As researchers learn more about the connection with nutrition and overall health, strong evidence has been uncovered about the link between food and fertility health. Certain dietary patterns have been linked to vastly improved fertility for women and men. Even small changes can help make a difference in ovulation and more, so I want to share the 5 best fertility boosting foods to start eating right now.
Food & Fertility: The Link
Before we get to the 5 best foods, here’s something you should know. In the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) II, a large quality study, researchers found that women who followed a fertility diet “were found to have a 66% lower risk of infertility related to ovulatory disorders and a 27% lower risk of infertility due to other causes” compared to women with the lowest intake of fertility diet foods. These results suggest that not following a fertility diet may be an attributable factor in 46% of cases of infertility. Wow!
We are what we eat and the current research shows that the typical American diet high in processed, refined carbs, added sugar, and red meat is detrimental to our reproductive and overall health. We need more research to understand the impact even more clearly.
So what can you do? Start making some small changes to your diet that fit your lifestyle. You can start by adding the following foods into your meals, barring any personal food restrictions.
5 Fertility Boosting Foods
The fertility diet calls for healthy fats and varied protein from mainly vegetables and fish. Salmon is chock full of healthy omega-3 fats and protein. Win-win!
Limiting your salmon intake to 1-2 times per week is the sweet spot. It’s best to buy wild caught Alaskan salmon to reduce exposure to mercury.
Speaking of non-animal protein, eating legumes have been shown to reduce infertility due to not ovulating. Beans and lentils provide protein and fiber, two nutrients needed to improve ovulation.
3. Full Fat Greek Yogurt
Yup, you heard me right – full fat. We’ve heard time and time again that fats are the enemy. But now that we have more information, we know that eating a balanced diet with healthy fats is good for us, and that’s no different when it comes to fertility.
Greek yogurt contains protein, calcium, probiotics, and vitamin D. It’s basically like a quadruple threat for ovulatory health.
P.S. Fat-free products tend to replace the lost fat with extra additives like sugar and sodium. So, if you can opt for the full fat, you’ll avoid these unnecessary extras.
Inflammation in the body can mess with ovulation and hormone production. It can be caused by a wide array of illnesses, infections, and injuries, such as STDs, PCOS, endometriosis, and more.
Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries contain phytonutrients, natural chemicals produced by plants that provide anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Will berries get rid of all inflammation from underlying causes? No. But it’s a healthy, delicious way to help your body heal.
Folate (the natural form of folic acid) is critical for TTC and a healthy pregnancy. In addition to your prenatal vitamins, you may want to chomp down on asparagus. Just one cup of these green stalks will provide half of your daily recommended dose of folate. Plus, it contains anti-oxidants.
P.S. Anti-oxidants have not been shown to boost fertility in women (though they haven’t been shown to hurt, either). BUT, research shows they help improve male fertility!