While there are many factors that can affect fertility, diet is one of the most important. A healthy diet is essential for both partners when trying to conceive, as it can impact sperm quality and egg health.
There are certain nutrients that are especially important for fertility, and knowing which foods to eat (and avoid) can make a big difference. At our office, we can help you create a customized plan to optimize your chances of conceiving.
The Role of Diet In Fertility
The link between diet and fertility
When it comes to fertility, both men and women need to be aware of the role that diet plays. For women, a healthy diet can help them to regulate their menstrual cycle, achieve a healthy body weight, and reduce stress levels – all of which are important for fertility. For men, a healthy diet is important for maintaining a good sperm count and mobility.
Why a healthy diet is important even before pregnancy
A healthy diet is not only important during pregnancy – but also before pregnancy. That’s because many health conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes can take months or years to develop. So if you’re thinking about starting a family soon, it’s never too early to start eating well.
Modifying Your Diet When Trying to Conceive
Nutrients you need for fertility
When it comes to fertility, there are a few key nutrients that are especially important. According to the March of Dimes, one of the most important nutrients for fertility is folate or folic acid, which is found in leafy green vegetables, legumes, and fortified foods like bread and cereal. Folate helps to prevent birth defects of the brain and spine, which are formed during the very first weeks of pregnancy, so it’s important to get enough even before you conceive.
Another nutrient that’s important for fertility is iron. Iron helps to carry oxygen to all of the cells in your body, including eggs and sperm. You can get iron from food sources like red meat, dark leafy greens, and beans. If you’re not getting enough iron from food, your doctor may recommend an iron supplement.
Zinc and selenium are also critical for a healthy pregnancy early on. Zinc is an important mineral when trying to conceive because it helps the body to produce hormones and plays a role in cell division. Good sources of zinc include oysters, beef, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, and dark chocolate.
Selenium is an antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage, and is found in Brazil nuts, tuna fish , whole wheat bread, brown rice, garlic, eggs, and chicken.
Best foods for fertility
In addition to getting enough of the key nutrients for, there are also certain foods that can help increase your chances of conceiving. One food that’s especially good for fertility is wild yams, which can be found at most health food and grocery stores. Wild yams contain a plant compound that has been shown to boost egg production in women.
Another food that’s beneficial for fertility is avocado, which tends to be more readily available. Avocados are rich in healthy fats, folate, and vitamin E, all of which are important for fertility.
Other fertility-boosting foods include:
- Organic dairy products – full of calcium and vitamin D
- Berries – high in antioxidants, which can help protect eggs and sperm from damage
- Beans and lentils – a good source of protein and folate
- Nuts and seeds – a good source of healthy fats, magnesium, selenium, and zinc
- Whole grains – provide B vitamins, iron, selenium, and zinc
- Dark leafy greens – high in vitamins A and C, iron, folic acid, and calcium
Which foods to avoid
There are also some foods that you should avoid when trying to conceive. Processed meats like bacon and hot dogs have been linked to lower fertility rates in both men and women, so it’s best to limit your intake or avoid them altogether.
Other foods to avoid when trying to conceive include:
- Alcohol and caffeine use can decrease fertility rates in both men and women
- Trans fats found in processed snacks like cookies and cake have been linked with lower fertility rates
- High-mercury fish like swordfish and shark can contain high levels of mercury, which can be harmful to both you and your baby
If you’re trying to conceive, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about the best diet for you. They can help you make sure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need and advise you on which foods to avoid.
Schedule An Appointment
If you are concerned about your fertility or your diet’s impact on your fertility, make an appointment with a fertility specialist at Viera Fertility Center. At our office, we will perform a comprehensive evaluation to help determine the best course of action for you. Call now to book your appointment at our Melbourne fertility clinic at 321-751-4673.