Nutrition for Better Fertility Outcomes

With the holiday season drawing near, it’s easy to be tempted to eat all of the good food around us! While we should definitely enjoy our time spent with loved ones, we must also make good nutritional choices and be mindful about what we put in our bodies. Nutrition becomes even more of an important focus when we are looking for better fertility outcomes!

Nutrition is important to fertility for the following reasons:

  • Balances hormones
  • Improves egg quality and implantation rates
  • Reduces incidences of miscarriage
  • Improves IVF outcome
  • Lowers inflammation
  • Improves mood, energy, and sleep
  • Balances blood sugar
  • Reduces stress
  • Detoxifies medications

Here are some foods to avoid or consume less of when looking for better fertility outcomes:

  • Acidic foods: they might impact the growth of yeast and bacteria that throw off hormonal balance.
  • Caffeine: reduces fertility
  • Alcohol: inhibits absorption of vitamins and can reduce your fertility by 50%.
  • Sugar: especially refined sugar; can add excess weight and disrupt body glucose levels
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Soy
  • Gluten

Here are some foods/nutrients that are helpful for optimal fertility:

  • Honey: it is rich in minerals and amino acids, and it helps stimulate ovarian function.
  • Garlic: the selenium found in garlic increases sperm quality and decreases the occurrence of miscarriages.
  • Carrots and sweet potatoes: the beta-carotene helps to regulate the menstrual cycle.
  • Berries: antioxidants and vitamin C help regulate hormones and increase sperm quality.
  • Nuts: almonds, walnuts, and brazil nuts contain zinc, selenium, and vitamin E which help with sperm and egg quality.
  • Tomatoes: lycopene in tomatoes help increase sperm count.
  • Eggs: high in selenium and protein to help improve egg and sperm quality; can also help increase uterine health
  • Broccoli and cabbage: these contain Diindoylymethane (DIM) which aids in estrogen metabolism and prevents fibroids and endometriosis.
  • Fish: avoid eating more than 12 ounces of fish per week. Limit your consumption to eating low mercury organic fish (fresh salmon, shrimp, tilapia, anchovies, and pollock).  If you enjoy white (albacore) tuna, limit to eating only 6 ounces per week. Wild salmon, mackerel, and sardines are particularly important for sperm quality and blood flow. They also aid in regulation of blood pressure and cholesterol.

Nutrition is something you can definitely control to enhance fertility outcomes. Your body has specific nutritional needs for optimal health, and you must pay attention and listen to what your body is telling you to understand how to keep it in tip-top shape for the best fertility outcomes! Nutrition, when coupled with acupuncture, can do wonders for your body, and you’ll be able to feel the difference. Take care of yourself this holiday season, and remember that ultimately, you absolutely CAN make the best choices for yourself! Taking charge of your nutritional needs for better fertility outcomes can be your first step to a healthier you.

References

Nehra, D., Le, H. D., Fallon, E. M., Carlson, S. J., Woods, D., White, Y. A., Pan, A. H., et. al. (2012). Prolonging the female reproductive lifespan and improving egg quality with dietary omega‐3 fatty acids. Aging cell, 11(6), 1046-1054.

Rossi, B. V., Berry, K. F., Hornstein, M. D., Cramer, D. W., Ehrlich, S., & Missmer, S. A. (2011). Effect of Alcohol Consumption on In Vitro Fertilization. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 117(1), 136–142.

Wesselink, A. K., Wise, L. A., Rothman, K. J., Hahn, K. A., Mikkelsen, E. M., Mahalingaiah, S., & Hatch, E. E. (2016). Caffeine and caffeinated beverage consumption and fecundability in a preconception cohort. Reproductive Toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.), 62, 39–45.