Foods for Fertility
- Friday, 17 April 2009
Fertility can be affected by any number of factors in life, environmental, physiological, emotional, or dietary. We can change certain aspects of our lives while others may be somewhat harder to alter. In terms of dietary links with fertility, there are many known connections usually resulting from deficiencies or excesses. To maximize your ability to get and stay pregnant, consider the list of foods below which are considered wise to include.
Flax Seed Oil. Walnuts, Hemp Hearts and moderate Wild Salmon
Consumption of the above foods provides Omega 3’s to the body, a nutrient that is key to the proper manufacture of hormones. Hormones, as we know, are the foundation upon which ovulation, conception, and pregnancy are based.
Omega 3’s have also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is involved in Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, which is a common reason for infertility.
These good fats also ensure that fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, E and D are absorbed properly.
Spinach, Pumpkin & Sesame Seeds, Beef and Shrimp
These zinc rich foods can influence fertility by enabling the body to utilize the reproductive hormones properly. Numerous studies have demonstrated that zinc deficiencies in either the female or male can impair fertility. Zinc deficiency can also result in miscarriage.
Sea vegetables (kelp, nori, etc…), Yogurt, Eggs and Strawberries
Foods such as these contain iodine - an essential trace mineral required for the proper function of the thyroid gland. Iodine is necessary for the creation of thyroid hormones T3 and T4. A thyroid gland that is not functioning properly could have repercussions on a woman’s ability to conceive as the condition may prevent or create irregular ovulation, create estrogen dominance, or progesterone deficiency.
Be mindful of certain foods or substances that can impede proper thyroid function, such as fluoride, soy products, mercury, artificial sweeteners, and pesticides. Stress can also have a detrimental affect on the thyroid gland.
Avocados, Sunflower Seeds, Almonds, Swiss Chard
These foods contain vitamin E, which is a well-established nutrient supporting reproductive health. Vitamin E works by helping to regulate both ovulation and the production of cervical mucus. Vitamin E is also helpful for progesterone production.
Eggs, Moderate (Naturally–Raised) Meat Consumption and Yogurt
Although cholesterol has received a bad reputation over the years, it is a vital fat that is necessary for the production of the key female sex hormones - estrogen and progesterone. Many vegetarian and vegan diets may be excessively low in cholesterol therefore negatively affecting a woman’s ability to get and stay pregnant.
These foods also contain Vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for reproductive and endocrine (hormonal) health. Vitamin A can improve cervical fluid keeping sperm alive for longer periods by protecting them from the acidity of the vagina as well as helping them swim up to meet the egg.
Note that vitamin A is also depleted during stress so stress management techniques should be employed.
Eating a healthy and nutritious diet while optimizing proper digestion will go a long way in increasing your likelihood to conceive naturally. Nutrient deficiencies can often be linked with infertility and every effort should be made to ensure adequate nutrient intake.