Diet and fertility: nutrients to increase fertility

fertility

We are what we eat. You have probably heard it more than once. Bad eating habits trigger different diseases which can be avoided in most cases. A healthy nutrition is strictly linked to fertility.

Does your diet affect your chances to get pregnant? According to the experts, including certain foods in the daily diet can help prevent fertility problems and increase the possibilities to conceive. For instance, the University of Navarra published a study stating that women who follow a Mediterranean diet have 44% less difficulty in getting pregnant.

Which foods should you include in your diet when you are trying to get pregnant and how can they increase fertility?

Fiber

A diet rich in fiber helps to a good functioning of your body in addition to reduce the risk of suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which is one of the main causes of female infertility.  Some of high fiber foods are the following: cereals, artichokes, spinach, chard, almonds, peanuts or plums.

Vitamin B

This group of vitamins produces hormones which are extremely important for the ovulation and implantation as well as being essential for hormone control and subsequent development of the fetus. For example, a daily folic acid intake before pregnancy can prevent neural tube defects. Foods high in Vitamin B include: cereals, legumes, avocados, bananas or eggs

Vitamin C

A diet rich in Vitamin C improves male fertility, especially the sperm count and motility. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, sperm is protected from free radicals that affect fertility. Foods rich in Vitamin C are: oranges, kiwis, strawberries, peppers and cabbages.

Omega-3 fatty acids

They are considered essential acids to boost fertility, these supply hormonal balance as well as improve the immune system and the health of ovaries, eggs and sperm. Foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids are: shrimp, tuna or salmon. Moreover, these elements are low in mercury level that can be toxic for the fetus.

Zinc

The lack of this mineral in diet can decrease the production of healthy eggs. On one hand, a diet rich in zinc is useful in the cell division produced during the fetal development. Foods high in zinc include chicken, seafood, eggs, cereals, sunflower seeds, ginger and brewer’s yeast.

Antioxidants

They inhibit the action of negative molecules that can damage our body. Foods rich in antioxidant levels are: blueberries, strawberries, plums, kale, red peppers or tomatoes.

Best tips to boost fertility

An unbalanced diet that is low in nutrients can decrease the chances of getting pregnant. Here are some habits which should be avoided because they could affect your fertility:

  • Check your caffeine intake: Although there is no proven habit that caffeine directly affects fertility, a daily moderate consumption is highly recommended (up to two coffees per day).
  • Replaced the refined carbohydrates with the whole-grain carbohydrates. When foods are processed they lose some essential nutrients such as vitamins, iron and fiber.
  • Reduce the intake of soft cheeses and unpasteurized milk products. These elements can carry dangerous bacteria such as listeria which can be the cause of miscarriages.
  • Keep the weight under control. Being overweight or underweight can negatively affect fertility. On one hand, obesity is related to diseases such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, gestational diabetes. On the other hand, having a weight beyond the ideal BMI is associated with amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), low egg quality, etc.

 

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