Fertility diet: Increase Your Chances of Conceiving

Dec 18, 2008
There are many ways to improve your fertility and in some cases all you need is to make changes in your lifestyle. Many couples trying to conceive want to know if certain diet can affect fertility.

The recent Harvard study showed that our eating habits can actually increase chances of conceiving. Generally, a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol and smoking and moderate exercising can reduce the risk of infertility for up to 66%. Numerous researches proved that many products that contain hormones and bioactive components that may influence the chances of conceiving.

What to include in woman's diet when trying to conceive?

Deficiency of essential nutrients can reduce your fertility and lead to complications during pregnancy. That's why it is important to keep to a balanced diet to make sure that you are ready for a healthy pregnancy.
According to the findings of Harvard studies, women have better chances of getting pregnant keeping to certain dietary rules. Include products containing monounsaturated fats, plant protein, carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index, high-fat milk and dairy products, food rich in B vitamin, folic acid and iron or their supplements.
  • Monounsaturated fats are found in plant oils, especially cold pressed oils, such as linseed oil and olive oil, oily fish and nuts. Including monounsaturated fats in your diet is not only good for your fertility but also improves your overall health, reducing the risk of heart disease and breast cancer. They also will help you stay fit during pregnancy.

  • Food rich in B-complex vitamins include meat, fish, dairy products, whole grain products, eggs, bananas, avocado, nuts, and green leaf vegetables. You may also take B-complex supplements three or five times a week. Folic acid is also very important in your diet, so try food rich in folic acid, such as whole grain products, fruits, nuts, orange juice, spinach and broccoli.

  • Iron is found in such food as cheese, egg yolks, spinach, dried fruits (raisins, apricots, prunes), liver, lean meat, seafood, whole grains and others. Many women suffer from iron deficiency due to menstruation or insufficient diet. It is important to note that iron in meat is better absorbed by the body than iron in plant food. It is also recommended to consume food rich in vitamin C, like fruits and vegetables (oranges, potatos, tomatoes, strawberries etc) along with iron-rich food to increase the absorption of iron.

  • High-fat dairy products include full-cream milk, yoghurt and cheeses. The daily intake of these products will provide you the essential calcium supply.

What to include in man's diet when trying to conceive?

  • It is recommended to include the sufficient amount of vitamin C to improve man's fertility. Smoking men will need additional vitamin C supplements. The recent research conducted the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y showed that men need more fruits and vegetables to boost their fertility. This contributes to better sperm quality, improving its motility. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants that protect sperm against damage. Two antioxidants glutathione and cryptoxanthin, which are found in leafy greens, peppers, tomatoes, oranges were found to make sperm stronger.

  • L-carnitine supplements are also helpful for male fertility. L-Carnitine, a vitamin-like nutrient can increase sperm motility. It is found in such food as red meat, dairy products and avocado.

Best food to improve your fertility

Spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, pumpkin, walnuts, whole grain bread or cereals, tofu, yoghurt, grapefruit, olive oil, salmon, full fat milk, lean red meat, avocado, oysters.

What food to avoid when trying to conceive?

  • Junk food, such as hamburgers, chips, biscuits, pies, cakes, tarts and others that contains a lot of sugar and refined flour or trans-fats has low nutritional quality and may interfere with your normal weight. It is known that overweight women often struggle with infertility.

  • The high intake of seafood, containing increased levels of mercury is associated with reduced fertility. You may need to limit the consumption of seafood, such as albacore tuna, shark, swordfish with the high levels of mercury that is harmful for fertility and developing child.

  • Reduce caffeine consumption as it can lower your chances to conceive. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, energy drinks and some herbal products. It is known that women who drank more than 300 mg of coffee a day had 27 percent lower chances to conceive. Another study showed that men who drink excessive amounts of coffee had lower sperm count and decreased sperm motility.

  • Avoid alcohol as it considerably reduces your chances to conceive. Alcohol may not only affect male and female fertility but also increase the risk of fetal abnormalities.