Having a baby is one of life’s most desired and precious events. So when you struggle to become pregnant, it can take a toll. Fortunately, the solution may be closer at hand than you think.
Food and fertility are intrinsically linked. A proper diet helps regulate hormones and improve a woman’s health, increasing her chances of getting pregnant. Also, a properly planned diet helps prepare a woman’s body for pregnancy and can even prevent miscarriages.
Here are the top 10 superfoods to boost fertility.
1. Brown Rice
Brown rice is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which will help improve a woman’s fertility by promoting regular ovulation. In a six-year study of 18,000 Harvard nurses, researchers found that those who ate white rice were 92% more likely to experience infertility compared with those who ate brown rice.
Also, brown rice contains a good amount of folic acid, which aids in blood production and is very important for preventing neural tube defects in newborn babies. Try to include brown rice in your diet three times a week for your overall health.
2. 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 your bones.
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 improve your chances of getting pregnant.
3. Olive Oil
The monounsaturated fat present in olive oil helps improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin and reduce inflammation; both of these are good for fertility.
A study done at the Harvard School of Public Health found that higher intake of monounsaturated fat is directly linked to higher odds of live birth. So, women undergoing infertility treatment must include olive oil in their diet plan.
According to a study published in Fertility and Sterility, vitamin C-enriched foods are highly essential for those who are planning to conceive. Due to its high content of vitamin C, broccoli can help boost fertility.
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 that are highly essential for women wanting to conceive when they are in their mid-30s or older.
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.
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 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 also keep a close eye on their weight, can safely enjoy up to six eggs per week.
Salmon is one of the best fertility-boosting foods. This is mainly due to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help regulate reproductive hormones, increase blood flow to reproductive organs, and even minimize stress.
Another magical nutrient in salmon is selenium, a mineral that produces antioxidants that protect the eggs and sperm from free radicals. It can also help prevent chromosome breakage, which is known to cause birth defects and miscarriages.
Try to incorporate a serving of oily fish like salmon into your diet two to three times a week. You can also include sardines, mackerel, herring, and anchovies to boost fertility.
8. Black Beans
Black beans are rich in fiber that helps regulate blood sugar levels, which helps reduce fertility issues such as polycystic ovary syndrome and immunological issues while promoting a healthy hormonal balance.
Plus, black beans contain vegetable protein. According to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, a diet high in vegetable protein can make you more fertile. Also, black beans contain folate, manganese, protein, magnesium and iron that are highly essential for women who are planning to conceive.
A diet high in vitamin E has been shown to improve sperm health in men. Studies have also shown that vitamin E deficiency in women can be one cause of infertility. Vitamin E is also an important antioxidant that helps protect DNA in sperm and eggs.
Also, this nutrient protects embryos from miscarriages. To increase your intake of vitamin E, one of the best superfoods is almonds. Try to eat some dry roasted almonds daily with a glass a milk to improve fertility.
This fruit boosts fertility due to its high content of folic acid, monounsaturated fat and good enzymes. Folic acid, a type of B vitamin, helps boost fertility in both women and men and it also helps prevent neural tube defects inbabies.
Plus, the monounsaturated fat in avocado helps regulate the hormones involved in reproduction and increase your chances of conceiving. Those who are undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment should eat a salad made with avocado and olive oil daily.
In addition to including these superfoods in your diet plan, you can increase your chances of becoming pregnant by reducing stress, sleeping properly, drinking ample amounts of water, exercising regularly, managing your weight, quitting smoking and avoiding too much alcohol.