Food and fertility – they’re made for each other. Food has an indescribable impact on fertility, from egg quality and reserve to sperm production, uterine health and hormonal balance. So today we’re chatting to our Clinical Nutritionist Holly with the TOP 6 FERTILITY FOODS she recommends to her clients.
1. EGGS. A food commonly avoided during pregnancy due to the risk of salmonella. However, eggs contain nutrients that are vital for preconception care, pregnancy and beyond. A major nutrient known as CHOLINE within the yolk which is important in pregnancy for healthy brain and spinal cord development (Caudill et al., 2018). They also contain vitamin B12 and vitamin E for optimal egg quality and embryo development.
2. AVOCADO. This fatty, delicious and fertility promoting food is one to include regularly. It is rich in vitamin E, folate and magnesium. Healthy fats are essential in regulating hormones and decreasing inflammation to support healthy conception. All of this aswell as being rich in phytonutrients. PHYTONUTRIENTS are the chemicals that protect plants from the outside world and damage whilst they are growing, and therefore assist in protecting our cells (especially egg and sperm cells in this case) from damage.
3. FATTY FISH. Another one that is avoided during the early stages of pregnancy that may offer more benefit than risk (Starling et al, 2015). The S.M.A.S.H acronym is a fun one to remember meaning salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring. Not only are they rich in essential fatty acids and EPA and DHA for supporting egg quality, but further foetal and childhood development throughout pregnancy and beyond (Stanhiser et al., 2022). They also contain CoQ10 and selenium which are potent antioxidants for protecting sperm, supporting ovulation, improving egg quality and increasing blood flow to the uterus to support implantation.
4. BERRIES. The ultimate antioxidant containing anti-inflammatory properties aswell as rich in vitamin C blocking free radicals to support ovarian reserve, sperm health and motility.
5. NUTS AND SEEDS. Nuts and seeds are rich in essential fatty acids , aswell as containing essential nutrients like selenium, zinc, magnesium, B6, vitamin E and folate to improve egg quality and sperm count. These nutrients also support hormonal balance including progesterone which is vital for healthy implantation and building of the uterine lining (Sales et al., 2021). Further, flaxseed oil is a functional food that is easy to implement which is high in omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids which has been investigated with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) to improve hormonal balance, modify the gut microbiome, and decrease inflammation, so drizzle some over your salad (Wang et al., 2020).
6. DARK LEAFY GREENS. Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, watercress, and silverbeet are all a rich source of folate aswell as non-heme (plant based) of iron, coupled with vitamin C which is useful for absorption of iron – it’s a match made in heaven. They’re also a great source of calcium.
As you can see we can reap so many benefits through eating the right foods, particularly when it comes to fertility and pregnancy.
We’re here to support you every step of the way with individualised no BS treatment plans to reach your goals.
Book an appointment online with Holly today !