Fertility varies based on your genetic heritage, age, health, weight but also on your diet, among other factors. Pregnant women usually receive advice from their doctors about what they should and shouldn’t eat until the baby is born. But what about before that? What foods should you focus on so you can actually increase your odds of getting pregnant?
A British study conducted by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health found that eating more plant protein could have a positive impact on fertility. They followed 19,000 nurses that were trying to get pregnant and those who ate a lot of animal protein had 39% less chances of conceiving than the ones who ate more plant protein.
I recommend you take this study with a grain of salt, not because its findings are not accurate, but the high animal protein intake may not necessarily be the cause of infertility for the women involved in the study. There are lots of other factors unaccounted for such as what kinds of meat they ate, how was the meat cooked, salt intake, other foods they ate which could have a negative impact on fertility…etc.
Nevertheless, there are plenty protein-rich plants you can use to up your daily intake of vegetable protein such as beans, lentils and nuts.
A study found women who took 25% of their daily calories from monounsaturated fat, were four times as likely to become pregnant using in vitro fertilization compared to ones who ate significantly less.
Olive oil is a great source of monounsaturated fats, since this type of fat has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect throughout the entire body.
The Nurses’ Health Study found that having 1-2 daily servings of whole milk or whole milk products offer protection against ovulatory infertility. Obviously the safest option would be drinking whole milk from a trusted source, but you can occasionally indulge in a cup of whole-milk ice cream. Just make sure you don’t add too many calories to your diet. And stay away from skim and low-fat milk. Apparently it has the opposite effect.
Leafy green vegetables like spinach, broccoli and lettuce are rich in folate, a water-soluble B vitamin linked to ovulation improvement by several studies. Moreover, folate can also help men increase their sperm quality, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of California Berkeley’s Public School of Health. The study followed 97 men who didn’t have any fertility problems and the ones who had the biggest intake of folate had 20% less abnormal sperm.
Pumpkin seeds contain non-heme iron, which is commonly found in plant foods. Start boosting your iron intake if you want to get pregnant. A study discovered women taking iron supplements had 40% higher chances of getting pregnant compared to the ones who didn’t take iron.
Other great sources of iron include beans, lentils, soybeans, egg yolks, leafy greens and artichokes.