Best Fertility Foods to Eat Daily
Whether you’re eating a fertility diet to prepare for the ‘one day’ or working hard to conceive the below tips can help you along your journey. It’s estimated that about 1 in 4 couples have difficulty getting and staying pregnant. Many things can impact fertility in both women and men. While we can’t control some factors, one factor we can control is diet. Eating patterns have been shown to improve fertility in both men and women. Today we are diving into how to incorporate fertility-promoting eating patterns into your daily routine.
- THINK of anti-oxidants at every meal.
Anti-oxidants fight off free radicles. Free radicals from our environment, smoking, drinking alcohol, and unhealthy foods have been linked to sperm motility issues, reduced sperm numbers, damaged DNA in sperm, and negatively can impact every stage of ovulation.
Eating a diet high in anti-oxidants is relatively simple. Include foods high in super antioxidants like Vitamine C and Vitamin E into your daily diet. Vitamin C-rich foods include bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, and citrus. Vitamin E-rich foods include spinach, nuts, and seeds.
- Get your lutein and zeaxanthin at least once a day.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids found in plants. Research has shown a positive correlation between increased fertility, birth rates, better sperm motility, improved sperm morphology, and carotenoid intake. Plants create these carotenoids to help protect themselves from diseases and harsh environments, and when we ingest them, we benefit from their medicinal properties. You Can find lutein and zeaxanthin in kale, spinach, broccoli, peas, lettuce, and egg yolks.
- Have a daily selenium snack.
A diet low in selenium can have serious complications in fertility. Selenium deficiencies may lead to gestational complications such as miscarriages. Selenium-rich foods include fish and Brazil nuts. My favorite dessert is chocolate-covered Brazil nuts. Simply melt dark chocolate and dip brazil nuts in the chocolate, top with sea salt, then freeze for an hour.
- Focus on ONLY lean proteins with meals.
Diets consisting of lean proteins like all Greek yogurt, Skyr yogurt, cottage cheese, fish, chicken, and tofu, have been liked to improve fertility. Diets high in saturated fat from cheese, red meat, pork, and bacon are linked to lower fertility rates. Adding variety to your diet with our protein powders makes getting lean protein a sinch.
- Zinc it up!
Zinc is critical in sperm health, egg health, and follicle development and maturation. Zinc supplementation in men has significantly increased sperm volume, sperm motility, and sperm morphology in both fertile and men considered infertile.
Great sources of zinc include oysters, pumpkin seeds, and turkey breast.
Fertility issues are rising, but a healthy diet can decrease your risk and promote a healthy pregnancy.
Galan P, Viteri FE, Bertrais S, et al. Serum concentrations of beta-carotene, vitamin C and E, zinc, and selenium are influenced by sex, age, diet, smoking status, alcohol consumption and corpulence in a general French adult population. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005;59(10):1181-1190.
Ebisch IM, Thomas CM, Peters WH, Braat DD, Steegers-Theunissen RP. The importance of folate, zinc and antioxidants in the pathogenesis and prevention of subfertility. Hum Reprod Update. 2007;13(2):163-174.
Ginger Cochran is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, functional medicine practitioner, Certified Diabetes Educator & Care Specialist, Certified Wellness Coach, Certified Exercise Physiologist, and owner of Nutritious Ginger, an integrative and functional nutrition practice focusing on full body self-care and nourishment. Ginger’s primary specialty is women’s health, with a special emphasis on gestational diabetes, weight management, infertility, digestive wellness, and overall health + happiness.
Ginger serves on the board of director for the Nutrition Care Manual by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.