It’s no news that the reproductive system is super complex and affected by a wide variety of factors. But still, some question if the food we eat affects our reproductive health or chancing of conceiving. And, the answer is a solid yes!
A study showed that a good fertility diet can lead to better egg quality, lower risk of ovulatory infertility, increased fertility, and high levels of sperm count and sperm motility if done properly. This means there are certain foods that promote fertility and can help you get pregnant!
So, which are the best fertility-boosting foods?
That’s exactly what we’re diving into in today’s post! Since infertility is a fairly common issue – 1 in 8 couples have problems getting pregnant – we really wanted to help you put together the best fertility diet to improve fertility in both partners. This is one factor that you CAN control when it comes to your fertility and overall health. For example, it’s no secret to avoid or limit trans fats as much as possible when trying to conceive and boost vitamins and minerals. So keep reading to learn all about the best fertility-boosting foods!
Foods That Promote Fertility
Grapefruits and oranges contain high levels of vitamin C, that’s no secret, but they also have a good amount of folate! This nutrient is necessary to prevent neural tube defects which happen at the very beginning of pregnancy, often before most people know they are pregnant. Grapefruits, lemons, oranges, and the like are all great to include in your fertility diet.
Just a disclaimer: grapefruit can interfere with medications, so check with a medical professional before eating it more often! And, remember, folate is the naturally occurring type we want to focus on– folic acid is the synthetic version.
Avocados are everyone’s favorite toast topping! Not to mention that on Taco Tuesday’s guacamole is an absolute staple. So, you probably already love avocados and are more than happy to eat them on a regular basis!
If that’s you, then you’ll want to keep including them in your fertility diet. Avocados are a great fertility food! A study showed that they are so great for pregnancy because they provide more folate and potassium by weight than any other fruit or vegetable. Avocados are monounsaturated fats that are filled with nutrients that are important for preconception and pregnancy like healthy fats, antioxidants, magnesium, and more. Outside of toast and guacamole, you can add avocado to smoothies, top your eggs, or fish with it.
Full-fat dairy products are known for being fertility-boosting foods! They actually lower your chances of being infertile, as a study showed if you eat them at least once a day. It is wise to replace all your low-fat dairy products with full-fat ones to boost enhance your fertility diet. This is because the fat content in the dairy helps your body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins that are there like vitamin A and vitamin D, both nutrients crucial to getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy.
Eggs, a great animal protein, are an all-around amazing option for fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum. And, do not leave out the yolk, this is where the majority of the micronutrients are like choline. Egg whites alone are not a fertility-boosting food. Besides choline, eggs are a good source of vitamin B12, folate, calcium, iron, vitamin B6, and more!! Eggs are incredibly easy to make in the kitchen and there are about a hundred ways you can use them.
We know beets aren’t everyone’s favorite veggie… but they can be a great addition to your fertility diet and your partners. Beets are an excellent source of the antioxidant resveratrol, and resveratrol has been studied in its capacity to improve sperm quality. They also have a good amount of nitrates, which improves the blood flow that reaches your sexual organs, helping with embryo implantation. So, make a beet smoothie, salad, or even brownie to up your daily consumption of them!
Everyone recognizes walnuts for their high levels of healthy fats and antioxidants. And, this is what makes them a fertility-boosting snack to have on hand when trying to conceive! You can easily add walnuts to any healthy sweet treats for pregnancy or just eat them by themselves.
These are good for reproductive health because of their healthy fats and vitamin E contents! Both of these are beneficial for endometrial health, but walnuts also help with sperm vitality. A study showed that men who made walnuts a regular part of their fertility diet had a higher sperm count and quality. So pick some up next time you’re at the store! Sunflower seeds are also a good source of vitamin E.
Tomatoes are a well-loved fruit. Thanks to their high levels of the powerful antioxidant lycopene, they’re also a great fertility-boosting fruit, but they are also high in other antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin E.
According to a recent study, adding 4mg to 8mg of lycopene a day for 8 to 12 months to your fertility diet can improve sperm count and vitality, but for now, we don’t recommend a supplement, instead focus on food sources like tomatoes and watermelon. For optimal lycopene, roast tomatoes or make a sauce as their lycopene levels double this way!
You might know oysters for being an aphrodisiac, but they can also improve your chances of getting pregnant! A fertility-boosting aphrodisiac sounds almost too good to be true, right? But it is! Oysters are one of the absolute best sources of vitamin B12 and zinc.
Animal research showed that their high levels of zinc helped with reproductive health and they also contain other nutrients that are beneficial for fertility. Their high levels of selenium, zinc, iron, and vitamin B12 make them such a perfect food for fertility in both partners. If you are not normally an oyster fan, they are worth giving a try!
Salmon is one of the most popular fish to make at home and order at restaurants! This is one of the safest seafood to eat during pregnancy thanks to its low mercury levels and high amounts of DHA. But, it’s also a fertility-boosting food! Salmon helps to boost fertility both in men and women for its high levels of omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, and selenium. It’s a delicious fish and super easy to prepare – so be ready to spend some time in the kitchen trying out new salmon dishes!
Leafy greens of any kind, not just spinach, are a must include food in a fertility diet, and pregnancy diet. Spinach is a great source of folate, as we discussed earlier, this is a key nutrient of focus for your fertility diet. Additionally, spinach is high in iron, calcium, vitamin K1, and vitamin A (beta-carotene).
It is pretty easy to add to your diet too, in a fresh salad, mixed in with scrambled eggs, a handful in a smoothie, or swirled into your favorite pasta with a little olive oil. Include all the leafy greens you can before pregnancy because they might not be so appetizing after you get a positive!
What foods are you eating to improve your reproductive health?
Those are some of the best foods for promoting fertility and improving sperm quality and male fertility! If you’re trying to get pregnant, these are the things you should be eating on a regular basis, if you can. These fertility-boosting foods will help both partners’ fertility by improving female egg quality and male sperm count and improving overall reproductive health.
If you have any more questions about prenatal nutrition, then head over to the Prenatal Nutrition Library. There you’ll find comprehensive guidance all by a prenatal registered dietitian, in addition to a preconception meal plan.