Fertility foods??? Do you really need to eat “fertility foods” in order to get pregnant?
Well, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, at least 1 in every 10 women suffer from infertility.(1) That is a serious number of us ladies crying ourselves to sleep dreaming of a baby of our own.
And, why is infertility so common???
Simply put, because our hormones are effed up!
Yep, you heard us. HORMONE IMBALANCE is a leading cause of INFERTILITY.
And guess what…DIET is a LEADING cause of HORMONE IMBALANCE.
So yes, what we’re saying is changing your diet and eating fertility foods might just be the answer you’ve been looking for.
In fact, numerous studies have shown that diet can not only prevent fertility, but can also prevent miscarriages and support a healthy pregnancy.
Talk about a WIN, WIN, WIN!
*Please note, infertility can be a sign of other serious health issues like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, or severe hormone imbalance. Unless these underlying conditions are addressed you may continue to suffer with infertility. Please contact us today to schedule your free Hormone Check to learn if one of these conditions might be keeping you from getting and staying pregnant and what you can do about it.*
Vitamins & Minerals
It should be no surprise that your hormones need lots of vitamins and minerals to function at their best. After all, every part of our body requires these important nutrients to run well. So, let’s go through some of most important vitamins and minerals for fertility.
Vitamin B6 is a powerful hormone regulator. Plus, B6 is also known for its role in regulating blood sugar. As you may or may not know, maintaining proper blood sugar balance is super important for getting pregnant. Like S*U*P*E*R* important!
Secondly, B6 is also a key vitamin for anyone dealing with a luteal phase defect.
You’re probably thinking, “What the H*** is a luteal phase defect???”.
Well, simply put….
The luteal phase is the time after ovulation before your period begins. During this time progesterone levels increase causing your uterine lining to thicken. However, with a luteal phase defect your ovaries don’t make enough progesterone. Sot, this phase is shorter. The end result, you don’t grow a thick enough lining for the baby to attach to if you do get pregnant. SERIOUSLY NOT GOOD!
A B12 deficiency can make it hard to get pregnant and carry to term. Basically, a deficiency can cause abnormalities in the cells of the reproductive tract, including the uterus lining and cervix. Bad cells = trouble getting and staying pregnant. This crucial vitamin also supports ovulation.
On the guys side (nope, they’re not getting off the hook), B12 deficiency decreases sperm count and motility. Therefore, you need to make sure your man is getting his daily dose too.
You probably hear about the importance of folate during pregnancy all the time. But, did you know it’s also a key nutrient for getting pregnant. Folate actually affects ovarian function, implantation, as well as formation and development of an embryo. As a matter of fact, folate impacts the entire process of pregnancy from before conception all the way through birth. Crazy, huh???
As far as antioxidants go, vitamin C is a total rockstar. You see, all the DNA needed to create a baby is housed within sperm and eggs. And, these cells are susceptible to damage from free radicals (a fancy term for unstable atoms that destroy cells) just like every other cell in our body. But, vitamin C (because it’s an antioxidant) protects eggs and sperm from this damage, reducing the risk of miscarriage.(2)
In addition, this super vitamin helps balance hormone levels in women with luteal phase defect and makes sperm more motile.(3) This all leads to…you guessed it, INCREASED FERTILITY!
In other words, get your daily dose of this super vitamin everyday!
Sex hormones cannot be created without vitamin D. And, you can’t have hormone balance, or ovulation, without sex hormones. Therefore, you need ample amounts of this vitamin. In fact, researchers at Yale found that a whooping 93% of infertile women participating in their study suffered from vitamin D deficiency. In short, the researchers concluded that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to both ovulatory infertility as well as PCOS.(4)
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. As we pointed out earlier, antioxidants are crucial for protecting sperm and egg DNA. Also, vitamin E improves sperm health and motility and vitamin E deficiency has been found to cause infertility in rats.(6)
Researchers from India found that women who do not get enough iron may stop ovulating and have poor egg quality. In fact, these researchers concluded that low iron levels may decrease fertility by 60% or more. (3)
Basically, iron deficiency leads to a decrease in red blood cell production. And, since red blood cells deliver oxygen to our entire body, including the ovaries and uterus, healthy reproduction requires ample iron. Lack of oxygen causes stored eggs to weaken. So, even if you are lucky enough to get pregnant, iron deficiency can stop a fetus’s cells from dividing properly. As a result, you’re more likely to miscarry.
Alpha lipoic acid might sound scary, but it’s not. In fact, it’s so important it’s found in every cell in your body. It’s main job is to to produce energy, but it also acts as another strong antioxidant. In terms of reproduction, lipoic acid improves sperm quality (6) and lowers levels of free radicals. In one study, women with unexplained infertility had much higher levels of free radicals in the fluid around the egg. On the other hand, women with lower levels of these free radicals have been shown to have much higher rates of successful IVF. This is likely because of better egg quality. (7)
More lipoic acid = less free radicals = better eggs = better chance of pregnancy.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Why are these fats on the list of fertility foods?
So many reasons!!!
First of all, they reduce chronic inflammation. And, since inflammation is tied to infertility, the lower the better. (8) Secondly, they also help regulate hormones, improve blood flow to the reproductive organs, increase cervical mucus, and promote ovulation. HOLY WOWZERS!
Lastly, omega-3s also lower FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). Remember, FSH moves women toward menopause. So, lowering this hormone may increase fertility. Studies have also found that FSH tends to be high in women with fertility problems. (9)
Selenium has long been known to be crucial for male fertility. However, scientists now get that this nutrient is also mega important for female fertility.
On the male side, selenium helps their guys swim, increasing fertility and improving chances of conception,
On our side, selenium acts as an antioxidant during the later stages of egg development. Also, large, healthy ovarian follicles (which you want!) contain high levels of selenium. (10)
Zinc is a SERIOUS player in female fertility. This nutrient is crucial at all stages of egg development. In fact, zinc deficiency can even affect the earliest stage of egg development. This can reduce the ability of eggs to divide and later be fertilized. (11)
In other words, lack of healthy eggs is known to be a major factor in infertility and recurrent miscarriage. And, zinc is one MAJOR factor that determines the health of your eggs. So, get your zinc on!
If you live on this planet chances are you have heard fiber is good for your health.
But, did you know it’s also good for baby making?
Well, here’s the news flash…
Fiber helps regulate blood sugar. It’s why eating an apple is good for you and drinking a glass of apple juice isn’t. The apple has lots of fiber, which keeps your blood sugar from getting all whacky. The juice has no fiber so it causes a huge spike (and crash) in your blood sugar.
WHACKY BLOOD SUGAR = WHACKY HORMONES = TROUBLE CONCEIVING
Second, fiber also improves digestive health and moves things along, if you know what I mean. 💩😜Excess hormones are moved out through our poo. So, keeping it moving is vital!
Bottom line, if you aren’t eating enough fiber, it’s time to start! So, go ahead and add that to the list of fertility foods.
So, here’s the thing…Fat has gotten a bad rap for WAY TOO LONG. That stops now!!!! We are here to tell you that fat is GOOD. That is, good fat is good.
Sorry, we’re not talking about loading up on bacon or french fries here. We know, major bummer! We’re talking about those essential fatty acids found in yummy foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, coconuts, and so on.
You see, fat plays a massive role in hormone health. After all, fat is a component of all hormones. Also, fat helps balance blood sugar, which we already know helps balance hormones.
Besides that, without ample fat intake you’re unable to absorb essential nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fat is also known to reduce inflammation as well as decrease the risk of ovulatory infertility.
Lastly, lack of good fats has been linked to male infertility and low omega-3 fatty acids hurt sperm quality. DOUBLE YIKES!! (12)
In fact, it has long been known that eating ample protein is necessary for high quality eggs and embryos as well as for sustaining a healthy pregnancy.
Now, you might be thinking you’ll just run out and grab some more chicken or burgers…NOT SO FAST!!
According to the Nurses Health Study, one of the biggest long-term health studies available, decreasing animal protein and increasing plant protein is a MAJOR win for fertility. (13)
So, now you might be thinking, “but where do I get my protein???”.
Well, lucky for you plants are chock full of protein. Lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, and even vegetables contain plenty of protein to meet your daily need.
Even replacing just a little of the meat in your diet with plant-based protein can make a huge impact on improving fertility!
Fertility Foods List
So, we’ve talked about the many nutrients that you need to get and stay pregnant. And, we get that the list can be a bit overwhelming.
The beauty is that all of these nutrients are available in delicious, easily found foods.
You see, the key to getting all these nutrients is to cut out the crappy, processed food and replace it with fresh, real food.
We know, we know! Nobody said this was going to be easy! It’s totally worth it though, right???
And don’t worry, we’re not gonna leave you hangin’. #wegotyou.
Here are some foods to eat to increase fertility.
Fruits & Veggies
Dark Leafy Greens
First, lets talk about greens. Cause let’s face it, leafy greens are the SUPERFOOD of SUPERFOODS! Greens might even be our very top fertility food pick.
Mighty greens are full of fiber and rich in tons of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B, C, K, folate, calcium, and iron. Furthermore, greens contain folinic acid, which is the most absorbable form of folate.
Mama told you to eat your greens for a reason!!
Did you know the various colors of vegetables correspond with their nutrients? For example, orange vegetables (like carrots) are high in carotenoids. While red vegetables (like tomatoes) are high in lycopene.
Making sure you eat lots of different colors of fruits and vegetables will ensure you get lots of different, important nutrients. Remember, successful baby making takes LOTS of different nutrients.
SO EAT THE RAINBOW!!!
Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C. Remember, vitamin C is important for protecting egg and sperm DNA from damage.
Citrus is also one of the best fertility foods for men since vitamin C is known to improve sperm quality as well as swimming speed. Swim boys swim! LOL
Aside from their high levels of vitamin C, citrus fruits (especially lemons) have very strong detoxification properties. This aids the liver in detoxifying the body and improving hormone balance.
So, next time you’re looking for a quick snack, grab a handful of berries. YUM!
*Always choose organic berries. Berries are commonly sprayed with nasty, hormone-killing pesticides because the bugs think they are as delicious as we do. Choosing organic will help you steer clear of all those chemicals.*
Nuts & Seeds
Both nuts and seeds are amazing sources of high-quality plant protein. They are also high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. FYI, those are the good fats we were talking about earlier. Lastly, all nuts and seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals.
The nutrients in nuts and seeds are known to reduce inflammation, balance blood sugar, lower blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol, and improve overall heart health. All of which increases fertility as well as your overall health. Double whammy!!
A few standouts among the nut and seed category worth mentioning:
- Walnuts and seeds such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are great sources of omega-3’s.
- Chia seeds are an excellent source of calcium. In fact, chia seeds contain more calcium per ounce than cow’s milk.
- Sunflower seeds are high in tons of fertility loving nutrients like zinc, vitamin E, vitamin B1 and B6, folate, selenium, and magnesium. Now that is one powerful little seed!
Lentils & Beans
Looking for a food for ovulation stimulation? Look no further! Lentils and beans are your ovulation kickstarters. Don’t let their size fool you. Remember, good things come in small packages. *wink*
Lentils and beans are packed with protein, full of fiber, and high in iron. For example, one cup of cooked lentils provides 37% of your daily iron needs. All that without any of the animal protein or bad fats associated with meat.
Lentils and beans are also good sources of folate, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, and manganese.
Now, that is some serious food to get you pregnant!! So, put this one at the top of your fertility foods list!
You’ve likely heard the good, the bad, and the ugly about eating fish, especially if you are trying to get pregnant. While the right fish can provide lots of needed nutrients, the wrong fish can give you a big ol’ dose of dangerous chemicals. YIKES!!
So, first of all, we are talking about wild-caught, cold-water fish ONLY. This includes wild-caught Alaskan salmon, Atlantic mackerel, and Pacific sardines. These fish are rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids along with many other nutrients. Salmon, for example, is loaded with selenium and B vitamins, especially B12.
We recommend avoiding, or at least limiting, most other fish (especially farmed) as they can contain a number of harmful toxins. #notgood
Grains are a hot topic right now. Many of the current fad diets talk about grains as if they are toxic. Well, we’re here to tell you that grains are not evil. In contrast, many grains are not only good for your health, but contain nutrients important for fertility. Therefore, making them an excellent fertility food choice!
As a rule, we typically recommend gluten-free and pseudo grains (grain-like seeds such as quinoa) for women with fertility issues. This is because food sensitivities are commonly associated with gluten-containing grains. And, since food sensitivities are a fairly common cause of infertility, we suggest avoiding potential sensitivities unless you know for sure you don’t have an allergy or sensitivity.
Fertility boosting grains include brown rice, oats, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, millet, sorghum, and teff. All of these are high in protein and fiber and stabilize blood sugar as well as reduce inflammation. These grains are also known for improving cholesterol levels.
Finally, adding these grains to your diet will help you get important fertility vitamins such as B vitamins, iron, and selenium.
Super Fertility Foods
Maca is a Peruvian plant that is grown in the Andes mountains and is one of our TOP PICKS for fertility superfoods. The Peruvians often use maca, which is a cruciferous vegetable, in traditional Peruvian dishes. Luckily, it is readily available in the U.S. and Canada in it’s dried, powdered form.
Maca is a powerhouse when it comes to both male and female hormones.
For men, maca increases sperm count and motility as well as preventing erectile dysfunction. It does this by boosting testosterone levels, which can also increase sex drive in both men and women. If the boats a rockin’….LOL!
For females, maca is one of the foods that increase ovulation rate.(14) It does so by balancing estrogen and progesterone levels and reducing estrogen dominance. (15)
In addition, maca is full of fertility nutrients such as B vitamins, calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc.
Maca also provides energy and helps the body deal with stress.
Can you see why we think its a superfood???
Honey & Bee Pollen
Try adding cinnamon to your honey and you now have a treat that will stimulate ovulation and increase blood flow to your reproductive organs.(16) SCORE!
Also, you’ll want to feed some of the gooey goodness to your hubby. Because, honey and bee pollen improve semen quality and lead to higher fertility rates. (17)
Hmm…bet you could find some fun things to do with that honey. What??? You are trying to get pregnant here, right? *wink*
Greens are high in fiber and are literally BURSTING with fertility boosting nutrients. Plus, they are SUPER high in folate, which is crucial for getting pregnant AND once you are pregnant.
Most importantly, greens keep things moving. And, well…the better we eliminate, the more toxins and excess hormones we move out, the better hormone balance we have. Yep, we’re talking 💩again. (Sorry, not sorry.)
In other words, EAT YOUR DAMN GREENS! 😘
So, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about what to do to get pregnant. But guess what….something SUPER SIMPLE might be behind your infertility!!!
Many common medications, vitamins, supplements, and even foods are known FERTILITY BLOCKERS. So, if you’ve been trying to conceive without any success…
You’ll want to check out our 7 Things to Stop NOW if You Want to Get Pregnant. Get your FREE copy now!
You should now have a pretty clear picture of how important a role food plays in reproductive health and specifically, baby making. Our hope is this empowers you to start the journey toward balancing your hormones and realizing your dream of pregnancy and motherhood. We know the pain, frustration, and fear you currently face and we want to be here to support you.
If you are ready to find out if a hormone balance is stopping you from conceiving and how we can help then Click here to schedule a complimentary HORMONE CHECK consultation NOW!