Fertility Foods For WomenDairy Products (Full-Fat)
A recent study conducted at Harvard concluded that women who consume one serving of full-fat dairy per day could reduce problem incidence in relation to ovulation. These calcium-rich fertility nutrients should be consumed in moderation, of course, but has much more to offer in terms of enhancing fertility than low-fat or non-fat alternatives.
Good Fats (Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated, Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
As mentioned in this previous blog post, achieving optimal nutritional health has a lot to do with differentiating between good fats and bad fats. It is important to avoid trans fats and saturated fats (and all hydrogenated foods), but the fat found in monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and Omega-3 fatty acids work to increase insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation and enhance fertility. Some examples of foods that are great sources of good fat include nuts, raw seeds (particularly sesame and pumpkin), avocados and many species of fish including sardines and salmon.
Fruit and Vegetables
This one is a bit of a no-brainer, but perhaps one of the most beneficial type of food to eat when trying to enhance fertility – and therefore obviously worth mentioning. Many types of fruits and vegetables are high in folic acid, which is one of the most important nutrients to consume, both when trying to conceive and pregnant, to prevent birth defects. Various types of fresh produce are also extremely antioxidant-rich. Antioxidants help the body rid itself of harmful toxins and free radicals, thus setting your body up to be oh-so hospitable for your future bundle of joy.
Plant Protein vs. Meat Protein
Ok, so all types of protein have their benefits. However, recent studies have shown that plant protein found in such foods as peas, nuts and beans have considerably more fertility-enhancing power than that of protein found in meat and poultry. It is recommended by most to try to reduce meat protein intake, or consume smaller portions of it. Your protein intake should be offset by protein of the plant variety and especially by beans, as they are high in iron which is yet another powerful fertility-enhancing nutrient. It is important to mention again, as in previous blogs, that your iron intake should always be coupled with a substantial amount of Vitamin C intake, as it is Vitamin C that helps the body absorb iron. Consuming too much iron can sometimes lead to health complications, especially while pregnant.
As long as you don’t go too crazy and choose the right types of carbs to eat, then you will reap the benefits of proper insulin function and enhance your fertility as a result. Complex carbohydrates like brown rice, cornmeal, oatmeal and whole grain breads don’t spike your blood sugar and insulin levels. Refined carbohydrates on the other hand (such as white bread, white rice and bleached flour), do very much the opposite and should generally be avoided by everyone but especially by those who are trying or get pregnant or already are.
Fertility Foods For Men
Fruits and Vegetables
Just like for women who are looking to increase fertility, men who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables will benefit from their antioxidant support. These antioxidants aid in increasing sperm motility, speed and work to prevent sperm cell damage. It is also imperative that men get enough of the B vitamin folic acid, which is present in many, many different types of fruits and vegetables. Folic acid prevents sperm from developing chromosomal abnormalities, the likes of which are strongly correlated with miscarriage and infertility.
This powerful baby-makin’ seafood has a very high zinc content which helps to increase the function and production of sperm and testosterone. They are also considered to be powerful aphrodisiacs, which – let’s face it – will help you out too. But oysters aren’t for everyone. There are other types of food such as beef, beans, poultry, nuts, eggs, whole grains and dairy that are fairly good sources of zinc, but nothing really compares to the zinc content in oysters. That being said you can also get zinc from a daily multivitamin, which you should be taking anyway.
Fertility Food No-No’s For Men
Caffeinated drinks and alcohol consumption can cause substantial decreases in sperm count. It is recommended that your caffeine intake be limited to 2 cups per day and that alcohol be drunk in moderation while trying to get pregnant. Mercury consumption and infertility are strongly correlated for both men and women. Mercury content is the highest in larger fish species, so be sure to avoid such species as swordfish, tilefish, tuna, shark and king mackerel. Finally, we all know junk food is bad for us all. But studies have shown that trans and saturated fats effect heart health and increase body fat – causing infertility to boot.