You’ve heard it all don’t get too hot, do more exercise or take a holiday, but perhaps one of the best ways to boost fertility is through food. Everything that you eat has a huge impact on your body and affects your ability to conceive. The following foods can help to balance hormone levels and promote fertility.
In Ayurvedic medicine, asparagus, which is known as Shatavari is considered to strengthen the uterus by building blood and muscle. Shatavari means “she who possesses a hundred husbands” and it used in formulas for rejuvenation. You can see why this particular food is so highly revered when you take a look at its components and qualities:
Prebiotic compounds, such as inulin are non-digestible carbohydrates, which encourage the growth of beneficial gut microbes. Genera of bacteria, such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria use inulin as a substrate for growth, which helps to boost the immune system and produce digestive enzymes.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Flavonoids are phytonutrients that have antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties. Quercetin, which is found in asparagus, has been found to stimulate male reproductive organs by improving sperm motility and concentration.
Folic acid is needed in sufficient amounts for normal endocrine function and its deficiency has been implicated as a factor in fertility problems. Asparagus is one of the very best vegetable sources of folic acid. A poached egg on top of a few steamed asparagus spears is amazing. Salmon,mackerel, sardines, herring and flax seeds contain essential fatty acids, which are vital for healthy hormone function.
Omega 3 fatty acids consisting of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) may contribute to higher sperm counts in men and improve fallopian tube health and ovulation in women.
Sperm cell membranes consist of a high concentration of omega 3 fatty acids, which maintain its fluidity. This facilitates the sperm’s motility and fusion with the oocyte during fertilisation. Two – three servings a week are believed to be sufficient for normal hormone synthesis.
Sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E. A study showed that vitamin E supplementation can drastically reduce the time it takes to successfully conceive. Vitamin E is also shown to improve sperm motility. Sunflower seeds are also a good source of essential fatty acids and protein. Add a large spoonful to salads or cereal. A 25g serving would provide you with half of your daily requirement of this vitamin.
Brazil nuts are rich in the mineral selenium, which enhances male fertility by improving sperm health. A recent study has revealed selenium to be important for healthy ovarian follicles. Nuts in general contain good levels of fats and protein. Chopped Brazil nuts are delicious sprinkled over an apple crumble or in a salad. Try food processing Brazils, walnuts, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice to make pesto.
Parsley is one of my favourite superfoods. It’s surprisingly versatile and readily available. A great source of iron, vitamin K and vitamin C, parsley also contains flavonoids, such as luteolin, which enhances blood vessel health thereby increasing blood flow and strengthening uterine tissue. I add parsley to salads, cottage pie and sauces.
Combine some of the above ingredients in one meal and enjoy the best foods to boost fertility.
– Fill half a red pepper with cooked salmon, parsley and steamed, chopped asparagus.
– Add a spoonful of coconut oil and lemon juice and sprinkle with chopped Brazil nuts.
– Wrap in foil and bake for around 30 minutes on medium heat. Serve with a mixed salad.
There is a lot of current research on the beneficial effects of diet and fertility. Small changes in diet can make a big difference in health. Some of the best foods to boost fertility are listed above and there are lots more! Add some colour to your day!
Sharma. K and Bhatnagar. M (2011) Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari): A Versatile Female Tonic
International Journal of Pharmaceutical & Biological Archives 2011; 2(3):855- 863 Available from: www.ijpba.info.
Ladachart Taepongsorat. L., Tangpraprutgul. P., Kitana. N and Malaivijitnond. S (2008) Stimulating effects of quercetin on sperm quality and reproductive organs in adult male rats 10 (2) pp249-258 Available from:
Frank H Comhaire, F.H. and Decleer. W. (2012) The Benefit of Nutraceutical Food Supplementation and Antioxidants for the Treatment of the Infertile Couple and in Assisted Reproduction Reproductive System & Sexual Disorders pp1-6 Available from: http://omicsonline.org/
Hosseini. B., and Eslamian. G. (2014) Association of Dietary Factors With Male and Female Infertility: Review of Current Evidence Thrita 3 (3) Available from:
http://thritajournal.com/?page=article&article_id=20953 Visioli. F., and Hagen. T.M. (2011) Antioxidants to enhance fertility: role of eNOS and potential benefits. Pharmacological Research 64 (5) pp 431-437 Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21745572