Diet & Nutrition for Fertility

You may think that infertility treatment needs medical interventions, or sophisticated techniques or procedures. However, along with them, it is equally important to follow a balanced diet. An imbalanced diet may impact your chances of ovulation and to get pregnant. Poor diet is found to be a contributor for many of the infertility cases. Your hormonal levels are affected by the food you have.

Most of the women get serious about diet only during pregnancy, but in reality, a proper diet matters much before conception.

“An optimal diet for fertility includes both what to eat and what not to eat.”

If you are not sure that you are on a balanced diet for getting pregnant, here are some tips:

  • Watch your body weight!

Eating too high or too less causes overweight or underweight leading to irregular menstrual cycle, which may influence your fertility potential. Your estrogen production is based on your fat content. If you are too thin, the estrogen levels are very low; if you are obese, the levels are too high.
A body mass index (BMI) ranging from 19-24 indicates a healthy weight. Any deviation from this needs attention! A gradual change in the quantity of the food you eat is preferable rather than a drastic change.

  • Foods for ovulation

Nearly 20% of the women are infertile due to disorders in ovulation. If your weight isn’t a problem, look for foods to correct ovulatory disorders, for fertility.

Vitamins: Take food rich in vitamins and iron to reduce problems of ovulation. Include fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.

High fat-diary: Substitute one of your low-fat dairy servings with high-fat dairy servings (a glass of milk).

Proteins: Replace some of the animal protein such as chicken, meat, pork, beef, etc. with vegetable protein such as nuts, beans. This can drop ovulatory disorders by 50%.

Some foods which may be helpful for fertility

Food  Major nutrients available  Benefits
 Ripe avocados Vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, essential fats, and fiber May help in improving the uterus lining, implantation of the fertilized egg and in the development of the embryo
Beetroot Antioxidants May protect the eggs and sperms from free radicals; likely to improve blood flow to the uterus and may help in the implantation of embryo during IVF procedures
Eggs Choline, proteins, vitamins, minerals, essential fats Fetal development may be supported
Pomegranates Antioxidants May have a positive effect on the blood flow to the uterus, sperm quality, and uterine lining
Walnuts Omega 3 fats, vitamin E, vitamin B, and protein May improve sperm quality, motility, and vitality. It may also improve endometrial lining
Salmon Protein May be effective in the management of infertility
Asparagus Antioxidants, vitamin C, and folic acid May be beneficial in the management of both female and male fertility problems
  • Avoid Trans-fat and processed carbohydrates

Trans-fat damages the sperms. It also hampers your ability to clear off sugars, increasing the chances of infertility. So avoid foods like French fries, doughnuts, and pastries, etc.

One most common cause of infertility is high levels of sugar and insulin which cause ovulatory disorders. So avoid foods such as potato chips, French fries, soft drinks and fruit juices, beer and wine containing large amounts of processed carbohydrates.

  • Build the environment for embryo

A safe and nutritional environment is required for the proper growth of the embryo. So, include the following in your diet:

Vitamin B, vitamin E and fiber obtained from whole grains. Protein, calcium, iron and zinc from milk, beans, and lean meat. Antioxidants and vitamin C obtained from fruits and vegetables.

  • Cut down the Caffeine

High caffeine interferes with your success for conception. So avoid caffeinated coffee, tea, or soft drinks. Miscarriages are possible when caffeine crosses the placenta.

Women should not have more than 1 cup of decaf coffee (5 mg per day) while men should not have more than 3 cups (150mg each cup). Chocolates (about 20 mg per serving) and sodas (about 80 mg per serving) are also sources of caffeine.

  • Food for a healthy sperm

An unhealthy sperm can be a cause of infertility due to male partners. Foods rich in vitamin C and E, folic acid and zinc can improve sperm health. Smoking and drinking can reduce the motility of the sperm.

“A healthy diet is of prime importance for a healthy life.”

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