Top Five Foods To Boost Your Fertility
It’s common knowledge that being fit and healthy can be a huge help when you’re trying to get pregnant, but could you go one step further by making specific changes to your diet?
A study by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, which was carried out on nearly 18,000 women over an eight year period, found that a diet low in trans fats (margarine, fried and processed foods), high in vegetable protein sources, high in multivitamins and iron and one that swapped in low GI carbs instead of their refined and white counterparts (bread and potatoes) could help reduce ovulatory infertility. Increasing fruit and veg intake can also help by boosting antioxidants in the body.
Need some advice on exactly what to eat to enhance your chances of conceiving? Fit Squad DXB co-founder Devinder Bains picks out the foods that could increase your fertility…
Adding beans and lentils to your meals is a good way to bring some plant-based proteins to your diet, which can be healthier than animal sources when trying to get pregnant. Lentils also contain high levels of spermidine, which may help sperm fertilise the egg, as well as being a good source of folate (folic acid), which is essential for conception and healthy embryos. Beans and lentils are also a good source of fibre, which is key to a healthy oestrogen balance. If you’re not keen on soup, add beans and lentils to salads or opt for healthy versions of veggie burritos.
Tomato-based Pasta Sauce
Both raw and cooked tomatoes can help increase fertility as they are high in lycopene – a powerful antioxidant, however cooked tomatoes contain almost twice as much lycopene – so they’re your better option. Lycopene supplementation is even being researched as a possible treatment for male infertility, one study found that taking 4 to 8mg of lycopene per day for 8 to 12 months led to improved semen health and increased pregnancy rates. So introduce low-sugar tomato soups to your diet and swap in healthy tomato sauces with your pasta instead of creamy carbonara. When it comes to pasta – try and stick to wholemeal or brown rice versions to stay on the low end of the GI scale.
Our fruits of choice for fertility boosting smoothies would be fresh grapefruit and orange. Both are very high in putrescine – a polyamine which is thought to improve semen and egg health. A study in older female rats, who were given water rich in putrescine, showed a 50% reduced rate of chromosomal defects in the ovulated eggs. It’s believed that putrescine helps both egg and sperm cells maintain their chromosomal integrity. The large levels of vitamin C from both fruits is also helpful as low vitamin C levels may negatively affect female hormonal balance, with that in mind pineapple is a good addition to the smoothie too.
Scrambled Eggs with Salmon
Increase your B-vitamin and omega-3 consumption (both important to fertility) by adding eggs to your diet. They are also a good source of lean protein – good for fertility in both men and women as well as choline which may reduce the risk of some birth defects. Add wild-caught salmon to your eggs, not just to enhance the taste, but to add more omega-3s – essential for healthy foetal growth. Salmon is also rich in reproductive nutrients such as vitamin D, giving you 97% of the daily recommended amount (low levels seem to be associated with poor fertility in men and women) and selenium, which is important for semen maturation. You need to be careful about mercury contamination when eating fish when trying to conceive and also once you get pregnant but wild-caught salmon is on the low end when it comes to toxins.
Full Fat Yoghurt
This isn’t the green light to eat as much full-fat dairy as you can, but the Harvard study mentioned earlier did find that eating full-fat versions of yoghurt, ice cream and cheese, as well as drinking full fat milk is better for you, because low fat versions can have a negative affect on your fertility. This does mean that if you usually use skimmed milk or low-fat yoghurt it’s time to eliminate those from your diet or swap in full-fat versions, do allow for the extra calories this will add to you daily intake as it’s important to be a healthy weight when trying to conceive. For better all-round health look to get your fat intake from sources such as nuts, in particular walnuts which are rich in omega-3s and omega-6s.
Interested in finding out more? Fit Squad DXB trainers are here to help you with you pre and post-natal fitness and nutrition needs. Book your free consultation now by calling or WhatsApping us on +971 55 542 7231 or emailing us at email@example.com