According to a nationwide survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9% of married women of childbearing age experience infertility.
Couples can control their eating habits even though they can’t control all the other factors that lead to infertility. Additionally, both partners’ nutrition and ability to conceive can be significantly impacted by maintaining a healthy weight. Therefore, food and nutrition are vital for boosting fertility.
What is Fertility?
Fertility is the inherent ability of a woman to conceive a child through a biological process called reproduction with the aid of the reproductive system to produce offspring, which is necessary for the continued existence of a species.
Britannica defines fertility as the capacity of a person or a couple to procreate through normal sexual activity.
Foods to boost fertility
Antioxidants can help counteract the effects of too many free radicals in the body. They can increase the quality of the female eggs and regularise the menstrual cycles by doing this.
Numerous antioxidants exist, including well-known ones like vitamins C and E. There are a lot of natural antioxidants as well. By studying these antioxidants, researchers have found that by scavenging free radicals, antioxidants can increase fertility.
Natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients present in strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are elements that significantly increase fertility in both men and women. According to a study, women who consume a lot of fruit have a significantly lower risk of being infertile.
According to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the decrease in male hormones among PCOS patients can be attributed to this improvement in insulin sensitivity.
The circadian rhythm, which helps control hormone production, is more closely synchronised with the diet when a person eats a lot in the morning. The body is less likely to overproduce the male hormones as a result.
Eating the largest meal in the morning will improve fertility even if a person does not experience a hormone imbalance associated with PCOS.
Avoid trans fats
Numerous illnesses, such as heart disease and Diabetes, are associated with trans fats. Additionally, a link between these harmful fats and ovulation problems seems to exist.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that eating trans fats accounts for just 2% of total calories and doubles the risk of infertility. There was a correlation between a 73% higher risk of ovulatory infertility with each 2% increase in calories from trans-fat.
Cut down on carbs
An NCBI article states that a low-carbohydrate diet has been shown to significantly reduce body weight and make infertility treatment easier in obese PCOS patients.
A high-fat, low-carb diet helps to regulate and improve the reproductive hormones. Fewer refined carbs have a positive effect on fertility.
According to an NCBI article, there is strong evidence that lowering the amount of carbohydrates in the diet can lower insulin levels in the blood, correct hormonal issues and restart ovulation. All of this increase fertility and the chance of pregnancy.
The following carbohydrate foods can be included in the diet:
- Brown rice
- Whole-wheat bread
- Whole-grain pasta
Eat more fibre
Fibre, which is essential for preserving a healthy hormonal balance, is abundant in beans and lentils. Additionally, the polyamine spermidine, which may aid sperm in fertilising the egg, is abundant in lentils.
Incorporating fibre-rich foods into the diet also helps with weight loss and ultimately boosts fertility.
Swap protein sources
The high fibre and protein content of beans and lentils can help improve ovulation. Studies have shown that switching from animal protein to plant protein lowers the possibility of ovulatory infertility.
Folic acid, a vital nutrient that aids in conception and encourages healthy embryo development, is present in high concentrations in both of these legumes. Beans, nuts, peas, and soy are the best options for swapping protein sources.
According to a study, participants who consumed at least one serving of whole milk or dairy products each day, such as cottage cheese or ice cream made from whole milk, were found to have a lower risk of developing ovulatory infertility.
Dairy products with low-fat or no fat had the opposite effect on fertility. It is advisable to eat one serving per day to reap the benefits.
Several vitamins have been found to significantly improve female fertility, in addition to a healthy, balanced diet and an active lifestyle. They can increase the chances of conception even though they should only be taken in the proper dosage.
The nutrients and multivitamins listed below are significant for increasing fertility. They can be taken as supplements with a doctor’s prescription or from food sources.
- Folic acid
- Omega-3 Fatty acids
- Coenzyme Q-10
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
Regular fitness activities can help balance hormones, improve insulin resistance and reduce stress, all of which can enhance fertility.
Exercise can also help lose excess weight that may inhibit fertility. For those undergoing IVF, exercise is also a crucial component. Being active and working out can increase fertility.
Women who regularly engage in moderate exercise become pregnant more quickly than women who don’t.
Take time to relax
According to research, stress reduction, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, has been shown to increase fertility by up to 80% in women who want to conceive.
Cut the caffeine
A theory suggests that the smooth, rhythmic waves that the fallopian tubes produce to assist the egg’s journey to the uterus are thought to be disrupted by large amounts of caffeine.
There isn’t any credible evidence to back up this theory, but several studies have established a connection between caffeine and decreased fertility.
Reducing the consumption of tea, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages, such as cola, may increase the chances of becoming pregnant and support the healthy development of the unborn child if a person becomes pregnant.
Unhealthy weight results in hormonal imbalance, ovulation problems and menstrual disorders in women. Hormonal problems and erection dysfunction are common in obese men.
Being overweight is also a hindrance while trying for assisted reproduction, like in-vitro fertilisation.
Men who are overweight or obese can significantly increase their total sperm count and sperm quality by losing weight. Losing weight at least three months before conceiving increases the chances of a couple getting pregnant. This is because healthy sperm takes about three months to develop by staying within a healthy weight range.
According to studies, women with insufficient iron stores are more likely to experience anovulation or fail to ovulate. Most of us know that pregnancy is completely impossible if one doesn’t ovulate!
Additionally, red blood cell development is halted when the iron levels reach unhealthy levels. This results in less oxygen transport to the body’s tissues, including the uterus and ovaries.
Eggs lose quality and may even become unviable when the reproductive organs do not receive enough oxygen. Again, pregnancy becomes extremely difficult when egg quality and development are subpar.
Even if a person is iron deficient and is able to conceive, the lack of oxygen delivery has an impact on the baby’s development, hinders healthy placental growth and raises the risk of miscarriage and preterm birth.
Researchers have discovered that taking iron supplements regularly reduces a woman’s risk of infertility by 40%.
Avoid excess alcohol
Drinking heavily can delay pregnancy and have an impact on the health of an unborn child.
Impotence, sperm quality issues and decreased sex drive are all effects of heavy drinking in men.
The best choice for pregnant women is to abstain from alcohol.
Natural herbal supplements
Few natural supplements that help with fertility are
- Maca – Maca has long been used as a tonic, aphrodisiac and fertility booster. 500 to 1000 mg, three times per day, is the typical dosage for consuming maca. Being rich in vitamins and minerals, maca serves as a hormone balancer and boosts the immune system. They also play a role in reducing stress and thereby improving fertility.
- Royal jelly – The nutritional powerhouse royal jelly is a fertility gift in a tiny package. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties shield the reproductive system’s cells. Its phytoestrogen content gently increases fertility. 500 to 3000 mg of pure royal jelly should be taken daily in two or three separate doses, according to the traditional recommendations for using the substance.
- Bee propolis – An effective method of treatment for infertility brought on by mild or minimal endometriosis is bee propolis.
- Bee pollen – Bee pollen can help to balance the hormones and increase the estrogen levels while trying to get pregnant. Pollen boosts libido and energy levels, which facilitates conception.
Best diet food to boost fertility
Eggs are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, along with fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and vitamin K. These nutrients are essential for increasing fertility.
Avocados are a great source of the good fats that testosterone, the hormone that triggers the production of sperm, needs to function properly.
Zinc, selenium, and vitamins E and C are a few other nutrients found in avocado seeds that are vital for male fertility. They also contain lutein, a compound that has been demonstrated to enhance sperm quality.
Avocados’ beneficial fats nourish the reproductive system, and their vitamin E content keeps the uterus functioning normally during pregnancy and menstruation.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which improve fertility in both men and women. It also contains selenium, which aids in the production of healthy sperm, and vitamin D, a deficiency of which impairs fertility in both sexes.
Citrus fruits are one among the best sources of vitamin C. In addition, they are also rich in folate, a B vitamin that can aid in pregnancy by regulating ovulation and fostering an environment that is healthy for eggs.
Vitamin C, which is abundant in broccoli and aids in ovulation and egg maturation, encourages fertility. Additionally, broccoli contains a lot of iron, folic acid and antioxidants that supply the body with the plant proteins it needs to improve fertility.
Whole milk and dairy products
Dairy products and whole milk may help ovulation and conception. The fat content of whole milk dairy foods may influence fertility by modulating estrogen levels in the body.
More research is required to fully comprehend the mechanisms that may mediate the favourable effects of full-fat dairy on fertility.
Studies suggest that consuming whole grains lowers insulin resistance and obesity, both of which are imbalances that affect fertility.
Spinach and kale
Vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as antioxidants, are abundant in vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage, watercress and spinach. These nutrients, along with folate, are necessary for conception since it aids in DNA replication in the egg and sperm.
Almonds are a fantastic snack because they are full of the beneficial monounsaturated fats that support the reproductive system. These crunchy nuts also possess certain essential vitamins and minerals.
The capacity to conceive a child is referred to as fertility. Numerous elements can impact fertility. There exist treatments to increase fertility in both men and women.
Enhancing the quality of egg and sperm requires maintaining a healthy lifestyle, taking vitamin supplements and eating a diet rich in dairy products, nuts, meat, poultry, seafood, as well as green leafy vegetables.
How can I boost my fertility naturally?
Maintaining a healthy weight, consuming fertility-boosting foods, staying hydrated, being stress-free, eating a fertility diet and avoiding alcohol and tobacco can boost fertility naturally.
Which fruit can boost ovulation?
Citrus fruits, including orange, grapefruit and a few others, boost fertility along with avocado, which positively affects ovulation.
Which milk is good for fertility?
Whole milk is good for fertility as opposed to low-fat milk due to its role in hormonal balance.
How to boost fertility in your 40s?
Following the fertility diet, getting quality sleep, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, reducing caffeine intake, managing stress and indulging in light exercises along with yoga can help boost fertility in the 40s.