Best Foods for Fertility + Reproductive Health
Wondering which foods are best to optimize fertility and reproductive health? With so much mixed information out there, feeding yourself for optimal fertility may feel confusing. There are a few key guidelines that we generally promote for fertility, for both egg and sperm health.
Fats, Proteins and Veggies for Fertility
- Eat a rainbow or colorful, diverse produce every day. Aim for 5-7 1/2 cup servings and you’ll be well on your way to providing your body with loads of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
- Ensure you’re getting sufficient good quality protein. At a minimum, we generally suggest 1/2 your body weight in grams of protein each day.
- Don’t fear fats… or carbs! We need both in a healthy, balanced diet. In fact, both fats and carbohydrates are essential for healthy hormone production. Focus on whole foods and veggies as your primary source of carbohydrates, and try to limit refined carbohydrates.
- Try to enjoy your food. At NHRH we believe in fearless eating — ditch the dogma and focus on feeding yourself in a fun, enjoyable way. You don’t have to be perfect with your diet to make dramatic improvements in your health and fertility.
An Example of Yummy, Nourishing Fats
The photo below was a text from a dear friend, which simultaneously cracked me up and got me thinking about all the reasons that I love (grass-fed) butter SO MUCH. Like, a lot, friends. A whole lot.
In my opinion, grass-fed butter is a health food, although that certainly isn’t what I was taught growing up.
In fact, I grew up on a low fat diet, high carb diet, mostly because that is what my parents were taught was healthy (food pyramid fail). We regularly consumed things like margarine, processed cereal grains and low fat dairy products. I was overweight as a child, and had gawd awful periods from the onset of menstruation — which of course I’d later learn was the beginning of endometriosis.
Meanwhile, even well into adulthood, I would *crave* the fattiest foods I could dream up — I loved rich foods like cheese, BUTTER and oily things, but was always told that these things were bad for me. I felt shame about wanting to eat them. I didn’t understand then that these cravings were my brilliantly wise body’s way of asking (read: begging) for the nutrients it was (much to my unknowing) being deprived of.
Eating for fertility doesn’t have to be dull, stressful or full of rigid rules. You’ve got this, and we’re here to support you along the way!