Diet and nutrition can go a long way in supporting optimal fertility, but knowing what to eat can sometimes be a challenge! There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition for fertility, everyone’s needs will be different. There are, however, a few essential tips to get you started on the right foot.
Merritt Jones is a Fertility & Reproductive Health Nutritionist & Acupuncturist. Below are some of her favorite foods to nourish fertility!
Foods To Include
Healthy fats, and lots of them. Fats provide essential fuel for our cells and are the basis for healthy hormone function. Not all fat is created equal, however – the kind of fat matters. The best fats for fertility include coconut oil, avocado and avocado oil, wild caught fish/fish oil, olive oil and grass fed butter and/or ghee. Including a serving of healthy fats at each meal will go along way in boosting fertility.
Protein from a variety of sources. Proteins are the building blocks of life and are essential for healthy cellular and organ function. The right amount of protein is important – not too much, not too little. For most women trying to conceive, between 40-60 grams of protein daily is ideal, depending on activity level. The kind of protein also matters. A mix of plant based protein and good quality animal based protein is often optimal for fertility and provides nutrients required for the body to make strong healthy cells, and strong healthy babies! For plant based proteins like legumes, be sure to soak the legumes in water for at least 8 hours to help break down the phytic acids that may block nutrient absorption.
Antioxidant foods like leafy vegetables, root vegetables and colorful fruits provide a nutrient dense punch that and help reduce inflammation, improve sperm and egg health and build rich blood necessary for healthy implantation and pregnancy. These foods also provide complex carbohydrates and fiber necessary for healthy metabolism of hormones.
Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, plan unsweetened yogurt and/or kiefer (for those who can tolerate dairy) are all great options. Fermented foods provide for optimal gut and immune health, which is essential to allow us to break down and efficiently use the foods we eat.
Water from a pure source. Optimal hydration, although one of the simplest things we can do for health, is also one of the most important. Try to get drink approximately 8 8oz glasses of water daily.
Foods To Limit
Inflammatory foods including:
- Processed foods like deli meats, chips, cookies etc
- Fried foods
- Refined sugars and starches
- Soda and most juice
- Fast food
Estrogen mimicking foods or products including foods stored in BPA cans or plastics, soy products, some dairy, pesticides foods and certain body products.
Optimal nutrition can do a lot to support fertility from the inside out. What you do (or don’t) eat can have a real impact on the state of your fertility. If you’re trying to conceive and having trouble, or if you’re just looking for ways to prepare for starting the conception journey, consider exploring a plant based, nutrient dense diet.
Yours in better health and wellness,
Merritt Jones, LAc, MS, CNC