Women and men who are having difficulty conceiving should take a closer look at their diet. Research from the Harvard School of Public Health produced in the book “The Fertility Diet” by researchers J.Cavarro and W.Willett (2007) has shown that when women make a few small changes to their diet their chances of conceiving increase.
Fertility starts with a nutritious diet and a regular exercise program. Super foods gives us the competitive advantage. Certain super foods have also been found to have positive effects on both male and female reproductively.
Whole grains such as oats, barley, wheat, quinoa and chia are Low GI carbohydrates that promote a positive blood glucose response. They help with satiety, increase fibre in the diet and give you sustainable energy for baby-making. Whole grains contain loads of B vitamins in particular Vitamin B-12.
B-12 is used at the microscopic level for cellular reproduction and hormone balance. B vitamins in females stimulate ovulation. In addition it helps produce healthy ova and sperm. A deficiency in B12 in males can reduce sperms motility.
To increase your B- vitamin intake do a few simple switches:
White beans for Lentils
White bread for multi grain bread
Refined and highly processed cereal for whole grain cereal like oats/ barley/ rye/ quinoa
In general when trying to get pregnant it is better to try and choose high quality nutritious foods. They are richer in vitamins and minerals and are less likely to contain pesticides that may disrupt hormone function in men and women.
Contin Omega-3 fatty acids which are a powerful antioxidant. Great sources of Omega-3 is Tuna, Salmon, Mackerel, avocado and nuts and seeds. Professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y. believes “sperm quality is affected by dietary antioxidant intake”. Omega-3 fats are essential for healthy functioning of the male reproductive system. It improves sperm quality and mobility in men.Try to include at least 3-4 serves of Omega-3 rich foods weekly or alternatively supplementation can be used.
Red meat for grilled salmon or tuna
Butter for avocado
Margarine for olive oil spread
Full fat dairy
Typically low fat foods are recommended for optimal health. However when trying to conceive Full fat dairy is the better option. Research has found that women who eat at least one portion of full fat dairy a day are significantly less likely to suffer from fertility problems that those who consistently go for low fat or non dairy options. Full-fat dairy products contain fertility-boosting estrogen and progesterone. However do not make the change to full fat until your ready to conceive, because the extra saturated fat in the diet may cause a rise in cholesterol.
Two servings of full fat dairy per day recommended for good health. Once pregnant the low fat option can be resumed. In addition dairy products contain a large amount of calcium which helps to decrease the likely hood of developing osteoporosis.
Cup of coffee for warm glass of full cream milk
Custard dessert for Tub of flavoured yogurt
Although not typically known to attract the opposite sex. Garlic is high in the mineral selenium. Selenium is known to enhance male fertility through increasing sperm mobility. Nearly 50% of the selenium in a man is in the testes and seminal ducts?
Selenium also helps to prevent the chromosome breakage that may play a role in early miscarriage in women. In addition garlic contains vitamin B6 which helps to regulate hormones and strengthens the immune system.
To increase garlic intake:
Salt for garlic
Commercial meat marinades for Natural honey and garlic sauce
Lean red meat
Lean red meat is a great source of iron which helps to prevent anaemia, decreases the risk of ovulatory infertility and plays a role in the production and function of red blood cells. Red meat is also a good source of vitamin B12 which is essential in the maintenance and development of the nervous system.
Chicken for A veggie burger made from legumes and grains
Pork for Salad with nuts and seeds
By using a non meat source to increase iron intake you get the benefit of also reducing saturated fat in the diet and increasing fiber, minerals and vitamins.
Spinach and other leafy greens are an excellent source of folic acid. Folic acid is important in optimising sperm production, facilitating regular, healthy ova production and helping to prevent neural tube defects. It is also a great source of iron and vitamin C which helps to enhance sperm quality by protecting the DNA stored within it from damage. The recommended daily intake of Folate is 500-600ug/day.
½ cup of spinach contains 130ug of folate which is equivalent to 33% of the recommended daily intake during pregnancy for women.
Lettuce for baby spinach salad
Meat Lasagna for spinach and ricotta lasagna
Pumpkin soup for spinach and leek soup
Zinc is often considered to be the most important fertility nutrient as it has been shown to help with the male reproductive system and sperm production. If oysters are not your thing, zinc can also be found in baked beans, eggs, nuts, whole grains and pumpkin seeds.
Zinc is required for the production of testosterone and zinc content in the prostate gland and sperm is higher than in any other body tissues. It helps to maintain semen volume.
A deficiency of zinc is associated with numerous sexual problems, including sperm abnormalities and prostate disease.
Whole fish for oysters
Spaghetti bolognaise for spaghetti Mariana
certainly add the ‘heat’ back to the fertility department by increasing the flow of blood around the body, ensuring that the reproductive system gets a healthy supply. Chillies also stimulate endorphin production which means more fertility boosting. More endorphins circulating around the body plays a role in decreasing stress. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C which helps with iron absorption.
Pepper for chilli flakes
Wasabi for sweet chilli sauce