Pregnancy

Fertility Diet: Meal Plans, Recipes & Tips

Researchers on fertility health estimate that about 10-15% of couples struggle with infertility. (1) 

The causes for infertility, in both, men and women involve factors such as age, weight, food habits, stress levels, physical activity levels, occupational exposures, etc.

Therefore, for conceiving, it is essential for both men and women to improve their lifestyles, especially related to food habits.

The consumption of nutrient-dense foods and a well-balanced diet promotes overall growth and a healthy reproduction process. 

Are you wondering what is the relationship between food habits and fertility?

What are the best fertility diet recipes?

Let us get all such questions answered here:

 

 

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1. What is Fertility Diet & why it is important?

 

 

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Childlessness may be a result of either or both of the couple's infertility. Diet plays a major role in it. (2) 

The signs of high fertility in a woman can be seen through various indicators, such as regular menstrual cycles, healthy ovulation, and a balanced hormone level.

One way to maintain and improve these signs is through a fertility diet that includes specific recipes tailored to support fertility.

Fertility diet comprises of foods that help with normal reproductive hormones’ development and function, fetal development, egg and sperm health, and so on.

The most important nutrients for improving fertility for both men and women are:

  • folic acid
  • vitamin B12
  • omega-3 fatty acids

In addition, men may also benefit from regular consumption of certain antioxidants. (3)

For men, a whole cycle of sperm development takes 64-77 days.

And for women, in the three-month phase preceding conception or fertilization, the egg cells mature.

So, experts suggest that any couple planning a pregnancy must start paying attention to their diets 3-12 months before they intend to conceive. (4)

 

2. Top 5 Foods that Increase Fertility in Men


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Some healthy foods bump up sperm quality and strengthen male fertility, such as: (5) (6)

  1. Fresh fruits & vegetables: A great option if you wish to load your diet with anti-oxidants, Vitamins, and lycopene. You may also gain better sperm concentration with turning to veganism, even if for some time.
  1. Fenugeek: Fenugreek seeds and supplements can give you antioxidants that can help in improving the libido, and sexual strength.
  1. Fish: They are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Moreover, regular consumption of fishes may help in better sperm motility.
  1. Nuts: Various nuts like walnuts are great sources of proteins, and unsaturated fats. They can improve sperm vitality.
  1. Seeds: Several seeds like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, etc. contain Vitamin E, antioxidants like zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids. They can help in improving semen volume, and sperm quality. 



3. Top 5 Foods that Increase Fertility in Women

 

 

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There are also some foods that are much more essential to improve fertility in women.

These are including:

  1. Berries: Berries are a great source of anti-oxidants that help in keeping the ovaries youthful and functioning well.
  1. Green Leafy veggies: Greens like broccoli, kale, spinach, etc are storehouses of Vitamin C and folic acid.
    They improve the process of ovulation.
  1. Garlic: Garlic contains an important antioxidcant, selenium. This restores the natural estrogen balance in women, thereby increasing fertility.
  1. Eggs: Having eggs for breakfast may give you your daily need of omega 3 fatty acids, and choline.
    These nutrients can boost fertility, and even prevent chances of a miscarriage. 
  1. Quinoa: Quinoa is a great wholegrain to consume and gain fibre. An awesome food to have in order to regulate menstrual cycles.
  1. Nuts & Dry fruits: Evening snacking is best when you indulge in healthy nuts and dry fruits like pine nuts, figs, etc.

    They help you get minerals, vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, and unsaturated fats.

    This will optimize the egg production in the body, and keep them healthy. 

Apart from these foods, women also incorporate fertility tea in their diet. 

Fertility tea recipestypically consist of a combination of herbs and plants known for their ability to support reproductive health and improve fertility.

 

4. The Fertility Diet Recipes


Broccoli Soup

    Broccoli soup can be a great source of Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Calcium, and Protein.

    Thus, you have got to say yes to it if you want to up your chances of conception. It is easy to make, and delicious.


    Ingredients:

    Broccoli florets 1 cup

    Oil 1tspn

    Chopped Onions ½ cup

    Milk ½ cup

    Salt to taste


    Procedure:

    • Add the oil to a pan and let it heat.
    • Add the onion and let stir it till the onion turns translucent.
    • Next, add the broccoli and 1½ cups of water to the pan and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Cover it with a lid, and stir occasionally.
    • Set aside the mixture, and let it cool. Then blend it into a puree in a blender.
    • Now put the puree back into the pan; add milk, salt and pepper, ad bring it to a boil.
    • Serve it immediately.

    Mediterranean Salata

    Here’s a mouth-watering salad that will give you the benefits of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and calcium. Making this salad will be easy on time too.


    Ingredients:

    Roma Tomatoes 6 pieces, diced

    English Cucumber, 1 large, diced

    Parsley ½ cup

    Lemon Juice, 2 tsp

    Olive Oil,  2 tbsp

    Ground Pepper, ½ tsp

    Kosher Salt, as per taste


    Procedure:

    • Mix the tomatoes, cucumber, and parsley in a mixing bowl with kosher salt and pepper.
    • Let it sit for 5 minutes
    • Add lemon juice and olive oil.
    • Serve immediately, or after refrigerating.

    Garlic Butter Baked Salmon

    Looking to satiate your tastebuds along with gaining the power to create another human?

    This is one of the fertility diet recipes that you should try. Filled with Calcium, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Vitamins, Minerals, and Protein, the filler should be on your list.


    Ingredients:

    Baby Potatoes 500gm

    Olive Oil 2 tbsp

    Salt 1½ tspn

    Black Pepper ½ tspn

    Skinless Salmon Fillets 170gm

    Minced Garlic 2 ½ tbsp

    Chopped Parsley 2 tbsp

    Lemon Juice ⅓ cup

    Melted Butter ½ cup

    Asparagus 3 bunches

    Dry White Wine 2 tbsp


    Procedure:

    • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

    • Toss the potatoes with the oil, ½  tablespoon of garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet.

    • Spread them in an equal layer and roast for about 15 minutes, or until they soften and brown slightly.
    • Place the potatoes on one side of the sheet pan and the salmon in the centre. 1½  tablespoons minced garlic and 2 tablespoons parsley should be equally applied to the fish. On the other side of the pan, add the asparagus.
    • Put 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup melted butter in a mixing bowl and pour over the salmon and asparagus.

    • Sprinkle the remaining salt and pepper to taste.
    • Bake until the potatoes are golden and tender and the salmon is opaque all the way through (about 10 minutes).

    • Broil for 2 minutes towards the end if you want burnt edges.
    • Next, combine the remaining butter, garlic, and lemon juice with the wine in a small bowl. Serve with lemon slices, vegetables, and the salmon.

     

    5. Other Fertility Diet Plans You May Check Out

    Keto diet for fertility

    A keto diet for fertility typically includes a moderate amount of protein, healthy fats, and vegetables. 

    By following a keto diet plan for fertility, you may help increase your chances of getting pregnant.

     

    Gluten-free for fertility

    A gluten-free diet for fertility is also a good way to get more nutrients like folate, iron, and zinc into your system.

    These nutrients are important for hormone production and ovulation. Eating foods that are high in these nutrients can help improve your fertility.

    Overall, there are many reasons why a gluten-free diet may help improve fertility.

    If you are trying to conceive, talk to your doctor about whether a gluten-free diet may be right for you.

     

    Endometriosis diet plan for fertility

    An endometriosis diet fertility plan may include increasing your intake of certain nutrients, such as iron and folate.

    These nutrients support hormone production and ovulation, which can help improve fertility.

     

    6. Habits to make the best use of the fertility food recipes


    Food Timing

    Breakfast should be the largest meal of the day, while dinner should be the smallest.

    Women who consumed larger breakfasts and smaller dinners ovulated more frequently than those who consumed the opposite diet. 


    Avoid Oily & Stale Foods

    Always strive to avoid foods containing trans fats, such as margarine, fried foods, processed foods, baked goods, and vegetable oils, which inhibit the fertility of both men and women.


    Say no to stress & yes to rest

    If you're trying to conceive, you should always avoid stress and get plenty of rest and sleep.

    Consistently attempting to fall asleep and awaken at the same time each day will help balance your hormone levels. 


    Maintain an Ideal Body Weight

    Overweight and underweight men and women can affect sperm production and ovulation consistency, respectively.

    To maintain a healthy body mass index of between 18.5 and 24.9. It is essential to consult a physician and adhere to a balanced diet plan. 


    Exercise

    Regular exercise helps women maintain regular periods and ovulation and helps men increase sperm quality and mobility.

    Consult your physician to reduce anxiety and stress.



    7. Foods that Hamper Fertility in Men & Women

    There are some foods that hamper the fertility of both men and women.

    The ones that affect male fertility are(7)

    1. Cold processed meats
    2. Trans fats
    3. Soy products
    4. High-fat dairy products

    Foods that negatively affect female fertility are(8)

    1. High mercury fish
    2. Trans fats
    3. Soft drinks and sodas
    4. Refined carbohydrates and sugar
    5. Excessive caffeine
    6. Processed meat
    7. Lemon
    8. Energy Drinks

     

    RECOMMENDED READING: Do Energy Drinks Affect Female Fertility?


    8. How do Alcohol & drugs affect fertility?

    Alcohol and drugs are harmful to boththe male and female reproductive systems.

    Therefore, if you are trying to get pregnant, you should abstain from alcohol and drugs. Always consult a physician before taking any type of medication.


    Alcohol's damaging effect

     

     

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    If you consume more than six alcoholic beverages per week, your body is likely to experience hormonal imbalances.

    Alcohol abuse may disrupt women's menstrual cycles and reduce the size of their ovaries. (9)

    Avoid taking alcohol, or at least limit it at the beginning of your preparatory period.


    Drugs’ harmful effects

     

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    There are different drugs that affect men's and women's reproductive systems in different ways. 

    Some of the are given in the table: (10)


    Name of the drugs

    How it affects Men 

    How it affects Women

    Cannabis

    It causes decreasing sperm production

    It causes Impairment of the menstruation cycle  and declining ovulation.

    Stimulants such as cocaine

    It causes reducing sperm production

    It results in increasing the possibility of miscarriages and adversely affects the reproductive system

    Opioids

    It declines the ability to produce viable sperm.

    It causes irregularities in menstruation and prevents  ovulation


    People with a tendency to take these kinds of drugs must consult with a doctor as early as possible and refrain from taking them for the good of themselves and their unborn child.

    Even if a drug consumer conceives, it can severely impact the development of the fetus.


    9. Are Supplements Like Whey Protein Helpful In Boosting Fertility?

    Whey protein is a type of protein found in milk. It is commonly used in supplements to help build muscle mass and improve overall health.

    In women, whey protein for fertility can help regulate hormone levels and improve ovarian function. (11)

    For more info on the same, we have written an ultimate guide on whey protein and female fertility.

     

    10. Types Of Tea You May Consume For Improved Fertility

    While natural foods always help in enhancing health and wellbeing, sometimes, more is required.

    Organic supplements like fertility raspberry tea and fertility nettle tea can do the extra work.

    They naturally regulate women’s menstrual cycles.

    They also provide warm care to women’s uterine systems.

    There are a few more different types of tea that are believed to be beneficial for fertility.

    These include:

    1. Fennel tea

    2. Jasmine tea

    3. Ginger tea

    4. Nettle tea

     

    With this list, you also should avoid some teas during pregnancy.

    These are

    1. Senna tea

    2. Hibiscus Tea

     


    11. Conclusion


    People suffer from infertility largely as a result of erroneous lifestyles and carelessness. 

    Changing dietary habits and adhering to a routine will benefit the body and the mind.

    We must determine whether the food we consume is truly healthy for our bodies.
    Consume the fertility foods recipes suggested above in order to eliminate all forms of sexual dysfunction.

    Also, special care is advised in terms of consuming alcohol, and completely avoiding drugs.

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