The Best Foods To Boost Your Fertility

The Best Foods To Boost Your Fertility

What to eat when trying to conceive

There’s lots of advice about what to eat once you’re pregnant, but what about before? Ideally, men and women should be well-nourished three months prior to conception for optimal pregnancy outcomes. Avoiding smoking, alcohol, and minimizing caffeine intake can all lead to a shorter time to conception and healthier babies.

Diet and lifestyle choices can have a big impact on your fertility. A large study conducted by Harvard researchers showed that women who adhered to a combination of five or more lifestyle factors, including specific changes to their diets, were at a 69% lower risk of ovulatory disorder infertility than women who did not engage in any of these factors. The women with better fertility also took a daily multivitamin, had a lower body mass index (BMI) and exercised more.

boosting fertility, trying to conceive, male fertility vitaminsWhile diet is quite important in fertility, it will not help everyone. But it can help improve ovulation and sperm production. Monounsaturated fats, lower-glycemic carbohydrates, plant-based protein, and iron and folic acid from supplements are all associated with a lower risk of infertility. Soda and partially hydrogenated oils (trans-fats) are associated with an increased risk. Women who wish to conceive should start on a prenatal supplement that includes folic acid, Vitamin D, iodine, iron, and DHA.

Infertility affects men and women to the same extent. According to the CDC, approximately 6-10% of people are infertile. Twelve percent of all infertility cases are a result of the woman either weighing too little or too much.exercise, trying to conceive

Men and women who are overweight can improve their fertility by losing 5% of their weight, optimizing their diets, and increasing physical activity. Underweight women or women may need to increase their intake and limit excessive exercise to be able to provide adequate energy to their reproductive systems. Limiting exposure to potential endocrine disruptors BPA (bisphenol A), phthalates, and decreasing pesticide ingestion can also be helpful. Store and reheat foods in glass, ceramic, or non-BPA plastics.Fertility Boosting Foods

What healthful foods should someone consume when they are preparing for pregnancy? Go back to basics:

  • Fruit: Enjoying 3-4 serving a fruit a day will provide Vitamin C and antioxidants.
  • Vegetables: Include at least 2-3 servings for folic acid and polyphenols
  • Fats and Oils: Focus on monounsaturated fats and include at least 5 tsp. of avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oils.

Fertility Boosting Foods

  • Dairy: Aim for 2-3 servings of yogurt, milk (or fortified non-dairy), and cheese for calcium, protein, Vitamin D, and probiotics.
  • Grains/Starches/Beans: Eat at least six servings a day including lentils, beans, oats, whole wheat breads, quinoa, winter squashes, rice and pasta will provide fiber, iron, dense energy, and B vitamins.
  • Protein: Include 6 oz. of fish twice a week and some plant protein daily. Fish and shellfish (up to 12 oz./375 g per week), dried beans and legumes, nuts, tofu, cottage cheese, lean beef, lamb, poultry, and pork are all great choices.

Be sure to eat a variety and best wishes to all who are trying to conceive!






Judy Simon, RDN
Registered Dietician Nutritionist at | + posts

Judy Simon is a registered dietitian nutritionist who provides medical nutrition therapy in Bellevue, Washington. Her private practice, Mind Body Nutrition, specializes in reproductive nutrition. Simon often lectures at the University of Washington Nutritional Science department.

View Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: What Not To Eat When Trying To Conceive | Talking Fertility

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Food

Things to Avoid when Trying To Conceive

What You Should Avoid When Trying To Conceive

Virginia PriorJuly 11, 2016

Talking Fertility is a resource and community for people who are trying to conceive. Whether you're just starting out or you're having fertility struggles - our goal is to provide place that's supportive, informative and helpful in maintaining your physical and mental health while you pursue your family goals.

Please contact us with questions, comments, stories or anything else you'd like to share. We look forward to hearing from you!

Copyright © 2017 Talking Fertility *** Information and statements are made for education purposes and are NOT intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Talking Fertility does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illnesses. The views and advice expressed on Talking Fertility are not in any way intended to be a substitute for medical service. If you have health concerns or a medical condition, contact your physician.