Although some people get pregnant immediately, and even by accident, conception takes time for many women and men. Both women and men can increase fertility with the proper diet. You can increase your odds of becoming pregnant when you’re ready by feeding your body the nutrients it needs to support reproductive health and — eventually — a baby.
Eating for fertility, just like eating for health, is as much about what you don’t eat as what you do. Start now to seek health-promoting foods to promote fertility and health for your sake and your baby’s.
At OC Fertility in Newport Beach, California, our infertility specialists Sharon Moayeri, MD, and Nidhee Sachdev, MD, help couples and singles have babies when they’re ready. They recommend some of their favorite fertility foods to make the process as easy and natural as possible. So, pull up a chair and dig in!
Food shouldn’t be boring, and you shouldn’t feel hungry after eating. But instead of loading up on heavy “beige” foods, like the stuff you get at the drive-in window or out of a box, indulge your pre-K aesthetics and fill your grocery cart and plate with the rich, vibrant colors of fresh fruits and vegetables.
When you eat a healthy diet based on pastured meats, fresh vegetables and fruits, and minimal (or ideally no) processed foods, you can feel free to flavor vegetables and salads with healthy fats. For instance, try making dressings with extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil; drizzle grass-fed butter or olive oil on cooked or steamed vegetables.
Ovarian problems, such as not releasing eggs regularly, are one of the main reasons for infertility. Iron-rich foods help your blood produce red blood cells. They also reduce the risk of developing problems with your ovaries.
You need about 18 mg of iron daily in your reproductive years, ideally from foods, not supplements. The most absorbable and highest quality form of iron is known as heme iron. It comes from animal products. You absorb about 30% of the heme iron you eat in sources such as:
Vegetables and plants contain non-heme forms of iron. When you eat non-heme iron, you only absorb about 2%-10% of the iron. However, non-heme plant foods are filled with other nutrients and are beneficial to fertility. Consider:
Be careful with high-oxalate foods, such as spinach and kale. Oxalates interfere with nutrient absorption, including iron and calcium. Cook, sprout, or ferment such foods to reduce the amount of oxalates. Also use high-glycemic foods, such as molasses and some fruits, sparingly.
Did you know that some fats don’t make you fat or inflamed but help your cells function better? Ditch the vegetable oils, seed oils, and trans fats for healthy fats, such as:
If you’re lactose intolerant, switch to goat or sheep’s milk products. They provide calcium without the lactase that can trigger unpleasant digestive symptoms.
Baby yourself by avoiding non-nutritious foods that surround us every day. You wouldn’t feed your precious new baby a fast-food hamburger, so you should avoid them, too. Cut out pro-inflammatory, non-nutritious foods and additives, such as:
Eating for fertility helps you eat for pregnancy, too. Start your healthy habits today so that you give yourself the easiest route to conception possible and your baby the healthy environment it needs to grow strong.
A prenatal vitamin with 400 mcg of folic acid is essential to your diet if you want to become pregnant. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects in fetuses, thereby preventing serious conditions like spina bifida.
Depending on your needs, you may need to supplement with other vitamins and minerals, too. For instance, you could benefit from a calcium supplement or extra magnesium. When you’re ready to become pregnant, we can recommend the best supplements for your individual needs.
Find out how to boost your fertility and increase your odds of pregnancy by contacting us today at 949-706-2229 for a fertility consultation. You can also book an appointment online.