How to Eat for Optimal Fertility
Eating for optimal fertility is the same thing as eating for optimal health. Your body is at its best when it is getting all of the nutrients it needs.
Below lists how to eat for optimal fertility:
Cut out sugar
Sugar is highly inflammatory for the body and too much sugar can throw off your hormones and cause fertility issues. Aim to get less than 20 grams of sugar and if you are craving something sweet then grab a piece of fruit.
Increase your intake of vegetables
All vegetables are great because they are anti-inflammatory and full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You literally can’t eat enough veggies so aim to get at least a serving or two at each meal.
Tip: Having a hard time eating vegetables? A good trick is to blend them into a fruit smoothie. I personally love adding spinach, beets, and carrots to smoothies.
Eat more fat
Eating enough fat is incredibly important for fertility because fat is needed for normal hormone production. Fat is also needed for the absorption of many vitamins, so if you are skimping on fat you will have a hard time absorbing certain essential nutrients.
Get plenty of protein
Protein is necessary for quality egg development as well as for a healthy growing baby. Read more about studies that have been done on this here.
Cut back on the carbs
Eating a low carbohydrate diet has been found to be associated with better fertility and a greater chance of getting pregnant. Cut out the processed carbs and go for carbs that are rich in fiber such as beans and vegetables.
Eat seafood a couple of times a week
Seafood that is high in omega-3 fatty acids EPA/DHA such as salmon, is the best and is recommended to be consumed 1-2x a week. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and adequate consumption is associated with better cognitive development in the growing baby.
Drink plenty of fluids
Aim to get at least 8 glasses of water, more if you are sweating a lot with your workout. Staying hydrated is necessary for normal vaginal secretions and cervical fluids, which are necessary for conception.
Don’t starve yourself
If your body thinks it is starving, this can cause a widespread stress response which can mess with your fertility hormones. Make sure you are eating enough – it’s pretty simple, if you are hungry, eat!
Don’t consume trans-fats
Trans-fats are man-made fats that are in highly processed foods such as margarine. Trans-fats have been linked to a wide variety of diseases including obesity and heart disease, and has also has been linked to infertility.
Trans-fats are found in highly processed foods, so just avoid processed foods and you should be in the clear.
Take a vitamin D supplement
There is really no good food source of vitamin D, and you’d need a lot of sun to actually get adequate levels. Make it easy on yourself and take a supplement. Studies have found that vitamin D is a very important vitamin for fertility and for a growing baby.
Vitamin D should be taken with a fatty meal to allow for optimal absorption and the recommended dose is typically 2,000 IU daily.
Take a prenatal vitamin
A prenatal vitamin should be part of your fertility diet because it helps to ensure healthy eggs. Read here how to choose the best prenatal vitamin.
It’s never too early to start thinking about your fertility because optimal fertility really just means optimal health 🙂
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in women’s health and preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.
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