What foods do we recommend for fertility? A healthy diet is the foundation to ensuring optimal nutrition during the preconception period and throughout pregnancy. Your diet when trying to conceive needs to be rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, and good fats. In fact, our hormones are made from proteins and fats so they need to be emphasised in your diet for optimal fertility. However, the quality and source of these two macronutrients is incredibly important. Good fats are found in wild fish, eggs, yoghurt, nuts, seeds, avocados and olive, coconut and raw flaxseed oil. You want to completely avoid trans-fats found in vegetable oils, margarine, processed foods and fast-foods.
Healthy sources of protein are fish, eggs, organic and grass-fed red and white meats, legumes, nuts and seeds, goat’s and sheep’s dairy products and tempeh. Avoid deli meats, processed soy products and low-fat dairy. Nature didn’t intend us to eat highly modified and processed foods like these and they are detrimental to our hormone health.
Below are our top 10 foods for fertility to add into your diet on a regular basis to ensure your hormones and overall health is in the best possible shape to achieve a healthy conception. And when you do fall pregnant your body will have the fuel and essential nutrients necessary to help you get through the first trimester when your appetite is often less than ideal!
These are number one on the foods for fertility list as they are a complete protein AND a great source of healthy fats. Choose certified organic eggs to ensure you are getting the highest quality.
Another powerhouse for fertility health as they provide an abundance of monounsaturated fats, as well as vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant AND improves sperm quality in men!
Rich in both omega-3 and omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds are known for their ability to balance hormones, and well-balanced hormones are required for fertility. It is important however to consume fresh flaxseeds and to store them in the fridge. You can add a tablespoon to your daily smoothie or oats, or buy raw flaxseed oil to drizzle over salads, again storing in the fridge and consuming within 3 months of opening.
Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and goji berries are all low-sugar fruits that are high in antioxidants and protect your cells from damage, including the cells in your reproductive system. We want to ensure our eggs (and sperm for men!) are in tip-top shape so eat a serve of berries a day as a snack or with your breakfast.
Rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, a good source of protein and iron, wild salmon is a top food for hormone health and overall fertility. Aim to consume 2-3 times per week.
Chocolate in its purest form, cacao is rich in magnesium, iodine and B vitamins which are all crucial for fertility and a healthy pregnancy. Buy it in powder form and make your own bliss balls, healthy chocolate or add a tablespoon to your daily smoothie.
A great grain-free option for a carbohydrate source, quinoa is also a complete protein and therefore contains all 9 essential amino acids that the body cannot make, meaning we need to get them from our food. Amino acids enhance male fertility.
Available in powder form, maca is a superfood for your hormones. It balances hormones, increases energy levels and supports libido, making it a great addition to your diet when trying to conceive. Add a teaspoon to your daily smoothie. Consult a health professional before taking maca in capsule or tablet form.
Be it in the form of coconut water, milk, cream or oil, coconuts are rich in beneficial fats and electrolytes, and provide an invaluable alternative to (cow’s) dairy products which can be inflammatory and damaging to our hormones. A great food for fertility.
Rich in antioxidants which fight free radical damage caused by stress and toxins, green tea also improves the quality of vaginal mucus, aiding conception.
Warmest, Claire Luckman