A to Z Fertility Food Guide
If you've found this post, it's probably because you're looking for tips and tricks on how to increase your fertility. DISCLAIMER: This post will not guarantee pregnancy.
I wanted to offer something for those women and men who are looking for easy, obtainable ways to help increase their chance of pregnancy.
One way to optimize your chance for pregnancy is to evaluate and CHANGE your diet, if needed. The food that we put into our bodies is so important to keep our bodies in a state of homeostasis. What is homeostasis you ask? It is a natural state of equilibrium within your body that is maintained through physiological processes.
Reproduction is a physiological process and it is directly affected by the balance of hormones, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients within our body.
Sooooo let's get to it! This is all-inclusive A to Z guide that is going to give you a wealth of information that you can apply to your baby dancing so that you may increase your chance of conceiving.
So we all eat, right? That's why I've made this a food guide! Let's look at how changing our diet or adding something to it may make your chances of becoming a parent much more real.
Without further ado.....
A is for AVOCADO
B is for Berries
C is for Citrus
D is for Dark Chocolate
E is for Eggs
Eggs are such an amazing thing! They have so much good stuff packed in them. Make sure you get organic, home grown eggs so you can avoid any harmful antibiotics and bad living conditions of the chickens. Eggs contain choline which is an amino acid that helps improve the quality of the follicle. I know for so many people, this is the root of their fertility issues. An easy way to remember this is eating eggs helps your eggs!
F is for Figs
A couple of points to make about figs: Fully ripened figs are the best as far as antioxidants go. They also help male fertility by increasing motility and number of sperm. The key thing to remember about figs is that they are full of fiber. If you're trying to decrease your BMI to increase your chances of conception, this is something good to snack on as it can leave you feeling fuller longer.
G is for Grass Fed Beef
Eating red meat is ok if it is done in moderation and you're choosing grass fed, antibiotic free beef. The beef is actually a great source of iron which helps placental growth once pregnancy is established.
H is for H2O
Staying hydrated is always SO, SO important before, during, and after pregnancy. If you establish a good habit of drinking water while you are trying to conceive, it won't be a bad thing once you become pregnant. Hydration helps keep all the unnecessary things flushed out of your body well and helps maintain the health of your cells.
I is for Iron
Iron was mentioned briefly above. Here I will talk about it more in depth. Iron can be obtained from meat sources and plant sources. It is good to have a variety of both as they both work in synchronization with each other so that it absorbs into your body. Iron can be found in dark, green leafy vegetables like spinach or kale. It can also be found in beans, scallops, peanut butter, oatmeal, and eggs. Make sure you take in some Vitamin C along with it because the vitamin C helps aid the absorption of the iron. Broccoli and strawberries are some foods that you can try to add in along with your iron-rich foods.
J is for Just Breathe
I know this is so much easier said than done for most people. The reason I'm writing this guide is so that you can have an easy, quick reference way to increase your chances of conception. For so many that are trying to conceive, it actually turns into a very difficult, unpleasant, anxiety-ridden time. I want this to be a reminder to you and your partner that in order to create the most optimal environment for fertilization to happen, your body needs to be relaxed and without worry. Every day through your journey, just take a second to breathe!
K is for Vitamin K
This may not seem important but it totally is! Vitamin K is in charge of regulating your menstrual cycle. As simple as it seems, sometimes that is all one needs. A regular, consistent menstrual cycle can be the key to fertility. This also works with other vitamins like A & D. Think dark, leafy green here too! Vitamin K can be found in kale, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and even prunes!
L is for Lentils
Not only are lentils full of protein, they also contain folate and iron which we have already discussed the benefits. If you buy canned lentils, make sure you get BPA free. BPA can mess with your estrogen levels.
M is for Milk
This is probably one of my favorite ones to share because I can encourage you to drink milk, eat yogurt, and even indulge in some ice cream every now and then. It's important to remember go ahead and go for the whole milk. The full fat content is important and you'll benefit from the protein and Vitamin D that it contains as well.
N is for Nuts
Of course, nuts are packed with protein. But, one of the most important nutrients found in nuts is the Omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are important in increasing cervical mucous production, promotion ovulation, and optimizing the health of the uterus so that it can support a fertilization and pregnancy. Another important key fact is that Omega-3 fatty acids help control an inflammatory response within your body which could be causing more trouble than you think. So grab a handful of walnuts or throw some chia seeds in your smoothie!
O is for Olive Oil
Use olive oil every night to cook dinner with if you are trying to conceive especially if you are going the IVF route. There has been a study that suggests that the Omega-3 in the olive oil is associated with improving the development of the embryo. Isn't it exciting to know that there are such simple things that we can do to increase the chance for fertility and it is as simple as the food we eat?
P is for Pomegranate
Pomegranate is such a beautiful fruit and one that is full of health! Rich in Vitamin C and folic acid, trying eating this often to optimize the healt of your newly conceived bundle of joy. Don't forget, the vitamin C helps iron to absorb into your body as well, which is so important!
Q is for Quinoa
Quinoa is a whole grain that has recently become very popular. You can use it in dinner entrees or for breakfast. It's important to note here that whole grains are so important for your nutritional health. Because of the complex carbohydrates, this helps to stabilize your blood sugar and regulate your cycle. A normal regular cycle is good, that makes it easier to determine your ovulation day.
R is for Relaxation
This goes along with the letter "J" for just breathe. Relaxation is a KEY COMPONENT for your brain and your body to be on the right track for fertility. When a person is stressed, they release all kinds of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline (fight or flight) which has your body thinking that something is desperately wrong. When your body is consistently in this state, there is no way that you are allowing your brain and your reproductive organs to communicate so that they can have that perfect dance. Once a day, take some time to do something relaxing whether that be reading, doing yoga, or going for a walk. Your body will thank you!
S is for Salmon
Fish, like salmon, is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Remember, these help to regulate reproductive hormones, increase blood flow to reproductive organs, and minimize stress!
T is for Tomatoes
Tomatoes contain lycopene which I'm sure at some point in your life have read about. Lycopene is thought to help treat the condition of endometriosis which can lead to infertility for many women. So anytime you can, enjoy some ketchup, tomato sauce or juice! Lycopene also contains antioxidants which can help a man's sperm quality. This is a win-win situation!
U is for Understanding your Cycle
V is for Vegetable Oil
Using a vegetable oil like canola or sunflower oil as a lubricant can be advantageous to you and your partner. Using water based lubricants like you find at the store can hinder the whole conception process. Canola oil is very sperm friendly and absorbed by the body.
W is for Walnuts
Are you getting the idea that omega-3s are super important for fertility and also just for your general health? These also contain magnesium which is great for your uterine health and it also helps in the production of progesterone. Walnuts can be a great breakfast on the go, they contain lots of fiber and give you that full feeling.
X is for X Out Smoking, Alcohol, Caffeine, Processed/Packaged Foods
If any of these above items mentioned are done in excess between you or your partner, time to evaluate if it is worth it. Avoiding these can help you nurture your reproductive organs and allow them the chance to achieve conception so that you can get that BFP. Caffeine is ok in moderate amounts but anything excessive is not beneficial. Smoking radically affects the semen. It alters the motility, if there is not a decrease in the free radicals because of the smoking, and the quality of the sperm. At this time, it's important to consider eliminating processed foods from your diet as you don't want to be eating these while pregnant.
Y is for Yams
Yams are actually used in parts of the world to increase fertility so it also fitting that it is included on the list. The starch is thought to stimulate ovulation and is also included in tips if you're trying to conceive twins!
Last but not least....
Z is for Zinc
Zinc can be found in many of the foods I have already mentioned. The importance of zinc for fertility is that it balances hormones and regulates your menstrual cycle. In fact, a deficiency in this mineral can be life altering for you. It can affect men as well, as zinc helps the build the tail and the outer structure of the sperm. A sperm needs a good structure in order to be a good swimmer and viable for the egg. Zinc can be found in high quantities in oysters. It is also interesting to note that, oysters are thought of as aphrodisiacs! Coincidence? I don't think so! Whole grains, free range eggs, and whole fat dairy products also contain zinc. Zinc is super important!
So there it is! An A to Z guide of fertility foods that can help improve your chances for successful baby dancing. Although this isn't the end all and be all, I believe that changing your diet can substantially improve your chances for conception. Please comment with questions or thoughts!