A Healthy Fertility Diet: The nutrients you need to conceive
Maintaining good nutrition plays a large role when it comes to having a healthy reproductive system. The foods we eat tend to reflect building blocks for our hormones. For instance, antioxidants, which help to protect the egg and sperm from the destruction of free radicals, are found in blueberries, kidney beans, and cranberries. Just as nutrients in food can be helpful for fertility, there are some foods and chemicals within foods that can be destruction for your fertility.
We put together a list of natural fertility foods & nutrients (as well as harmful foods you should avoid):
Natural Fertility Foods
- Organic vegetables and fruits
- Organic, grass-fed, whole fat, raw dairy
- Try to eat mostly cold water fish
- Choose meat that is Grass-Fed and Organic
- Choose only free range/Organic chicken
- Eat only grains in their whole, natural form
- Eat high fiber foods with each meal
- No soy of any form unless fermented such as miso and tempeh
- Avoid refined sugars or fruit juices (unless freshly juiced)
- Drink lots of clean water
Foods Specifically for Fertility
- Eggs (Vitamin D, B12, Protein)
- Nuts and Seeds (Omega 3, Zinc, Vitamin E, Protein)
- Grass-fed meats (Omega 3, Iron, B12, Protein)
- Dark leafy Vegetables (Iron, Folic acid, B6, Vitamin E)
- Fruit (Vitamin C, Flavanoids, Variety of antioxidants)
- Colorful veggies (B6, Vitamin C)
- Fish and Shell Fish (Vitamin D, Omega 3, Zinc, Selenium, B12, CoQ10)
- Liver (Vitamin D, Zinc, Selenium, Iron, Folic acid, B12, CoQ10)
- Lentils and other beans (Iron, Folic acid)
- Raw or cultured dairy (Vitamin D, B12, Zinc)
Foods to AVOID
- Sugar, soda & pasteurized juices
- Soy Foods
- GMO Foods
- Fat-Free Foods
Nutrients that Directly Impact on Infertility
eggs, fatty fish, dairy, cod liver oil. You can also get vitamin D from sitting out in the sun for 15 to 20 minutes per day.
sunflower seeds, almonds, olives, spinach, papaya, dark leafy greens
seafood and organ meats. Amounts in the body naturally decline with age.
red peppers, broccoli, cranberries, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, citrus fruit
potatoes, spinach, red meat
tuna, banana, turkey, liver, salmon, cod, spinach, bell peppers, and turnip greens, collard greens, garlic, cauliflower, mustard greens, celery, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, chard
clams, oysters, muscles, liver, caviar (fish eggs), fish, crab, lobster, beef, lamb, cheese, eggs
liver, lentils, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, asparagus, spinach, black beans, navy beans, kidney beans, collard greens
lentils, spinach, tofu, sesame seeds, kidney beans, pumpkin seeds (raw), venison, garbanzo beans, navy beans, molasses, beef
liver, snapper, cod, halibut, tuna, salmon, sardines, shrimp, crimini mushrooms, turkey
calf liver, oysters, beef, lamb, venison, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, turkey, green peas, shrimp. Zinc can be damaged by cooking so it is important to eat some foods high in zinc in their raw forms.
Essential Fatty Acids
flax seeds, walnuts, salmon, sardines, halibut, shrimp, snapper, scallops, chia seeds. Omega-3 acids have been shown to help fertility by helping to regulate hormones in the body, increase cervical mucous, promote ovulation as well as improve the quality of the uterus by increasing the blood flow to the reproductive organs.
As far as men fertility diets go, Lisa Mazzullo, an ob-gyn and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, recommends that fathers-to-be take a daily multivitamin that contains zinc and selenium for at least three months before conception. Studies suggest these minerals aid in healthy sperm development. Why the three-month lag time? It takes that long for sperm to fully develop and benefit from the supplementation. Nutrition has a direct impact on the potency of your sperm. Having a poor diet and drinking alcohol regularly can lower the quality and quantity of sperm and make conception more difficult.