If getting pregnant is a struggle, if you suffer from some form of infertility or another, or if you are simply planning to get pregnant, then you might want to take a closer look at the foods you aren’t eating. More and more, we’re learning how the foods we eat affect us, and the powers they have to heal.
Superfoods should be a part of every couples fertility diet to help bridge the gap for proper nutrition, nourish the egg and the sperm, and help balance hormones.
There is no guaranteed way to eat yourself pregnant, however there are foods that can help boost your chances of conception.
Here is a rundown of 20 Fetility Superfoods you should know about –
Broccoli – Broccoli is a great source of folic acid, which most of us already know is essential to a healthy pregnancy. Folic acid has also been proven to prevent such disorders as Spina Bifida. Broccoli is also high in vitamin C, which is used by the ovaries to mature eggs and ensure ovulation.
In men, vitamin C improves sperm quality and protects sperm from DNA damage. In women, it helps reduce the chance of miscarriage and chromosomal problems. Also, broccoli is rich in B vitamins as well as calcium, iron, and zinc, which are highly essential for women wanting to conceive when they are in their mid-30’s or older.
Yams – Yams could help improve female fertility by providing the nutritional support necessary for healthy ovulation. It’s possible that yams fool the brain into thinking that there isn’t enough estrogen so you produce more, which is key to healthy fertility.
Some researchers have suggested that this Thanksgiving staple may contain an ovulation-stimulating substance, offering as evidence to the fact that wild yam eating populations have a higher rate of twins. Whether or not this theory is true (the yams we eat are raised, not wild), it’s worth tossing a few in the pan tonight anyway. After all, they’re super-rich in fertility-friendly vitamins (their deep color is a giveaway).
Avocado – Avocados are a rich source of vitamin E, which is necessary for the motility of sperm. Vitamin E also helps reduce DNA defects of sperm, defects which can contribute to miscarriages. Higher levels of vitamin E have shown to make sperm more fertile.
Loaded with everything from folate, to vitamin K, to the omega-3 fatty acids that help regulate your reproductive hormones, avocado is sure to help put a healthy baby in your belly. Avocado can be enjoyed as a spread, an ingredient in a salad, or numerous other ways, so eat up!
Egg yolks are especially rich in choline (bet you never even heard of that, huh?). Choline helps protect against neural tube defects, like Spina Bifida, and anencephaly, yet most women do not get enough choline. Eggs contain vitamin D, which plays a key role in boosting fertility. According to a study done by Yale University, infertile women often suffer from vitamin D deficiency. In addition, eggs are rich in antioxidants and carotenoids that help to boost fertility in women.
The vitamin B12, omega-3 fats, and folate in eggs also will minimize the possibility of birth defects. Those who are planning to conceive and who keep an eye on their weight, can safely enjoy up to six eggs per week. So grab those eggs and get crackin’.
Salmon – Abundant in essential fatty acids (also known as omega-3’s), salmon is a great fish for fertility as long as it comes from a good source. Women who have already had a child tend to be deficient in omega-3’s because the previous child depleted most of their supply. Wild-caught salmon is best, and unlike other fish, like tuna and swordfish, salmon doesn’t pose the risk of containing toxic levels of mercury.
Olive Oil – Replacing “bad” saturated fats with good oils, such as olive oil, is an important step toward healthy fertility. Healthy unsaturated fats, like olive oil and sesame oil, are better than trans fats. Women who consume more of these good fats are less likely to experience infertility related to ovulation problems.
Whole Milk – If you are trying to conceive, stop drinking skim milk as it has been found to promote infertility.
Instead, opt for whole milk, which contains a good amount of calcium that is great for reproductive health as well as bone health.
Also, whole milk has fats that are needed for pregnancy. If you do not like whole milk, you can include full-fat ice cream, yogurt, or cottage cheese in your diet to get similar benefits. Drink one glass of whole milk per day to give your body the required calcium and to improve your chances of getting pregnant.
Pumpkin Seeds – Pumpkin seeds are a fabulous source of zinc, which helps assist in healthy sperm and egg development. Proper levels of zinc are essential at the time of conception, because it plays a role in normal cell division at the embryonic stage. Other foods that are high in zinc are almonds, rye, peas, and oats.
Pumpkin seeds are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which stimulate blood flow to sexual organs and improve sexual function.
Oysters – Oysters are an excellent source of zinc, a highly essential nutrient for those who are trying to conceive. In males, zinc helps increase testosterone and semen levels. Zinc deficiency in the body has been found to disrupt normal menstrual cycles in women and slow down the production of good quality sperm in men.
Also, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s Assisted Reproductive Technology report, low levels of zinc in women have been directly linked to miscarriage in the early stages of a pregnancy.
Leafy Greens – Leafy greens are high in both folic acid and iron. The benefits of folic acid are well known, and include, preventing certain birth defects, promoting sperm health and egg development. Iron helps build a strong endometrial lining, which helps the zygote successfully attach itself to the uterus and hang on for the next nine months.
Yogurt – Like olive oil, full-fat yogurt is rich in the good saturated fat particularly needed for fertility and a great source of beneficial bacteria, which is healthy for you and for a developing fetus.
Calcium is incredibly important as you try to conceive, but not all calcium is created equal. The calcium found in skim and other lesser-fat milks does not absorb as effectively as does the calcium found in whole-fat dairy products. Whole milk also contains high amounts of protein and vitamin B12.
Garlic – Garlic is not just for keeping vampires away. It contains an abundance of fertility-boosting nutrients, including selenium, which is an antioxidant that supports healthy conception and protects the embryo from early miscarriage.
Garlic also contains vitamin B6 which helps to regulate hormones and strengthen the immune system.
Sprouts – Sprouts help create a more alkaline environment in your body. Having an alkaline environment is especially good for the cervical mucus and sperm survival.
Maca – Maca is a wonderful superfood from Peru which helps to balance hormones, increase egg health, increase sperm count and sperm health while also being a tonic for the endocrine system. Maca also helps to increase progesterone if the body is low in this hormone. Maca comes in capsules, powder, and tincture, and can be taken daily.
Maca has been scientifically researched for the use of increasing fertility since 1961 and has been shown to contain specific compounds called glucosinolates, which directly can affect fertility for both men and women. These alkaloids are responsible for maca’s ability to support hormonal balance.
Cod Liver Oil – I know, it sounds gross. But cod liver oil is loaded with essential omega-3’s that help regulate hormones, increase good cervical fluid, and even protect sperm from damaging free radicals. It’s naturally occurring and comes in capsule form, however, liquid forms are best.
Flax Seeds – Flax seeds are great for balancing hormones and boosting fertility. They contain lignans, which are associated with reduced fibroids and increased fertility.
Flax seeds are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil benefits women in a number of ways. The oil helps to regulate menstruation, balance the progesterone levels, reduce menopause symptoms, balance hormonal levels promoting natural ovulation, minimize the risk of breast cancer, etc.
Seaweed – Who doesn’t love seaweed salad? And if you don’t, here’s reason to: seaweed is high in iodine, which can decrease the risk of infertility and miscarriage and can also affect the brain development of the fetus.
Liver – The thought of it might seem gross, but liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet! It’s loaded with vitamins vital for healthy fertility, including iron for the prevention of miscarriage and anemia of the mother, and B12 for the healthy formation of red blood cells and DNA.
Liver is a high quality protein and nature’s most concentrated form of vitamin A. It is high in iron, copper, and zinc, great source of folic acid, and contains all of the essential B vitamins, particularly B12. Liver is amazing. Eat it!
Bee Propolis and Bee Pollen – Bee propolis and bee pollen are two more fertility super foods from our friends the bee. These foods are rich in nutrients. Bee pollen contains 50% more protein than beef and is rich in every vitamin and mineral. Bee propolis is a powerful immune system stimulant and inflammation aid, which help women who have endometriosis.
Bee propolis and bee pollen are available in capsules, or in a base of honey, and can be taken daily.
Citrus Fruits: Fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits possess a wealth of vitamin C, which helps to stabilize your ovulation and encourages the release of an egg, as well as folate, the naturally-occurring form of folic acid, that is known to help women get pregnant and help babies develop properly.
While eating a healthy, balanced diet, drinking lots of water, exercising regularly, and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes is the best way to get your body in shape for a baby, there are certain foods which are said to boost (or at least optimize) your fertility. By including the above foods in your own and your partner’s diet, you can help to ensure that you are getting all the important nutrients you need to have a baby.
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