By now, we all understand how our nutrition impacts our health and wellness and this is especially so when we are trying to conceive.  What many women do not realize though, is that there are specific nutrients we can add to our diet that will help improve fertility.

The first thing you should do is add to your daily routine is a vitamin that contains folate, which is the natural form of B9 (folic acid is the synthetic form of B9 and can be more difficult for the body to process, especially for women with the MTHFR gene mutation).

The next thing you need to do is take a hard look at your current nutritional intake.  Do you smoke or drink a lot of alcohol, soda or caffeinated coffee? Do you eat foods that are raw, unpasteurized or high in trans fats, have a lot of refined carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners or foods that are overly processed?  If so, it would be good to work on modifying your diet immediately.

Unless you have certain dietary restrictions due to health issues or medication (in which case it is best for you to consult with your doctor), your best bet on improving your fertility with nutrition is by eating foods that are high in antioxidants, healthy unsaturated fats, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and nutrients.  It’s also important to make sure you are staying well hydrated by drinking enough water each day.

Foods with the highest level of antioxidants:

  • Grapes (purple, red and blue)
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Prunes
  • Lemons
  • Nuts (walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds and pistachios)
  • Dark chocolate (with 70% to 90% cocoa)
  • Dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, romaine, arugula)
  • Beans (soybeans, lentils, black-eyed peas, kidney beans)
  • Black olives
  • Artichoke
  • Spices & herbs (cinnamon, cloves, mint, oregano, thyme)

Foods with healthy unsaturated fats:

  • Avocados
  • Eggs
  • Nuts (walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and pistachios)
  • Dark chocolate (with 70% to 90% cocoa)
  • Nut and seed butter
  • Olives and extra virgin olive oil
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Fish (salmon, herring, freshwater trout, pacific mackerel, catfish, anchovies)
  • Tofu

Foods with complex carbohydrates:

  • Whole grains (quinoa, whole-wheat pasta, brown or wild rice, oats, whole wheat, rye)
  • Fruit (apples, berries, bananas)
  • Vegetables (leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash)
  • Beans (kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans)

Foods with a good source of protein:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Pork
  • Salmon
  • Canned light tuna (in small quantities)
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt

Foods with high amounts of vitamins and nutrients:

  • Fruit (strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, berries, bananas, apples
  • Dark green vegetables (avocado, kale, spinach, romaine, arugula, broccoli, collard greens)
  • Orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut and acorn squash)
  • Nuts (walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds)
  • Whole grains (whole grain bread, wild or brown rice, corn tortillas)
  • Beans (soybeans, lentils, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans)
  • Fish (salmon, herring, freshwater trout, pacific mackerel, catfish)

While you are focusing on adding healthier choices into your daily food intake, there are also specific types of food and drink you should avoid if you are wanting to improve your fertility and chances of becoming pregnant.

 Foods to avoid while trying to conceive or pregnant:
  • Raw or undercooked meat
  • Deli meat
  • Jerky
  • Fish with high levels of mercury (shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tuna)
  • Sushi (raw seafood)
  • Smoked seafood
  • Raw shellfish
  • Raw egg
  • Soft cheese (brie, feta, gorgonzola)
  • Queso dips (unless they are made with pasteurized milk)
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Pate (unless canned or shelf-safe)
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine (limit to fewer than 200mg per day)
  • Unwashed vegetables

› Nutrition for Improving Fertility
Exercise to Boost Fertility

› Nutrition for Improving Fertility
Exercise to Boost Fertility is run by single moms by choice for single moms by choice, dedicated to helping educate, enlighten and empower women who are thinking about or who have decided to have a child “on their own” through donor insemination, egg or embryo donation, adoption or other assisted means.

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