If you’re trying to get pregnant, did you know that eating a healthy diet can maximise your fertility chances? Including the right foods in your diet not only improves your health, vitality, and egg quality, but it also helps to give your baby the best start.
Here’s our list of fertility-boosting foods (for both women and men) to add to your diet now, with some ideas on how to incorporate them into each meal.
Load up at least half of your plate with a wide variety of fruit and veggies every day and at each meal.
Breakfast: Eat plenty of citrus fruits and berries, or make a green smoothie.
Lunch: Enjoy a big leafy salad.
Dinner: Eat a rainbow!
Foods containing essential fatty acids are important for the development of a baby’s brain and eyes. Include different healthy oils, nuts, seeds, and certain oily fish to your diet. These foods are also high in other essential nutrients, like zinc.
Breakfast: Sprinkle ground flax seeds on your yoghurt, or add nuts to your smoothie.
Lunch: Drizzle olive oil and add pumpkin seeds to your leafy salad. Avocados are a fertility superfood for both men and women, so enjoy them often.
Dinner: Eat 2-3 portions of fish per week (limiting fish high in mercury, such as swordfish, shark, and tuna to one portion a week).
Increase your brown and wholegrain carbohydrates, while removing the refined white foods that are nutrient-void and quick to digest. Complex carbohydrates, as well as not spiking your blood sugar, also contain fertility-friendly nutrients such as vitamin B, vitamin E, and magnesium.
Breakfast: Eat rolled oats, rather than highly processed cereals.
Lunch: If you like sandwiches, choose wholegrain or wholemeal bread.
Dinner: Brown rice and wholegrain pasta are great, wholesome options.
As well as fish, you can include some chicken, turkey, pork, and beef trimmed of fat. They’re all great sources of protein, zinc, and iron—all important building blocks for a healthy pregnancy.
However, when choosing protein for fertility, many nutritionists recommend opting for plant protein, such as beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. These foods contain phytoestrogens, which help to balance hormones. Eggs are another excellent source of protein and choline, which is a vitamin that helps develop brain function in babies.
Breakfast: Omelette loaded with veggies.
Lunch: Hummus with veggie sticks.
Dinner: Lentil bolognese with wholegrain pasta.
Even with the best intentions, it can be difficult to meet all of these increased nutritional needs. You might consider taking a supplement to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Preconception and stage one supplements, which are recommended for use from two months prior to conception, contain Folic Acid, Iron, Iodine and Calcium – all crucial during those early stages.