberries are considered one of the most potent sources. Antioxidants fight free radicals, which are destructive molecules that can damage sperm and egg DNA. The vitamin C in blueberries has also been linked to increased sperm count and motility in men.
Lean meats contain high levels of iron and high-quality protein, which are especially important during conception and pregnancy. Women with iron deficiencies often have a much more difficult time conceiving, and menstruation can make the issue even worse, since iron stores are depleted due to bleeding.
Salmon and other fatty fish, including sardines and mackerel, are a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient that the body cannot produce on its own. These fatty acids improve sperm count and motility in men, while reducing the risk of premature birth and postpartum depression in women. Salmon poses a much lower mercury risk than many other fish, making it a much safer choice before and during pregnancy.
Like salmon, walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to increased fertility in both men and women. Walnuts and other nuts are also a good source of fiber and many other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, iron, and calcium.
Studies show that whole-fat dairy products, such as whole milk, cheese, and even ice cream can all increase the odds of conception. These foods help regulate hormones, resulting in a much lower risk of infertility related to ovulation. However, research also suggests that low-fat dairy offers far fewer benefits, and skim milk may even do more harm than good, so make a conscious effort to stick to whole-fat dairy products whenever possible.
Lentils contain a host of nutrients that contribute to increased fertility. In addition to being a great source of plant-based protein, lentils are also high in iron. Research indicates that women who get the majority of their daily iron from plant sources have significantly lower rates of infertility. The fiber in lentils ensures that it is digested more slowly, allowing your body to reap the maximum benefit from the vitamins and minerals they contain.
Whenever possible, choose whole grain foods while trying to conceive. Processing strips grains of many important nutrients, including fiber. Carbohydrates without fiber are digested much more rapidly, which in turn has a negative effect on insulin and blood sugar levels, creating potential hormone imbalances. Whole grains are digested more slowly, in addition to containing much higher levels of iron, B-vitamins, and helpful antioxidants.
Diet and body weight play an important role in fertility for both men and women, so it’s absolutely vital to ensure that you are getting enough of the important nutrients when trying to conceive. By incorporating the above foods into your diet -in addition to following the advice given by your chosen healthcare professional–virtually anyone can improve their odds of getting pregnant.