Infertility is common and can affect both men and women. Problems in the production of sperms or eggs can be due to physical or physiological factors. This prevents fertilization or hinders the implantation of the embryo in the uterus.
Folate, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, zinc, calcium, selenium, and lycopene found in everyday foods can improve and regulate the functioning of the female and male reproductive system. They can improve the sperm count, sperm motility, promote the release or production of eggs, and also reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
It is also important to remember that, just because certain foods increase fertility, it doesn’t mean you consume it in large amount. Excess of anything can cause complications and also decrease the fertility.
Foods That Can Boost Fertility In Men And Women
Although problems of infertility increase with age, here are a few foods that can help you boost your fertility:
Yams are rich in vitamin A and folate. Yams contain chemicals like dioscin, a form of natural progesterone. This promotes the release of eggs and therefore increases your chances of conceiving.
Although eating yams is known to increase your chances of giving birth to twins, going overboard with yams can have an opposite effect. Too much consumption of yams can decrease fertility as the body then gets an excess of phytoestrogens. It is good to take yams only in the first 14 days of your cycle.1
One daily serving of whole milk can reduce your chances of infertility. Milk contains calcium and vitamin D, which gives it its benefits.
Whole dairy products like whole yogurt, cheese, and ice cream can also enhance your fertility in addition to improving benefiting your nervous system, bones, and blood.2
3. Lean Meat
Lean red meat like lean beef, chicken or turkey. Being a great source of iron, lean meat can improve the functioning and production of red blood cells in your body, and also prevent anemia. Also, the protein in lean meat is essential for maintaining blood sugar balance and gives your body the required supply of amino acids that are necessary for healthy reproductive functioning, building and repairing cells, and manufacturing hormones.
Increasing your iron intake preconception can increase your fertility rate.3 Try taking two servings per day for positive results.
Focus on the egg yolk. The selenium content in protects the eggs and sperm from free radicals and also creates a healthy environment in the uterus for implantation.
Eggs are also rich in protein, which helps to maintain the quality of the sperms and eggs, thereby enhancing fertility. Like eggs, salmon, walnuts, and flax seeds also contain omega-3 that plays an important role in increasing blood supply to the reproductive organs, increasing sperm count, and also regulating hormones.
Citrus fruits like grapefruits and oranges are rich in vitamin C that important for male fertility as it improves sperm quality by protecting it from oxidative damage. Folate in citrus fruits can reduce the chances of your baby having a neural tube defect.4
Blueberries and raspberries also have antioxidants that protect the egg and sperms from damage and aging. Apricots are rich in vitamin A that can keep your sperm from becoming sluggish.
6. Pumpkin Seeds
Zinc is essential for the normal functioning of your reproductive system. Pumpkin seeds contain high levels of zinc and men with a low sperm count should have 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds per day.5
They also contain omega-3 fatty acids that increase the testosterone levels in the body. To improve male fertility, you can also have sunflower seeds. Intake of healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and avocados can benefit the levels of testosterone and improve the egg quality.
Including tomatoes in the diet can improve male fertility. It contains lycopene that can increase sperm count and boost the quality of the sperm. Regular consumption of tomato juice can increase sperm motility in infertile men.6
8. Leafy Greens
Kale contains the antioxidant vitamin C that protects the sperms and eggs from free radical damage. As a source of folate, kale can prevent the occurrence of neural tube defects and also the phytonutrients have a positive effect on the estrogen balance.
Eating spinach can also boost your overall reproductive health. It optimizes sperm production, enhances sperm quality and also regulates healthy egg production in women. Just like the leafy greens, beans and lentils also provide you with the benefits of folate.
|↑1||Dobbyn Sarah. The Fertility Diet: How to Maximize Your Chances of Having a Baby at Any Age. Simon and Schuster, 2012.|
|↑2||Matthews Rebecca. Fertility Handbook: A Guide To Getting Pregnant. Lulu.com, 2013.|
|↑3||Grifo Jamie; Phillips Kyra. The Whole Life Fertility Plan: Understanding What Affects Your Fertility to Help You Get Pregnant When You Want to. Harlequin, 2015.|
|↑4, ↑5||Matthews Rebecca. Fertility Handbook: A Guide To Getting Pregnant. Lulu.com, 2013.|
|↑6||Yamamoto, Yu, Koichi Aizawa, Makiko Mieno, Mika Karamatsu, Yasuko Hirano, Kuniko Furui, Tatsuya Miyashita et al. “The effects of tomato juice on male infertility.” Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition 26, no. 1 (2017): 65-71.|