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It’s not unusual for people to try all manners of different infertility treatment options to fix their conception woes. From acupuncture to fertility drugs to learning how to help implantation, there are abundant possibilities to improve fertility.
One common lifestyle change people make, perhaps because it’s so heavily in their control, is dietary changes. Many women who are trying increase their chance of getting pregnant search for fertility boosting foods.
Not only are fertility foods a real thing, but there are also several different types of fertility diets available.
The diet you choose will depend on you or your partner’s unique set of dietary requirements, like whether you prefer a plant based diet or meat based.
Consider the following questions:
- Do you need to improve your egg quality?
- Are you hoping to stimulate ovulation?
- Is male fertility a factor in your struggles?
If any of these issues pertain to you, there are several different types of foods and vitamins that can potentially help correct these problems, as well as acting as possible treatments for your fertility struggles.
We’ve researched foods to eat to boost your fertility, and there are so many options! Let’s get started…
Foods to Eat for Fertility: Which Options are Right for You?
Before my husband and I realized that our only option for getting pregnant was IVF, we already knew conception wouldn’t be easy.
That’s why I spent hours of my time scanning articles, forums, and blog posts. I looked for information about how to help make our fertility journey as easy as possible.
My internet search history ran the gamut of different possible solutions.
One of which, of course, was a multitude of queries about foods to get pregnant faster.
I was surprised to find that, not only was there a vast collection of fertility-boosting foods, but each of these dietary options had its own list of unique uses. Their usage depends on what type of fertility assistance you are looking for.
Foods for Ovulation Stimulation
Approximately 1-in-4 women struggling with infertility have problems with ovulation.
Whether it’s a complete lack of ovulation or irregularities in a woman’s ovulatory cycle, this can lead to significant issues getting pregnant.
If you’re searching for foods for ovulation stimulation, you’ll be happy to learn that several different dietary options might be beneficial.
These options include:
- Low glycemic index (GI) carbs, such as rolled or steel-cut oats and quinoa, have been shown to improve ovulation rates and assist with embryo implantation.
- Chickpeas are another option for your ovulation diet. Whether you eat them as hummus or simply by the fistful like me, they’re also a great source of folic acid.
- Greek yogurt. If you’re a yogurt fan, it’s time to go Greek! Studies have shown that large amounts of low-fat yogurt products can lead to anovulation.
- Good dietary fats like nuts (including sunflower seeds), olive oil, and avocado, not cheeseburgers and Snickers bars, can help promote healthy ovulation. Be sure not to go over the daily recommended amount for women, though.
Foods that Increase Fertility in Males
If male-related infertility issues like sperm motility are a part of your conception struggles, it’s no wonder you might find yourself aimlessly googling foods that increase fertility in males.
What might be more beneficial, however, is to examine all of the foods that can harm sperm count, motility, and overall health, including:
- Processed meats and animal proteins, such as salami, hot dogs, and even bacon
- Foods high in soy, i.e., edamame, tofu, tempeh, and miso
- High-fat dairy products, like milk and cream cheese
- Trans fats, such as baked goods, fried foods, and frozen pizza
Now, don’t start getting worked up about going cold turkey on the occasional cookie or BLT sandwich. Moderation is key when it comes to these types of foods.
There are also foods your partner can add to their diet to help boost sperm quality. According to the University of Chicago School of Medicine, these include fish, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats, including walnuts.
Foods to Improve Egg Quality
Has your doctor told you that the quality of your eggs is less than spectacular? If this sounds familiar, you’ll be happy to learn there’s something you can do about it.
At one time, I believed that our eggs are what they are–end of story.
I think it had something to do with the fact that I learned early in my fertility journey that women are born with all of the eggs we’re ever going to have. I also learned that our eggs slowly begin to deteriorate as we age.
(Learn more about the connection between age and fertility here).
I just assumed poor egg health was based on age, and there was no way to repair the effects of time.
Thankfully, I was wrong, but please don’t tell my husband!
I’m working hard to convince him that I am, actually, right about everything. Anyway…
You can use foods to eat for fertility to improve egg quality.
These options won’t completely negate the effects of aging, but they can help enhance your overall egg health when you’re looking for trying to conceive tips.
Have you ever heard of “free radicals?”
No, these aren’t some sort of new-age rock band.
Free radicals are a type of molecule with unpaired electrons that can develop over time, based on certain conditions and lifestyle choices.
Some of these include drinking too much caffeine, not getting enough exercise, stress, and a poor diet.
While on paper, this might not seem like a situation to be concerned about, an excess number of free radicals inside our systems can wreak havoc on our fertility – especially our egg health.
This is where antioxidants come in. Antioxidants in all different manners help to reverse the harmful effects of free radicals, which can improve a woman’s egg quality.
Some of the foods with the most antioxidants include:
- Dark, leafy greens
- Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries
- Russet Potatoes
- Black Beans
When it comes to foods to get pregnant faster, avocados are a bit of a rock star in the foods to eat for fertility diet world.
They’re an ideal option for many different types of infertility struggles. One of which is, of course, egg health.
Not only are avocados an excellent source of of monounsaturated fat (a key element in repairing poor egg quality), but they also pack a punch! They are full of fertility-friendly vitamins.
We love FertilAid by Fairhaven Health, full of all the vitamins you need to prepare for pregnancy.
Vitamins that are often recommended to help with egg quality include: folate, choline w/ inositol, CoQ-10, vitamin D, and vitamin E.
Consuming large amounts of avocado can not only improve the health of a woman’s eggs, but it can also yield impressive reproductive benefits that will last throughout conception and pregnancy.
Rest assured, we are not trying to turn this article into a sermon on the importance of drinking your eight glasses of water a day! (It is important, though, just to be clear!).
What we will say, however, is that drinking plenty of water is a great way to improve egg health.
Staying hydrated keeps our bodies and cells working the way they should be, including our reproductive system!
Side note: BPA has been found to cause infertility in both men and women. Put down the plastic water bottles and look for a BPA-free alternative, like this one!
Want more ideas for improving egg health with diet, vitamins, and supplements?
Our community loves It Starts with the Egg, and this bestselling book now has a fertility cookbook to go along with its many recommendations!
PCOS Infertility And What You Can Eat to Help
Where fertility-boosting foods are concerned, no list would be complete without mentioning the PCOS fertility diet.
Approximately 1-in-10 to 1-in-20 women in America are diagnosed with PCOS, a condition marked by hormonal imbalances.
While not every woman suffering from PCOS will deal with infertility, studies have proven it to be the leading cause of women’s fertility struggles.
By following certain types of PCOS-friendly diets, you can also improve other side effects of PCOS, such as irregular periods or weight gain.
Some of the particular dietary options suggested for PCOS are similar to the other foods to eat for fertility, including:
- Fiber-rich foods, which can be used to lower insulin levels and decrease inflammation.
- Lean proteins, which can help with PCOS-related weight problems.
- Healthy fats, such as avocados, pistachios, and olive oil
- Antioxidant-rich foods, such as kale, spinach, and berries
More specific diets, such as the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet, have also been proven beneficial for women with PCOS.
Want to grab some of these healthy foods for great prices?
Check out Thrive Market, where members get great deals on healthy, natural, high-quality foods that are delivered straight to your door.
Is Pineapple a Good Addition to Your “Foods to Get Pregnant Faster” Diet?
During my pre-IVF research, I came across many “get pregnant quick” tricks that surprised me. These tactics included things like digesting parasitic worms and inserting egg whites into “unmentionable” locations.
While I wasn’t interested in trying most of them (success rates or not), one of them intrigued me–the IVF pineapple.
Pineapple has become a figurehead of sorts among the IVF community because it is considered beneficial for those struggling to get pregnant. It’s also considered among the foods to eat for fertility.
Why, you may be asking?
A powerful, little enzyme known as bromelain seems to be the most intriguing component of the pineapple.
Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme, which is known to help with a myriad of various maladies, one of which is inflammation.
If you have excess inflammation, this can negatively affect your ability to conceive.
That’s why some practitioners suggest consuming pineapple (the core, especially, which is said to have the most bromelain) in the days leading up to and directly following possible conception.
Take note, though; there is NO scientific evidence to prove eating large portions of pineapple will help you conceive more quickly.
That being said, however, there’s also no harm giving it a try if you’re interested!
I’ll be the first person to admit that I tried the pineapple trick before each of my successful IVF cycles.
I realize that there’s only a small chance this actually helped me conceive a baby. But at a certain point, even the most minute opportunity is still worth taking.
Are There Any Foods to Avoid When You’re Struggling with Infertility?
When speaking about foods to eat for fertility, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention all of the foods it might help to minimize if you’re hoping to get pregnant naturally.
While some of the items on this list might seem obvious, others might surprise you:
- Caffeine: I, like most people, do not feel quite myself until I’ve had my first cup of coffee in the morning. Unfortunately, however, excess caffeine has been shown to reduce fertility by approximately 27%. (Note the word excess. We aren’t telling you that a coffee in the morning is ruining your fertility!)
- Too Much Red Meat: The occasional burger or steak shouldn’t be a problem, but red meat-heavy diets can increase a woman’s chances of developing endometriosis, a reproductive condition that makes it challenging to get pregnant.
- Processed Foods: The preservatives, pesticides, and artificial hormones used to make various processed foods are bad for our health overall and can make conception more difficult.
- Alcohol: Moderation comes into play again alcohol. While a glass or two of wine here or there is fine, having more than seven drinks a week or more than three drinks at a time can harm a woman’s fertility.
Vitamins to Boost Fertility
Foods to get pregnant faster aren’t the only things you should be thinking about when it comes to conquering infertility.
It’s also helpful to consider using a regimen of certain vitamins to boost fertility.
Some of the best options for women hoping to conceive include:
- Methylated Folate: It’s common knowledge that folic acid is essential for baby’s development throughout pregnancy. What many people don’t realize is that methylated folate is more easily processed by many people’s bodies with the same benefits, and that it’s important to take before conceiving to help enhance fertility. While many multivitamins contain folic acid, it’s crucial to take ones specifically designed for pregnancy or pre-conception, as too much Vitamin A can cause problems.
- Vitamin D: Not everyone requires extra Vitamin D while trying to get pregnant. If you or your partner know that you’re Vitamin D-deficient, however, it could become an issue for your fertility.
- Zinc and Selenium: Zinc and selenium work similarly to the antioxidant fertility-boosting foods discussed earlier. They prevent and reverse the damaging effects of free radicals in your body. These nutrients are primarily used to treat male fertility, and it’s unknown whether they can be helpful for women, as well.
Before starting any regimen of vitamins to boost fertility, be sure to ALWAYS consult with your OB-GYN or healthcare provider.
Who Knew Eating Right Could Make Such a Difference in Your Conception Journey?!
Alternative fertility treatments like IVF, IUI, or surrogacy are great options for individuals and couples hoping to get pregnant.
They’re also a challenging solution that can weigh heavily on your mental, physical, and financial circumstances.
Before you make the leap into options like these, why not consider whether fertility-boosting foods or vitamins are a good option for you?
Speak to your doctor or fertility specialists and figure out whether any of these special “fertility diets” might make a difference in your reproductive health.
If there’s a chance that eating more avocado and berry smoothies with a little pineapple core could help with your infertility, it seems like a great option to me!
Have you tried using any of these foods to eat for fertility during your conception journey?
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.