Many of us leaving it later to start a family, by which time our fertility maybe compromised. We would have been more exposed to more hormones disrupting chemicals, more free radicals to damage egg and sperm quality, as well as much more stress, all of which can have a negative impact on our bodies.
If you are trying to conceive, eating a healthy well balanced fertility diet can improves your chances of conceiving.
Avocados – are rich with minerals, vitamins, essential fats, protein, carbohydrate and fibre. They are a great source of vitamin E, which researchers have shown can be beneficial to improving the lining of the uterus and helping with embryo implantation. Avocados are also high in monounsaturated fats. Research found that women who ate a diet high in monounsaturated fats produced healthier eggs.
Butternut Squash – Squashes are rich in beta-carotene, which helps with the production of the hormone progesterone, and a study has shown it can improve sperm quality and count.
Beans and lentils – Beans and lentils are great sources of iron, as well as other vitamins and minerals that can boost fertility. Iron is very important for egg health, and a lack of it can lead to anovulation (lack of ovulation). You should eat at least one portion of beans or lentils each day
Pomegranates – are rich in vitamins C and K, folic acid and other minerals and was once a symbol of fertility in ancient Persia. Current research shows drinking pomegranate juice during pregnancy may prevent brain damage in babies.
Brazil nuts – are high in selenium, a mineral that helps to prevent chromosomal damage in eggs. Selenium is also an antioxidant that helps to protect the body from free radicals, allowing for better egg production.
Maca root – a super herb containing 31 different minerals and 60 different phytonutrients. It is believed to increase sperm and egg health, increase libido and help with hormone balance. Maca root can be bought as a powder or in capsule form.
Watercress – contains vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, beta-carotene, iron and iodine. Studies have shown it can help repair DNA damage.
Sesame seeds – are high in zinc and monounsaturated fats can help with the hormone production responsible for optimum egg health.
Berries – are full of powerful antioxidants which can help to protect eggs from free radicals, allowing for better egg health. The phytonutrients and natural chemicals found in blueberries were shown in studies to have hormone-balancing properties that impact ovulation. In addition, anthocyanins in blueberries help to maintain the lining of your uterus, which positively influences the ability of a fertilised embryo to implant into the uterine wall. Experts recommend eating at least three portions of berries each week.
Ginger – an anti-inflammatory food shown to increase circulation, promote healthy digestion and reduce inflammation, which may aid egg health by aiding the body in prevention of reproductive health disease.
Cinnamon – can improve ovarian function and encourage proper egg production by improving insulin resistance. Women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are advised to add cinnamon to their diet.
Bananas – Contain B6, which regulates the hormones. B6 deficiency can lead to irregular menstruation and poor egg health and sperm development.
Asparagus – contains folic acid which can help the risk of ovulatory failure
Shellfish – rich in B12. Studies have suggested a link between B12 deficiency and abnormal oestrogen levels. B12 may also help strengthen the endometruim lining in egg fertilisation, decreasing the risk of miscarriage.
Citrus fruit – rich in vitamin C. A study, in which infertile men were given 1,000mg of Vitamin C twice daily, showed that their sperm count and motility were greatly improved.
Peas – High levels of zinc. By increasing zinc levels in infertile men have been shown to boost sperm levels, function and quality. A deficiency in zinc in women can lead to an imbalance of oestrogen and progesterone.
Eggs – are rich in choline, which studies have shown can have significant positive effects on foetal development
Walnuts – can be beneficial for sperm quality, are excellent sources of omega 3 fats and vitamin E which is great for endometrial health as well as B vitamins and protein
Fish – contains Essential Fatty Acids which helps improve circulation around the reproductive system and boosts sperm quality in the process. Studies indicate that the sperm count in men who consumed fish increased considerably compared to men who ate meat
Figs – have been believed to increase fertility since the time of Ancient Greeks, and now we have scientific evidence. Figs contain a lot of iron, which are important for healthy eggs and ovulation.