When you are trying to get pregnant, you want to do everything right. This includes adopting a healthier lifestyle – eating the right foods and upping your physical activity. Additionally, you want a fertility diet that gives your body what it needs to optimize your reproductive health.
The good news, according to Harvard researchers, is that vitamins and nutrients positively influence your fertility. Incorporating these vitamins and nutrients into your diet is a proactive step that you can take to reach your goal of becoming pregnant.
Let’s look at the vitamins and minerals you should include in your diet when trying to conceive.
Incorporate these Vitamins and Minerals Into Your Diet Today
You have probably heard that folic acid helps prevent certain birth defects. However, folic acid also plays a role in upping your fertility odds.
Folic acid plays a crucial role in cell division and DNA. Studies have shown that low folic acid in sperm is associated with inferior DNA stability. In other words, sperm needs folic acid to survive.
In women, folic acid may stimulate regular ovulation by increasing the progesterone levels needed for pregnancy. Additionally, folic acid contributes to brain and emotional health, and emotional health may contribute to infertility.
Iron aids in fertility by balancing ovulation and preventing anemia.
A 2017 meta-analysis suggested that insufficient vitamin D may hamper in vitro fertilization (IVF) success rates. Vitamin D receptors and enzymes have been discovered in the endometrium, establishing a link between vitamin D and reproduction. In animal studies, low levels of the vitamin have been shown to impact the reproductive organs and lower fertility. Sunshine is a great way to help boost your vitamin D.
Vitamin B12 plays a significant role in fertility. In fact, B12 promotes a higher sperm count and healthier sperm. In women, low B12 levels may cause abnormal cell division and impaired ovulation.
Omega-3 fatty acids are one type of fat that you’ll definitely want to add to your fertility diet. Omega-3 fatty acids may improve ovarian reserve, promote ovulation and improve blood flow to reproductive organs.
As for men, studies have also concluded that vitamin E helps improve sperm integrity and boost sperm count. It also plays a role in egg and sperm DNA integration.
A recent summary of past studies concluded that L-carnitine and its acetylated form, acetyl L-carnitine, which are naturally found in milk, “either individually or in combination with other nutrients and antioxidants, are potent to improve and/or restore female reproductive functions.”
Selenium is a mineral and an antioxidant, which has been shown to optimize sperm motility and estrogen metabolism.
At GENESIS, we understand the role that vitamins, minerals and nutrients play in fertility. However, we never recommend taking supplements without checking with your doctor first.
Thankfully, the vitamins, minerals and nutrients recommended for optimal fertility are available in several nutritious, delicious and healthy foods.
We recommend a Mediterranean diet, which is inclusive when it comes to getting everything you need for your fertility.
A Mediterranean or fertility diet should begin with a detailed shopping list and some focused meal planning.
Your Fertility Diet Shopping List at a Glance:
- Salmon. This is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Chia seeds and walnuts. Blended together with yogurt and fresh fruit, they create a delicious Omega-3 smoothie.
- Green leafy vegetables. They promote your iron and vitamin E intake.
- Milk. It’s a great source of B12 and L-carnitine and its acetylated form, acetyl L-carnitine.
- Chicken breast. Include 3 ounces in your diet for more B12.
- Turkey and brown rice. They keep your selenium levels normal.
With the Mediterranean fertility diet, you can also add:
- Olive oil.
- Whole grains.
- Red meat.
If you need additional help reaching your nutritional goals, our physicians can refer you to a registered dietitian who can work with you one on one.
At GENESIS, we believe in arming our patients with the best information as they work toward their pregnancy goals. This includes educating our patients about the best fertility diet.