Nutrition & Fertility
We all know that a well-balanced diet is essential for overall health and well-being, but when speaking in terms of fertility, there are a few key nutrients that have become more important.
- Folate plays a big role in rapid cell growth as well as cell division, making it important for both men and women. Folate is also important to minimize the chance of having a child with neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Folate can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables including, Asparagus, Broccoli, Lentils, Spinach, Collards, Strawberries, Blackberries, and Beets just to list a few.
- Dairy consumption is also associated with better fertility. Multiple studies have found that women who consume whole dairy are more fertile and more likely to be successful with fertility treatment.
- Lycopene and Vitamin C have also been associated with increased fertility, so adding foods like Watermelon, Guava, Kale and Red Bell Peppers to your plate can be helpful.
- Some sources show that the timing of the food you eat can play a role in increased fertility as well. At various phases of a woman’s cycle, the body is producing different hormones; requiring different nutrients.
- During menstruation, the loss of red blood cells can result in lower Iron levels. It is best at this time during the cycle to focus on foods like red meat, dark leafy greens and beans. Closer to ovulation an increase in Vitamin B, Zinc and Vitamin C can help with processes such as implantation, cell division and production of progesterone.
- In the Luteal phase (the time between ovulation and period or pregnancy), increasing the intake of sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, carrots, cantaloupe and other foods high in Beta-carotene may be beneficial because they are known to effect cell growth.
While it is beneficial to focus on improving ones diet while trying to conceive, it is even better to make a well-balanced diet the standard for an overall healthy lifestyle. For more on this topic, please read the blog article “What Should I Eat While TTC,” by one of our nurses, Terry Hunter.