Whole food is your foundation for a healthy, fertile body. What you eat is as important as any other single thing you do for your fertility. Every time you eat, you can do something amazing for your reproductive system.
Add These 6 Nutrient-Dense Fertility Foods to Your Diet
1. Avocado: A 2012 study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health shows a diet high in avocado and foods high in monounsaturated fats may triple the chance of success with IVF treatments. Monounsaturated fats in avocado reduce inflammation for an optimum environment for conception.
Avocados are a rich source of plant sterols that block excess estrogen from xenoestrogens (estrogen mimics in the environment) and too much circulating endogenous estrogen (naturally produced estrogen in the body). By balancing estrogen, avocados support the body’s natural ability to produce progesterone, critical for ovulation and healthy pregnancy. I love avocado in salads, guacamole or on soft tacos.
2. Wild salmon: Omega 3 oils in wild salmon boost fertility by regulating prostaglandins (body chemicals involved in hormone production). In addition, omega 3 oils increase blood flow to the reproductive organs.
Wild King and Sockeye salmon are your best choice for high Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Farmed salmon have much lower levels, due to their diets of GMO corn and soy. The essential fats in wild salmon can be especially nourishing for women with low cervical mucus or who suffer from vaginal dryness. Wild salmon is also a good source of iron and is supportive of healthy endometrial lining thickness, which is important for embryo implantation.
3. Full-fat, organic yogurt: While low-fat dairy can be a fertility blocker, full-fat dairy products boost fertility. Harvard School of Public Health research shows eating whole fat-dairy supports normal ovulation.
Full-fat yogurt is an excellent protein source for fertility. Protein-based amino acids are the building blocks for healthy cells in the body. Further, yogurt contains probiotics to support healthy vaginal flora. (Vaginal infections can put a real damper on fertility efforts. Eating and applying yogurt can be a godsend for this issue.) Choosing organic, full-fat yogurt is your best choice to avoid growth hormones and chemicals present in conventional dairy.
4. Yams: In this discussion, I’m referring to sweet potato yams, not the fertility herb, Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa).
Yams are rich in antioxidants like vitamins A and C, which prevent free radical damage to sperm and eggs. There is some data that finds West African populations who eat a lot of sweet cassava yams have a higher twin rate, but this remains to be proven. Further, yams are full of fiber to help regulate blood sugar for women with PCOS. Yams are much healthier than white potatoes, too. Just bake as usual and add your favorite seasonings.
5. Berries: Raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry are all stars for fertility. They are extremely high sources of antioxidants for egg and sperm health. This is especially important for older men and women who want to conceive.
Goji berries (Lycium barbarum, L. chinensis), in particular, show fertility benefits. Chinese animal research finds antioxidants in goji berry increase sperm health and motility.
Further, berries have sugar-regulating activity, which may help women with PCOS. Conventionally grown berries are heavily sprayed with pesticides, and their thin skin allows more chemicals to penetrate the fruit. Choose organic berries for your Natural Fertility Diet.
6. Organic seaweed: Seaweeds are some of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet. They are high in vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B6 and B12, critical for immune response and fertility. Algin in seaweed can protect the body from toxins that can affect fertility, including heavy metals and radiation. Algin binds to toxins in the GI tract, so they pass through the body unabsorbed.
Seaweed is a premier source of iodine that can help women with thyroid issues, which can be a problem for both pregnancy and fertility. There are many ways to cook with seaweed. I like seaweed in soups, veggie sushi or sprinkled on healthy casseroles.
Try a few of these foods in your Natural Fertility Diet. They are all delicious, widely available, and easy to cook with. Organic is the way to go whenever possible for a fertility program. You can avoid many fertility pitfalls just by choosing organic and eating a whole foods diet.
- Fertility Boosting Foods. (2016). Retrieved from: http://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/fertility-boosting-foods?page=2
- Chavarro J.E., Rich-Edwards J.W., Rosner B., Willet W.C.. (2007, May). A prospective study of dairy foods intake and anovulatory infertility. Human Reproduction. May;22(5):1340-7. Retrieved from: https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/22/5/1340/2914869
- Hope, J. (2012, July). Avocado Diet Triples Chance for Success For Couples Undergoing IVF. Daily Mail.com. Retrieved from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2168494/Avocado-diet-triples-chance-success-couples-undergoing-IVF.html
- Omega-3 Content of Frequently Consumed Seafood Products. (2016). Retrieved from: http://www.seafoodhealthfacts.org/seafood-nutrition/healthcare-professionals/omega-3-content-frequently-consumed-seafood-products
- Legatt, M. (2016). Optimize Your Fertility With Wild Salmon. Retrieved from: http://blog.seattleacupuncture.com/wild-salmon-for-fertility
- Tan Q.H., An C.X., Xiao Y., Liao Z.M.. (2012). Protective effect of Lycium bar-barum polysaccharides against heat stress-induced germ cell apoptosis in rats and its mechanism. Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2012;18(1):88–92. Chinese. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22295856
- Lehtonen H.M., Suomela J.P., Tahvonen R., Vaarno J., Venojärvi M.,et al. (2010, March). Berry meals and risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jun;64(6):614-21. Retrieved from: https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn201027
- The Land of Twins. (2001, June). BBC World Service. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/people/highlights/010607_twins.shtml
- Frequently Asked Questions: Basic Sea Vegetable Information. (2016). Retrieved from: http://www.seaveg.com/shop/index.php?main_page=page&id=8&chapter=1