If you are planning your pregnancy, we know that you must be doing everything within your power to increase the chance of successful conception. Apart from keeping track your cycle to find out when you are most fertile, you must also be looking for foods that can potentially boost your fertility. Well, look no further, this is the article you need to read.
Incorporating certain foods into your daily diet is an easy and natural way to increase your fertility. That said, no food is “magical”, and no food boosts your fertility like a magic pill. You must first have a balanced diet, and a healthy weight.
A healthy weight refers to having a BMI* of around 18.5 to 24. The reason why a healthy weight is important is because fat cells (together with your ovaries) regulate estrogen production. Our “Ovulation Calculator” explains how the release of estrogen does 2 things: 1. Stimulates the release of luteinizing hormone which triggers ovulation; and 2. Thickens and maintains the lining of the uterus. An unhealthy amount of body fat (either too little or too much) would lead to excessive or insufficient amount of estrogen produced. Either way, this will cause fertility issues and lower your chances of conception.
In terms of a healthy diet, studies have shown that diets high in trans fat, carbohydrates as well as animal proteins tend to put women at risk of ovulatory disorders, causing ovulation problems that leads to poor fertility. Adjusting your diet may just give your body the boost it needs to become fertile. We suggest swapping your meat with some beans and nuts once in a while. Beans and nuts are high in protein and will give your body a break from animal protein. Another tip we suggest is consuming dairy products that are “full fat” instead of “skimmed” or “semi-skimmed”. Many researches have shown a correlation between ovulatory disorders and the increased consumption of dairy products. Folic acid is a very important vitamin that has been shown to steer women away from ovulatory disorders that cause infertility. Seek medical advice from your doctor before consuming any health supplements.
After building a healthy dietary habit and obtaining a healthy weight, we would like to introduce you to foods that can help your fertility. As said, no food is magic food, but certain foods do contain certain nutrients that your body needs to have a healthily functioning reproductive system. Below are some food suggestions that have been shown by studies to boost fertility. Always remember that a balanced diet is important. Do not solely consume food from the below list with the aim to increase fertility.
Among other nutrients, is exceptionally high in vitamin K. It will also get you around 60% of your recommended intake of folate. However, remember to cook it first. It is recommended to simply boil fresh asparagus.
Beans are very high in protein. As most vegans would know, beans are the staple protein source for those who do not consume animal products. Recent studies have shown a possible correlation between the consumption of plant-based (instead of animal-based) protein and good fertility. Beans, together with lentils, are great sources of folate as well as fiber. Folate helps with conception while fiber helps with hormonal balance.
Lentils are what you are looking for if you are trying to conceive because it contains polyamine spermidine in an exceptionally high level, helping sperms in their tough journey to fertilize an egg.
• Full fat dairy
If you are ever craving for a treat, always go for the full fat option! Full fat ice cream, full fat yoghurt, full fat frozen yoghurt, full fat cheese, full fat milk. Studies show full fat dairy options do not expose women to ovulation disorders as compared to low fat dairy options.
• Oranges and grapefruits
These fruits are very high in polyamine. Polyamine has been shown to help with the overall health of semen and egg. Juices from these 2 fruits also contain high vitamin C, which helps maintain hormonal balance in women.
• Egg yolks
Egg yolks contain so many nutrients that you need while being relatively inexpensive compared to other ‘superfoods’. Omega-3, vitamin B, protein, and choline are just a few of the many nutrients packed in egg yolks.
Tomato is high in lycopene which is an extremely potent antioxidant. Studies show that lycopene increases male fertility by improving the health of semen.
Carbs are not always bad. However, always choose complex carbs over refined carbs. This is all due to how the different kinds of carbs are digested. When refined carbs are digested by your tummy, the insulin level and blood sugar level is increased, and this increase has shown to disrupt women’s hormones, and in particular, women’s reproductive hormones. As a result, the menstrual cycle is also disrupted. Complex carbs are better because they take a much longer time to be digested, therefore do not cause sudden spikes in the level of insulin in your body. (Complex carbs include legumes, barley, brown rice, corn, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta and potatoes).
Oysters have traditionally been praised as an aphrodisiac. But did you know that oysters can also boost fertility? This is all because oysters have a high level of zinc which is absolutely vital for conception. Without zinc, your production of healthy eggs will slow down, and your menstrual cycle will also become irregular.
1. “BMI” stands for Body Mass Index. The formula of BMI is your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared.
2. Excessive consumption of any of the above food is bad for your health. Consult a doctor, a dietician, or a nutritionist to find out more.