The Top Common Foods That Boost Fertility

fertility vitamins May 19, 2022
top-foods-that-boost-fertility

 

Up to 25% of couples in western countries experience infertility. 

There are multiple factors that contribute to reproductive health. Within our PlantWhys team, many of us have experienced the heartache and difficulty of infertility and miscarriages. We recognize that there are multiple factors that contribute to reproductive health. But, diet can be a practical place to make changes and certainly doesn’t hurt. 

Generally speaking, improving diet and lifestyle can improve fertility conditions by up to 69%—which is really encouraging! Here are some current dietary recommendations for couples (not just women!) based on a 2017 literature review on diet and fertility.

 

Foods to Modify, Reduce, or Omit for Optimal Fertility

 

1. MINIMIZE Added AND artificial sugars

Sweetened beverages have been shown to negatively affect fertility—

 yes, my friends, that means soda.

 Regular and diet soda can have a negative impact on fertility for both males and females. 

 

2. MINIMIZE Saturated/trans fats from processed foods & animal products 

A 2019 review found that more than just 1% of energy consumption coming from trans fats increases risk for infertility in both male and females.

Saturated fats and trans fats are naturally found in animal products. Store bought baked goods like donuts and cakes, fried foods, microwave popcorn, and frozen pizza/biscuits all contain traces of trans fats.

 

3. Monitor your cheese & dairy intake

A high overall consumption of dairy products, such as cheese and milk, has been associated with lower semen quality in some studies. 

Additionally, women who ate more than two servings of low fat dairy per day were 85% more likely to experience infertility due to lack of ovulation, compared with those who ate low fat dairy only once a week.

 

Foods to Increase and Focus on for Optimal Fertility 

 

1. Plant Proteins

Switching out animal products for plant-based products will eliminate a source of saturated fats and increase nutrients that aid with fertility.

 

2. B12 and Folate 

  • Whole grains like quinoa, amaranth, farro, whole wheat; focus on unrefined carbs
  • Avocados are a source of folate 
  • Fortified plant milks and nutritional yeast are good sources for B12
  • Leafy greens, legumes, and citrus fruits are good sources of folate
  • Research has found supplementing for B12 and folate may reduce risk for infertility and pregnancy loss and/or assist with fertility treatment outcomes   

 

3. Antioxidants

  • Focus on eating fruits and veggies regardless if they are organic or conventional in order to consume more antioxidants.
  • Berries a great source of antioxidants and vitamin C   

 

4. Omega-3s 

Nuts like walnuts (the fat in walnuts are great for sperm health), flaxseed, chia seeds, and avocados. Aids in fetal development, specifically brain development, and mood support throughout pregnancy.

 

5. Mushrooms 

  • Great source of vitamin D and selenium content, which is an antioxidant that can promote egg health. 
  • Low selenium levels have been associated with early pregnancy loss, preeclampsia and fetal growth restrictions in babies. 
  • Another great source of selenium are brazil nuts. Aim to eat one a day. 

 

6. Choline

  • Brussel sprouts, lima beans, cooked broccoli, chickpeas, lentils, soy milk, tofu (really good animal source would be egg yolk)
  • Our bodies can make choline, but typically not enough to meet our daily needs. Choline deficiencies have been linked to risk for miscarriages and can affect brain development and neural tube defects in babies. 

 

Managing stress is also key in improving fertility

 If making specific food choices or dietary changes seems overwhelming or stressful, supplementation is another way to make sure you have the essential nutrients to help with conception and a successful pregnancy. 

 

We acknowledge hopeful caregivers and mother figures everywhere and the challenges they undertake to conceive. 

We hope you feel loved, seen, supported, appreciated, and empowered as you continue to look forward to your health and your future. 

 

 

 References: 

Gaskins, A. J., & Chavarro, J. E. (2018). Diet and fertility: a review. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 218(4), 379–389. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2017.08.010

 

Kinga Skoracka, Alicja Ewa Ratajczak, Anna Maria Rychter, Agnieszka Dobrowolska, Iwona Krela-Ka┼║mierczak, Female Fertility and the Nutritional Approach: The Most Essential Aspects, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 12, Issue 6, November 2021, Pages 2372–2386, https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmab068

 

Mistry, H. D., & Williams, P. J. (2011). The importance of antioxidant micronutrients in pregnancy. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2011, 841749. https://doi.org/10.1155/2011/841749

 

Palmer Sharon. (2020). Eating to Boost fertility with Elizabeth Shaw. https://sharonpalmer.com/eating-to-boost-fertility/

 

Çekici, H., & Akdevelio─člu, Y. (2019). The association between trans fatty acids, infertility and fetal life: a review. Human fertility (Cambridge, England), 22(3), 154–163. https://doi.org/10.1080/14647273.2018.1432078

 

Chavarro, J. E., Rich-Edwards, J. W., Rosner, B., & Willett, W. C. (2007). A prospective study of dairy foods intake and anovulatory infertility. Human reproduction (Oxford, England)22(5), 1340–1347. https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/dem019

 

 

Click here to learn more about our plant-based membership, courses and coaching programs.

Learn More

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest plant-based tips, tricks, and recipes.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.