Improving your fertility can make planning a family easier, and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet may be a good starting point.
A healthy diet gives your body the vital nutrients it needs, but it also regulates hormones involved with the menstrual cycle, and can improve the production of healthy sperm. Importantly, obesity has been shown to reduce fertility levels, so eating healthily can prevent you from putting on excess weight.
Here are some top foods to put on your shopping list that may help to boost fertility.
As a valuable source of omega 3 fatty acids, salmon can help to regulate hormone levels in males and females. It also improves brain function, where the brain plays an important role in sending messages to the body connected with reproduction. In order to reap the most benefits, avoid farmed salmon, which may contain contaminants, and opt for wild salmon instead.
Green leafy veg
Think spinach, kale and cabbage. These vegetables are super sources of folate and iron, which both play a pivotal role in fertility. Iron helps with the development of healthy eggs and supports ovulation, but it’s also vital to get your iron stores stocked up to prevent anaemia if you do fall pregnant. Folate takes centre stage after conception, where it helps with the development of a healthy foetus.
Grapefruit and orange juice
Both of these popular breakfast juices make a tasty start to the day, but they could also do wonders for your fertility levels. Scientists have found that they are high in a polyamine called putrescine, which has been found to improve the health of both semen and eggs. One study even discovered that female participants who had consumed high levels of putrescine had 50% lower abnormalities in their eggs.
Males looking to boost their fertility might want to consider adding sunflower seeds to their diet. Rich in vitamin E, these wonder seeds have been shown to improve sperm counts and mobility. They are also a valuable source of zinc, which is known to play a role in healthy sperm production.
Legumes such as beans and lentils provide a wide range of health benefits, but there are plenty of reasons to include them in your diet if you want to bring a baby into the world. For starters, they’re high in fibre, which can help to regulate hormones. They’re also a worthy source of folate, vital for the production of healthy embryos. Legumes also contain a substance called spermidine, which has been found to improve fertilisation rates.
Several studies have looked at how pineapples influence fertility, with interesting results. One study, in particular, noted that the high vitamin C levels in this fruit could play a key role in boosting male fertility, especially amongst smokers.
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a common condition that can cause irregular periods and difficulty in conceiving. Since this condition is often associated with low levels of vitamin C, consuming vitamin C-rich foods such as pineapple may help to improve symptoms.
These slippery fish might be better known as an aphrodisiac, but if you’re in the mood for love, they could make baby-making easier. Exceptionally high in zinc, oysters may help to improve fertility levels in both males and females. Zinc also balances hormones and may bolster sperm production, while reducing levels of abnormalities. If oysters don’t float your boat, try meat, nuts, dairy, eggs or whole grains for a noteworthy zinc hit.
Before making any significant changes to your diet, you might wish to speak to your GP first, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.