If both the man and the woman in a relationship are in optimum physical health when they decide to try for a baby, it increases the likelihood of a successful outcome. While a healthy diet plays a big part in a person's overall health, it is also important for promoting fertility. In fact, a poor diet contributes to infertility. Knowing which foods to eat to increase fertility will help a couple to achieve a pregnancy.
A Healthy Diet to Increase Fertility
Here are the main points to note about eating healthily when trying for a baby:
Organic Food – Try and eat organic food whenever possible. Organic food is richer in nutrients than non-organic food and contains fewer pesticides and other toxins. Toxins are harmful to hormones and fertility. Also, avoid processed foods that contain toxins such as preservatives and artificial flavorings.
Complex Carbohydrates – Complex carbohydrates, including whole grains, brown rice, vegetables, and whole-grain cereals and pasta, contain important nutrients. They also contain fiber which helps to remove toxins from the body.
Protein-Protein contains nutrients necessary for hormone production. High red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of endometriosis. Therefore the majority of protein in the diet should come from white meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds.
Healthy Fats – Healthy fats found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel and in nuts and seeds should be chosen instead of saturated fats. Omega-3 fatty acids found in good quality omega 3 fish oil supplements have a positive effect on sperm quality.
Water-Water is required for balancing hormones and transporting vital nutrients around the body to the organs that need them. Water also helps to flush toxins from the body, a build-up of which can have a negative impact on fertility.
Vitamins and Minerals for Fertility Health
Men and women should make sure they are getting plenty of these important vitamins and minerals in their diets:
Vitamin B6 – Vitamin B6 is important for the production of female sex hormones and for balancing estrogen and progesterone. Good sources include potatoes, bananas, chickpeas, chicken, trout, sunflower seeds, spinach, avocados, and salmon.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C helps trigger ovulation. It is also important for sperm production, sperm count, and sperm motility and stops the sperm from clumping together. Vitamin C is found in many vegetables and fruits, particularly red and green peppers, oranges, kiwifruit, grapefruit, broccoli, strawberries, and Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin E – Vitamin E is involved in the production and balancing of hormones and is important for sperm function and sperm count. It also delivers oxygen to the reproductive organs. Vitamin E is found in wheat germ oil, almonds, sunflower seeds, sunflower and safflower oil, hazelnuts, peanuts, corn oil, spinach, and broccoli.
Iron – Iron from plant sources is important for promoting ovulation and conception. Lentils, beans (including kidney, butter, haricot, black and pinto beans), blackstrap molasses, and spinach are good sources of iron.
Selenium – A selenium deficiency is associated with low sperm count and sterility in men and with infertility in women. Selenium is found in Brazil nuts, tuna, cod, chicken, eggs, and brown rice.
Zinc – Zinc is needed for the efficient functioning of the reproductive organs, and a deficiency is associated with reduced fertility in both sexes. Zinc is required for ovulation in women and for sperm and testosterone production in men. Good sources of zinc include oysters, chicken, baked beans, cashew nuts, yogurt, milk, cheese, chickpeas, and peas.
Although the woman is responsible for carrying the baby, fertility health applies to both men and women. When a couple decides to try for a baby, it is important for both the man and the woman to pay attention to their diets. Eating foods to increase fertility is an important part of planning a pregnancy.