Trying for a baby can be one of the most stressful times of your life. You’re taking the prenatal vitamins, marking your most fertile days on the calendar, and counting the days to your next menstrual due-date. But is there anything else you can do to increase your chances of getting pregnant?
According to a study of diet and fertility from Harvard Medical School, unlike other factors that you cannot control—such as age and genetics—eating certain foods is something you can do to boost your fertility and increase the chances of holding a bouncing baby in your arms.
1. Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are a lean protein and are full of iron and zinc, which helps to increase fertility and libido. Black beans are recommended by Chinese medicine practitioners because they can tonify kidney function, which means fertility function in TCM theory.
Salmon is full of Omega-3 Fatty Acids which are proven to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, help to regulate the sex glands’ function and reduce the chance of a miscarriage.
Your intake of broccoli and other dark green, leafy vegetables should be increased in any fertility campaign. Broccoli is high in phytosterols, which support our hormone system and are especially important for women wanting to conceive. It is also high in folate, a B vitamin that has been shown to improve ovulation.
4. Red meat
Red meat is a good source of iron and also supplies protein, which provides the basic building blocks of hormones. It is recommended that women should eat about 100 grams of lean red meat three times a week to get their bodies baby-read.
5. Wholegrain Bread
It’s time to switch your white bread for a wholegrain substitute. Wholegrains are high in Vitamin B12 and complex B Vitamins which work to produce the DNA and RNA of the eggs. It isn’t just wholegrain bread that has this benefit, so swap to wholegrain pasta and brown rice.
They are rich in choline, which studies have shown can have significant positive effects on foetal development. Eggs are also full of Vitamin D, which seems to affect sex hormones in both men and women. Good levels of Vitamin D could improve egg quality. So start off the day with a nice boiled egg.
Remember: eggs from factory-farmed chickens may have artificial hormones from the chicken that produced them, so spend a little extra money on more natural free-range or organic eggs.
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.
Oysters have been known to increase libido, but oysters can also be a great source for fertility because they are packed with zinc, which increases the production of good-quality eggs.
Any kind of berries are good at protecting eggs from damage and aging because they are full of antioxidants. Strawberries have been linked to naturally increasing a woman’s libido.
They are a fantastic source of vitamin E which studies have shown can be beneficial in improving endometrial lining (the lining of your uterus) and can also help with embryo implantation which is how a fertilised egg becomes a pregnancy. Avocados are also an excellent source of folate so are an important fertility and pregnancy food.
11. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are full of Selenium, an antioxidant that protects your body from free radicals, a highly reactive chemical fragment that is found in the body. Selenium also helps produce healthy eggs by protecting against chromosome breakages, which have been shown to cause miscarriage and premature birth.
12. Sunflower seeds
They may be small, but sunflower seeds are packed with goodness. They’re high in nutrients like zinc, which is the most important nutrient for male and female fertility. Sunflower seeds are also full of protein, which is important for a fertility diet.