As a holistic health practitioner and a mom, I love to support women on their journey to pregnancy. From boosting fertility with food to conceiving naturally, taking a holistic approach to pregnancy and beyond, one of the best things I get to do every day is work with couples who are on the path to becoming parents.
While it’s not always easy to conceive, the good news is there are ways to increase fertility, including choosing what to eat when trying to get pregnant.
5 Foods to Eat to Increase Fertility
Diet can play a major role in conceiving naturally. Any Google search will show endless lists of foods to incorporate into your fertility diet. As a holistic health practitioner who lives and breathes fertility, I’ve put together the best-of-the-best foods to naturally boost your fertility.
- Avocados: If you ask me, it’s almost as if avocados were designed for fertility. This delicious fruit improves the overall health of a woman’s reproductive organs and helps with ovulation. Full of the good stuff like folate, vitamins C, K, B, potassium, minerals and fiber, avocados are also bursting with anti-inflammatory omega-3, which is a building block for hormones, helps with the production of estrogen and balances the reproductive system. Bonus – avocados are also ideal for boosting male fertility.
- Pineapple: Bromelain in pineapples has anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulation properties that boosts the immune system, increases blood flow to the uterus and helps to improve implantation. Now we’re talking!
- Broccoli: Ah, broccoli. This fertility wonder food is beneficial to both women and men when it comes to getting those reproductive juices flowing. Sulforaphane, an important compound in broccoli, activates liver pathways that are crucial for naturally balancing hormones. Add to that the vitamin C content, which protects sperm from oxidative damage and helps women’s bodies absorb more iron, and broccoli is a fertility powerhouse!
- Farm Fresh Eggs: An excellent source of protein, and vitamins D and B12, farm-fresh eggs, with their deep orange and yellow yolks, provide crucial nutrients to women who are trying to conceive (and during pregnancy). It’s worth the extra cost to ensure you have farm fresh eggs – not factory-farmed eggs. Farm fresh eggs have more vitamins, more omega-3 fatty acids and more beta carotene. My favorite places to find farm-fresh eggs are farmer’s markets, health food stores and neighborhood chicken farmers (I’m betting you’ve heard a cluck or two down the street – pop on over and see if they sell their chicken eggs!)
- Water… but not just any water: Water may seem a little boring to add to this list, but it’s essential from preconception throughout pregnancy. Water carries essential nutrients from the food you eat to your growing baby. This next part is important. Unless you have a water filtration system in your home, stay away from the tap as it can contain too many toxins. Crucial to fertility is water with minimal toxins. Focus on drinking distilled water, filtered water and mineral water. How much water for fertility? Ten cups a day, baby!
Other Fertility Boosting Foods
While we love the above list of superfoods that naturally boost fertility, let’s not eat so many avocados we start to look green. How would we ever differentiate from morning sickness? Just a little pregnancy humor.
The truth is, there is a whole lot of amazing food out there to help you increase your fertility.
These fertility-boosting foods include:
- fresh orange juice
- dried figs
- sweet potatoes
- pumpkin seeds
- sunflower seeds
- brazil nuts
- wheat germ
- whole-grain bread
- brown rice
- chicken (organic, free-range)
- sustainably-sourced fish
Was that a sigh of relief? We’re right there with you… I mean, how many ways can you serve avocado, eggs, and broccoli?
Top Foods to Avoid When Trying to Get Pregnant
Before you head to the kitchen to plan your scrumptious pre-pregnancy diet, we wanted to also give you a list of foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant:
- Raw Eggs: While this may seem like common sense to avoid, raw eggs are sometimes added to recipes like salad dressing, egg nog and Hollandaise sauce. Raw eggs may contain salmonella, which can cause food poisoning. Just say no.
- Artificial Sweeteners and Refined Sugar: From the saccharin in artificial sweeteners to the burden that refined sugar places on your liver, these are no-nos for fertility and can harm a woman’s eggs. We suggest honey.
- Limit (or remove) Dairy Products: Put your mac and cheese obsession on hold as the hormones in conventionally-raised dairy products can be too inflammatory and disrupt female hormone systems (And we do not want that!). Preferably, removing all dairy is ideal for infertility issues.
- Limit Alcohol and Curb Caffeine: Alcohol can mess with ovulation and even lead to fetal impairment. Too much caffeine (more than 200mg/day) may negatively affect fertility; studies show one cup of coffee per day is relatively safe.
At Nurture Chiropractic and Family Wellness, we understand what you are going through in trying to get pregnant. If you have any questions about fertility and conception, please reach out to Dr. Erin who can work with you and your partner on this beautiful—and at times an emotional roller coaster—journey to parenthood. Click here to schedule an appointment.