Now that you have discontinued taking the pill, you are looking for fertility boosters to increase your chances of getting pregnant. In fact, you may have already gone to an acupuncturist, to friends, relatives and to your family doctor. You still have not been able to conceive despite all your efforts.
Before you give up and think that you’ve already exhausted all your options, don’t lose hope! In this article, we’ll share six foods that increase fertility naturally that you can easily integrate into your diet. Great for couples trying to conceive, these natural fertility boosters are a must-have if you’re thinking of natural ways on how to make yourself more fertile.
While you may think that it doesn’t matter what you eat, diet plays an important role in couples trying to conceive. Actually, there are foods that increase fertility naturally and there are also foods that may decrease your chances of getting pregnant. Below are 6 easy to follow, natural fertility boosting tips to help you increase your fertility:
If you’re trying to conceive, load up on pumpkin seeds! Rich in zinc (which is dubbed as the most important mineral for fertility), pumpkin seeds are very helpful fertility boosters in both men and women. In men, zinc has been known to increase semen and testosterone levels and it also helps in the production of healthy, normal-looking sperm.
In women, zinc is necessary for healthy egg production, ovulation, sexual development and the menstrual cycle. Deficiency in zinc during the pre-conception phase can lead to miscarriage and DNA damage in fetus. If pumpkin seeds are a “no go” for you, then you may have to consider taking Zinc supplements (zinc acetate, not zinc oxide) or consider getting zinc from other sources. Other foods that are rich in zinc include:
For more information on zinc, please see our article Zinc and Fertility: The Most Important Mineral for Your Fertility.
Loaded with vitamins and minerals that are essential in the production of healthy sperm and eggs, nuts and seeds are beneficial for fertility and should be eaten as part of your daily diet.
Packed with nutrients that are associated with increased healthy sperm in men and egg production in women, nuts are an excellent addition to your fertility diet. They contain antioxidants, vitamin E, zinc, folate, omega 3 fatty acids and even selenium—all of which are excellent fertility boosters.
Take Cashew nuts for instance—cashews are a good source of zinc, magnesium and copper. These minerals keep the body ready for pregnancy, increase male fertility and also give you healthy skin. As we’ve discussed earlier, Zinc is known to be one of the best minerals for male and female fertility (it’s great for egg and sperm health). Magnesium, on the other hand, helps reduce the risk of colon cancer, while
and copper helps prevent heart problems and promotes strong bones. About 25 nuts 3 ounces of cashews (approximately 25 nuts) every day provides you with 1/3 of your daily Zinc requirements.
Other nuts that are good for fertility include:
There is a wide range of seeds that are beneficial for fertility, so you’re sure to find ones that you like and can incorporate into your day. Some seeds for fertility include sunflower seeds, linseeds/flaxseeds, chia, pumpkin, sesame seeds. Add them to your breakfast cereal, eat them as a snack or add them to smoothies or salads. There are so many ways to eat them!
An excellent antioxidant for better sperm health, garlic is also an aphrodisiac that can also improve your sexual virility. It contains allicin, an active compound that helps improve blood flow to the reproductive organs so helping with perfect erections in men. Garlic has been used for centuries not just as fertility boosters, but to boost overall health as well. The ancient Romans and Egyptians used garlic to boost their physical endurance.
While garlic is usually used as a spice in dishes, you can also opt to take a garlic supplement instead.
Avocados are rich in Folic acid and vitamin B6. If you want to get pregnant, Folic acid is a must for you because it can reduce your baby’s chance of having neural tube defects by 50%. Also, if you have inadequate levels of folic acid, your chances of a miscarriage, stillbirth or giving birth to a child with birth defects are relatively high.
On the other hand, vitamin B6 found in avocados has a lot of health benefits, and its major fertility benefit is its ability to prevent luteal phase defect. Keep fresh avocadoes in your kitchen and enjoy its wonderful taste in a fresh salad.
Bananas are generally known to be healthy – full of Potassium, vitamin C and dietary fiber. But did you know that they are good for fertility as well? Bananas are rich in bromelain and vitamin B. Bromelain, according to one study, helps maintain testosterone levels in men. Vitamin B, on the other hand, can help sustain good energy levels as well as improve sex hormone production. A banana a day may actually help you get pregnant.
Asparagus can help increase sperm count and also help improve sexual function. Actually, there have been records showing asparagus was used in medieval times to treat infertility. Fertility benefits from asparagus are maximized when they are eaten almost raw or very lightly steamed. Asparagus salads or steamed asparagus are good ways of having asparagus in your meals.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is also rich in vitamins and minerals that can help boost your fertility. However, go for organic fruits and vegetables since non-organic variants may be laden with pesticides, known hormone disruptors.
Sometimes loading up on fruits and vegetables isn’t enough to help you meet your daily vitamin and mineral requirements. In this case, you need to supplement with vitamins and minerals to help fill the gaps in your nutrition.
What supplements should I take to increase fertility? You may want to take Vitamin E to boost sperm motility. Taking 1000 mg of Calcium coupled with 1000 IU of Vitamin D every day can help ensure better sperm and egg health as well. For more information on natural fertility boosters, vitamins, herbs or other supplements to take when trying to conceive, consult your natural fertility doctor.
Whether you’re male or female, you have to learn what foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant. As a general rule, you have to avoid processed foods, coffee, alcohol and smoking.
These foods contain pesticides and chemicals like BPA and phthalates that may interfere with your hormones and eventually cause poor sperm and egg health and infertility.
Coffee may harm your fertility by putting your body in constant stress. Since it is also a diuretic, drinking too much coffee can flush out important nutrients from your body. Too much caffeine also increases your risk for miscarriage.
On the other hand, alcohol can cause hormonal imbalance in your body. In women, alcohol consumption may lead to amenorrhea, progesterone deficiency, anovulation (lack of ovulation) and may prevent implantation. In men, alcohol is toxic to sperm and may interfere with sperm and testosterone production.
It is no secret that smoking has plenty of detrimental health effects. However, smoking is also harmful to both male and female fertility. Smoking affects healthy sperm and egg production and may also impact the female body’s ability to make implantation possible. In other studies, smoking also negatively affects the fertility of children born to maternal smokers.
Regular exercise can help maintain ideal weight (which is great for fertility) and also help in balancing male and female hormones in the body. Diet and exercise should go together, so while you’re adding fertility boosters in your diet, make sure you’re exercising regularly too!
If you want more information on natural fertility boosters or other ways to increase your fertility without medical treatment, it’s best to consult a qualified naturopathic physician for professional advice. Do you know any other fertility boosters? Would like to hear from you!
Iva Keene is co-founder and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She has been a qualified, accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 13 years, holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Science and a Masters degree in Reproductive Medicine. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva's articles, videos, guides and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments and integrative reproductive health.