Fertility foods to boost your mood!
When you are trying to have a baby or just preparing your body for pregnancy your intake matters, so pay attention to those fertility foods that will help you! Everything that we put in to our body directly affects our health in some way. This is true for certain things we eat having a positive impact on our ability to conceive too. It really can be as simple as that!
Think of fertility foods as natural tools to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Remember that saying, “an apple a day will keep the doctor away”? Well, sometimes all it takes is just eating right to put you on course.
I will admit that when we started ‘trying’ we were lucky enough to conceive the very first time. I know that seems like it must mean we are extremely fertile and have nothing to worry about, so of course we didn’t… until I had a miscarriage. (You can read about my experience here if you wish.) It took quite a while for us to come back from that. To be honest it was 6 months before we began to try again. Turns out I didn’t immediately get pregnant again. I have since decided I want to focus on fueling my body properly as we start over on this journey. A lot of women don’t find it really necessary to eat healthy until they discover they are pregnant, but the foods you eat right now impact the health of your egg in the weeks and months ahead. Your body is a temple, and there is no time more important to treat it right then when you are hoping to carry a life!
The main things your body is looking for when ovulation happens is protein, healthy fats and B vitamins. If you eat to conceive you can literally encourage your body to release an egg and help promote implantation. Let’s start with the obvious though, don’t skip meals- especially breakfast. You also don’t need to be eating for two right away. The right amount and type of calories are very important. Stay away from processed foods as much as possible and opt for clean eating.
As far as the fertility foods- increase your beans and nuts, choose leafy greens, go for whole grains, eat dairy that is high in fat if you can. Getting a good amount of fiber in to your diet is very crucial as well. Go for foods high in protein because it is something your body needs daily for essential amino acids, since we do not store it or produce those. I started taking a collagen powder and highly suggest adding that in to your diet. Men and women should get about 50 grams of protein daily.
Don’t be scared of carbs. Your body needs the good ones! If you eat the right carbs (complex) you will actually get a lot of fiber. The wrong carbs just get turned into straight sugar, which can inhibit your ovulation. Some great fertility foods that offer the carbohydrates you are looking for are oatmeal, brown rice and whole grain pasta. These are very high in vitamins. When I became pregnant I had just done a shred that cut carbs. A few weeks after I achieved my results I loaded back up on them again and bam- we conceived. You should get about 10 servings of carbs when pregnant (ideally half of that being from a whole grain source) so that should give you an idea of why they are important to not avoid.
Getting in lots of vitamins matters, and you don’t have to resort to only relying on supplements when you can absolutely get this from the food you eat. Consume things that are high in iron and contain folic acid- the two most critical vitamins to pregnancy. I have consistently been taking the right vitamins, but also am trying to eat lean meats for iron, salmon for omega-3s and foods high in vitamin C like bell peppers. Each vitamin plays a key role, and various food pairings can contribute. Foods high in vitamin C for instance can help your body absorb the iron from other foods better. Load up on an abundance of citrus fruits- both you and your partner!
One of the easiest things to do is drink more water. This directly influences the amount of cervical fluid your body produces, which leads the sperm to the egg. Stay hydrated!
Here is a list of fertility foods that can help support your body for reproduction, and why:
- citrus like oranges/grapefruit/kiwi/papaya = vitamin C, potassium and folate
important because it improves hormone levels to encourage the release of an egg and quality of sperm, plus also helps the body absorb iron!
- berries = antioxidants and vitamin C
important for anti-inflammatory purposes
- oatmeal = fiber, potassium, iron and B vitamins
important because potassium helps maintain fluid in the body
- avocados = healthy fat, protein, folate and vitamin E
important because the body cannot reproduce without vitamin E
- lean red meat/tofu = iron and protein
important because a deficiency in iron can be linked to inability to get pregnant and problems carrying successfully!
- salmon = omega-3 fatty acids and protein
important because our bodies do not make omega-3 and this helps increase cervical mucous
- legumes like chickpeas/beans/lentils/edamame/peas = plant protein (needed more than animal protein during pregnancy) that is low calorie and high fiber plus zinc
Fiber helps balance blood sugar levels. Peas can also give a boost of estrogen!
- nuts like almonds/cashews/walnuts/pistachios = source of protein, fiber, folate, iron and healthy fats (even calcium too!)
protein is a fertility booster
- seeds like pumpkin/flax/chia/sunflower = zinc, iron and protein
Zinc contributes to both ovulation and fertility because it aids in the production of an egg, plus higher levels of zinc can help prevent chances of miscarriage
- dairy like milk/greek yogurt/cheese = calcium
necessary because it is a vital ingredient that can trigger growth in embryos, plus it increases sperm mobility
- leafy greens like spinach/arugula/broccoli = Vitamin E, folate and iron
Folic acid (folate) is essential during pregnancy, but it is recommended to start intake before because it must be present in your body to conceive properly. It improves chances of regular ovulation (also important for men to promote healthier sperm)
- grains like whole wheat bread and pasta/brown rice/quinoa = complex carbs and B vitamins
B Vitamins help produce DNA for eggs and sperm, and can also help reduce stress! Complex carbs can help to regulate ovulation
- eggs = protein, B12 and vitamin D
important because vitamin D affects fertility and sex hormones. It is known to improve both egg and sperm quality.
This is all based off of a diet that can increase your chances of becoming pregnant, however the majority of the foods mentioned are beneficial throughout each trimester for growth of your baby and optimal health for you. I put a lot of research in to this, but I am not a nutritionist- I am a woman. I do not say ‘simply a woman’ because there is nothing simple about a woman. Especially one that has known pregnancy, or one that longs for it. If you have tips I would love to know them! Comment and share, let’s do this together and help each other towards our mutual goals!
Some sources I used to gather information:
Credit to photos used for this post: