According to a recent study done by researchers at Harvard Medical School, there are ways to improve your fertility by just a simple diet change. Can specific food increase your chances of getting pregnant? It sure can! Your efforts for trying to conceive shouldn't only be in the bedroom, it should also be in the kitchen. Here are 5 fertility boosting foods you should be eating to increase you chances at conceiving.
1. Complex Carbs
Of course, carbs. Everyone rejoices when they hear "carbohydrates" as an option for a diet. Before you run out to grab a huge bag of potato chips, we don't want you to confuse the difference between complex carbs and refined carbs. A good source of complex carbs are whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits. You want to steer away from refined carbs such as white bread, white rice, sugary pastries, refined cereals. The reason behind it is that the digestion process of breaking down refined carbs will put a spike in your blood sugar and insulin levels. How does this affect your fertility? It interferes with your reproductive hormones that can lead to irregular menstrual cycles. As for complex carbs, it takes a longer period of time to digest, which will decrease the chances of a spike in insulin levels and can also increase chances of regular ovulation. So before digging into that big bowl of white pasta, think of a whole wheat pasta alternative instead
2. Plant Proteins
According to certified nutritionist Patrick Holdford in his latest cookbook, Optimum Nutrition Before, During and After Pregnancy, co-authored with Susannah Lawson, he states that “eating a well-balanced diet (rich in whole-grains, fruits and vegetables) enhanced with supplements that boost levels of all essential nutrients, is the best route to achieving good health and maximizing your fertility." If you feel like taking a break from animal protein, it may not be such a bad idea for fertility boosting reasons.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
It's been shows that Omega-3 acids help fertility regulating hormones in the body. This will increase cervical mucous, promote ovulation and overall improve the quality of the uterus. All this is done by increasing the blood flow to the reproductive organs. It could help improve egg quality. If you are not a salmon lover, there are ways you could still get a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your system. Try a flax oil or even fish oil capsules. Otherwise, seafood nights should be a bit more often than not if you're trying to conceive.
Load up on some raw leafy greens, swiss chard and kale as this is all great sources of iron. Researchers have discovered that women who have a higher intake of iron will have an average about 40 percent less risk of ovulatory infertility than those who who have a lower intake. Its suggested that taking iron supplements will provide a higher amount of iron in your system depending on the dosage you take. Women who take the highest doses — more than 41 mg a day — decrease their risk by more than 62 percent. If you want to have a iron filled meal other than leafy greens, opt for lean beef, lean pork, poultry (dark meat, in particular) scallops, shrimp, salmon, tuna, and eggs!
5. Folic Acic
Want something that can increase fertility in both male and females? Folic acid is the answer. For men, one study discovered that a combining folic acid and zinc as supplementation for a period of 26 weeks increased total sperm count in fertile and subfertile men. Now for women, it gets pretty interesting. Folic acid supplementation started before conception and continued through early pregnancy has been linked to a decreased occurrence of birth defects by up to 60 percent. While folic acid can't completely eliminate birth defects, using it as a prevention is a great idea. Here are some recommended dosages:
400 mcg for men and women 14 years and up
500 mcg for breastfeeding women
600 mcg for pregnant women
Learn more about understanding infertility by clicking here.
Gurevich, R. (2018, Jan 25). The importance of Folic Acid in Female and Male Infertility. "https://www.verywellfamily.com/folic-acid-for-female-and-male-fertility-1959878"
Murkoff, H. (n.d) How iron boosts fertility. "https://www.whattoexpect.com/getting-pregnant/ask-heidi/iron-and-fertility.aspx"
Chalmers, A. (2016, Feb 25). How do omega 3 fatty acids improve fertility?. "https://omega3innovations.com/blog/the-fertility-boosting-benefits-of-omega-3-fatty-acids/"