There are many different causes of infertility, but the end result is the same: an inability to conceive. While there are medical interventions that can help, making dietary changes is a natural and effective way to increase fertility. Keep reading to discover more on foods for fertility to boost your chances of conception and healthy pregnancy.

Uterus with pair of ovaries. one ovary magnified to show eggs.

See also Top 9 Common Causes of Secondary Infertility and Top 9 Best Herbs for Fertility

What is infertility?

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected sex, and it affects about one in eight couples worldwide. 

While infertility is often thought of as a woman’s problem, it can affect both men and women.

There are many factors that can contribute to this, such as age, physical or genetic conditions, or previous surgeries.

Common Causes of Infertility

There are many possible causes of infertility, and often multiple factors are involved. Common causes include:

Ovulation disorders

About 25 percent of cases of infertility in women are due to problems with ovulation, the process by which the ovaries release eggs. Ovulation disorders may be due to hormonal imbalances or other conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

Fallopian tube damage or blockage

The fallopian tubes carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus, and if they are damaged or blocked, fertility is compromised. This can be due to infection, endometriosis, or scarring from surgery.

Uterine abnormalities

Uterine fibroids, polyps, or other growths can interfere with implantation or cause early pregnancy loss. Anatomical abnormalities such as a septate uterus can also make it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus.

Sperm disorders

Male infertility is responsible for about one-third of cases of infertility. Sperm disorders can be due to various factors, including low sperm count, poor sperm motility, or abnormal sperm morphology. Genetic defects, infection, trauma, and exposure to toxins can also lead to sperm disorders.

Age

Both men’s and women’s fertility declines with age, although this decline is more pronounced in women over 35 years old. A man can still get a woman pregnant even at an advanced age, but they stand a higher chance of congenital disabilities due to the reduced quality of sperm that occurs with age.

Weight

Being overweight or underweight can affect hormone levels and ovulation and contribute to other health problems that can impact fertility.

Stress

Stress can wreak havoc on the body and disrupt hormones, making it harder to become pregnant.

Smoking

Cigarette smoking has been shown to decrease both male and female fertility. It is thought to damage eggs and sperm and impact hormones involved in reproduction.

Essential Nutrients for Fertility

When thinking of food for fertility, the nutrients they contain are what qualifies them to boost fertility or not.

Any food high in the nutrients below should, without a doubt, boost fertility and increase the chances of conception

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Zinc
  • Folic acid or folate
  • Iron
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Beta-carotene
  • Calcium
  • Probiotics
  • L-Arginine

Foods that Support Fertility

Some of the best foods to eat for fertility include:

1. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, a key nutrient for fertility.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to protect eggs and sperm from damage

It also improves blood flow to the reproductive organs. Sunflower seeds are also a good source of selenium, another important mineral for fertility. Selenium helps to produce healthy eggs and sperm and may help prevent miscarriage.

Additionally, sunflower seeds contain folate and zinc, which are also essential for fertility.

2. Brown rice

There are many benefits to eating brown rice, including promoting fertility. Brown rice is a whole grain, meaning it is high in fiber and nutrients. It also contains lignans, which are phytonutrients that can help balance hormones and regulate the menstrual cycle.

Brown rice is also a good source of magnesium, which is essential for energy production and healthy blood sugar levels. All of these factors make brown rice an excellent food for promoting fertility.

3. Avocados

It’s no secret that avocados are packed with essential nutrients for good health. But did you know that avocados can also boost fertility?

That’s right. Studies have shown that consuming avocados can increase both male and female fertility. For men, the fatty acids in avocados help increase sperm count and motility. For women, high levels of folic acid help improve egg quality and prevent birth defects.

So if you’re trying to conceive, make sure to add some avocados to your diet!

4. Quinoa

It is a common belief that quinoa boosts fertility. This is because quinoa is a source of complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids needed by the body for growth and development. Quinoa is also a good source of iron, magnesium, and zinc, which are all essential for fertility.

5. Asparagus

 Asparagus is a good source of folate, an important nutrient that promotes cell division and DNA synthesis, both of which are necessary for conception to occur.

Also, asparagus improves blood circulation, which helps transport nutrients and oxygen to the reproductive organs, which can improve their function. Asparagus is also a good source of antioxidants that protect the eggs and sperm from damage.

6. Black beans

Black beans are a good source of protein, iron, folic acid, and fiber. They also contain phytoestrogens, which can help to regulate hormones and improve fertility.

A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that women who consumed black beans had a higher rate of ovulation than those who did not consume them. Black beans can also help to reduce the risk of birth defects and improve the health of the reproductive system.

7. Almonds

According to a study published in the journal Biology of Reproduction, women who ate a handful of almonds every day had a significantly higher chance of becoming pregnant than those who did not eat.

This is because almonds are a good source of vitamin E, which is an important nutrient for fertility. In addition, almonds contain zinc and selenium, two other nutrients that are important for fertility

8. Broccoli

Broccoli is a nutrient-rich food that contains high levels of vitamins A and C and folic acid. All of these nutrients are essential for reproductive health. Vitamin A helps regulate hormone production, while vitamin C promotes sperm quality and folate promotes healthy ovulation. 

9. Olive oil

Extra Virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can consume. It is loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. These characteristics may help to improve semen quality and sperm functionality.

10. Lentils

Lentils are a nutrient-rich food that provides a variety of health benefits. They are an excellent source of both fiber and folate, two nutrients that are crucial to maintaining a healthy hormonal balance.

Fiber is essential for proper digestion and helps remove excess estrogen from the body as well as reduce its absorption in the colon.

11. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are another excellent source of several nutrients needed for fertility. They are a good source of zinc, which is necessary for both male and female reproductive health. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of essential fatty acids, which are important for hormone production. Additionally, they contain antioxidants, which can help protect the eggs and sperm from free radicle damage.

12. Green leafy vegetables

Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are not only packed with nutrients that are essential for fertility, but they also contain phytonutrients that can help boost the same. These phytonutrients have been shown to improve ovarian function and increase the chances of conception.

13. Pomegranate

Pomegranate is a fruit that has been associated with fertility for centuries. The antioxidants in pomegranate can improve sperm and egg quality and protect against damage caused by free radicals.

14. Blueberries

Blueberries are a superfood when it comes to fertility. Not only are they packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, but they’re also a good source of fiber. Fiber can help balance weight, which is important for both female and male fertility.

Also, the antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to maintain the health of the uterine lining, which improves implantation rate and pregnancy outcomes.

15. Tomatoes

Tomato has a high content of lycopene, which is an important antioxidant. Lycopene has been found to increase sperm count and sperm motility. This means that consuming foods that are high in lycopene, such as tomatoes, can help improve fertility in men.

16. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin A, which is essential for reproductive health. Vitamin A helps to produce healthy eggs and sperm, as well as keeping the lining of the uterus healthy so that implantation can occur. If you’re looking to boost your fertility, make sure to add sweet potatoes to your diet.

17. Carrots

A new study from Harvard University School of Public Health has found that carrots can improve fertility in men by boosting sperm quality. 

The study, which was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, looked at the impact of different fruits and vegetables on sperm quality. Carrots had the greatest impact on the ability of sperm to swim toward an egg. The researchers believe this is due to the high levels of beta-carotene in carrots, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for good vision and has also been shown to improve sperm motility.

Foods that can hinder fertility

While the foods above can boost your fertility rate, there are some foods that can actually hinder your chances of conception.

These include:

Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol is one of the many things that can reduce the quality of the eggs and sperm and lead to fertility problems. 

When a woman drinks alcohol, it can damage the eggs in her ovaries. This damage can lead to problems with the way the eggs develop and mature. The eggs may not be able to be fertilized, or they may not be able to implant in the uterus.

Drinking too much alcohol can also reduce the quality of a man’s sperm. It can damage the DNA in sperm and make it more difficult for the sperm to fertilize an egg. If a man drinks a lot of alcohol, it can lower his testosterone levels, further impacting his fertility.

Caffeine

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, but many people don’t realize that it can have a negative impact on fertility. 

Too much caffeine can interfere with ovulation and negatively impact fertility. So, if you’re trying to conceive, it’s important to limit your caffeine intake. 

In addition to coffee, there are other foods and beverages that contain caffeine, such as tea, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate. So if you’re trying to get pregnant, be sure to limit your intake of all caffeinated products.

Trans fats

Trans fats are found in many processed foods, such as fried foods, baked goods, and margarine. They can also be found in some peanut butter and other products that contain partially hydrogenated oils.

These unhealthy fats can decrease fertility by interfering with the production of hormones that are necessary for ovulation and by making it more difficult for the embryo to implant in the uterus.

Trans fats can also increase inflammation throughout the body, which can lead to problems with implantation and early pregnancy loss. If you are trying to conceive, it is best to avoid trans fats altogether.

Processed meats

Processed meats can contain high levels of hormones and other chemicals that can act as endocrine disruptors. These substances can mimic or block the actions of our own hormones, leading to a wide range of negative health effects.

Exposure to endocrine disruptors has been linked to an increased risk of infertility, miscarriages, birth defects, and other developmental problems. Processed meats are just one of many sources of these harmful chemicals, so it’s important to limit your exposure as much as possible.

In addition, processed meats can contain high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, which can also contribute to fertility problems.

Related Articles:

  1. Top 9 Common Causes  Infertility in Men
  2. Mucuna Pruriens Benefits
  3. 9 Best Herbal Supplements For Menopause
  4. Fruits to Eat During Pregnancy

Final Thoughts

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse. It affects both men and women and can have a number of causes.

There are many different ways to treat infertility, but one of the most important things you can do is to focus on your diet. Eating fertility-boosting foods can help improve your chances of conceiving. 

That being said, the definitive treatment for infertility depends on the underlying cause. Once your primary cause of infertility has been addressed adding these foods to your diet can further boost your fertility outcome.

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