Foods that boost fertility

Lifestyle Saturday 10/March/2018 20:21 PM
By: Times News Service
Foods that boost fertility

You are what you eat, and if you are trying to conceive, then eating the right kind of food becomes even more important. While fertility is a multifactorial outcome of the body’s health, consuming the right diet and an active lifestyle can not only boost fertility but also reduce stress and anxiety levels. It is important to note that no particular food item can cure infertility but including the below listed items can help nourish the body and combat fluctuating hormone levels.
Here are some foods to include in your diet to improve your fertility:

Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are loaded with folate and are essential to your diet, if you’re trying to conceive or are expecting. Most of the folate-rich foods are green leafy vegetables, which makes brussels sprouts a great alternative source for the nutrient. They have also been found to help increase the sperm count of men and in keeping the uterine lining, essential for implantation, healthy.

Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a real powerhouse for your fertility. They’re loaded with zinc, which has been termed “the most important fertility mineral". It’s vital for healthy foetal growth and facilitates sperm production. Research has also linked pumpkin seeds to reduction in early miscarriages. They go great in soups, on salads, and just as a great-tasting snack.

Sweet potatoes
The fertility diet, by and large, does not include potatoes. But sweet potatoes and yams are wonderful foods to include in the fertility-friendly diet. They are a great source of healthy carbs and also high in vitamin C, B, and B6. These antioxidants protect against cell damage. So, they’re great for protecting your eggs and improving egg health.

Butternut squash
In addition to being delicious, Butternut squash are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A (great for sperm health and overall hormone production and one serving of squash covers your entire daily recommended value), Vitamin C (essential for healthy ovulation) and carotenes (good for egg health). It is also a great source for healthy carbs.

An apple a day proverbially keeps the doctor away. It boosts your fertility as well. Apples are considered a balanced fruit, with a good mix of all nutrients. They’re a low-calorie fruit, so they’re a great choice for getting the nutritional benefits of fruit without all the sugar. For men, apples are recommended to increase sperm count.

Tomatoes are one of the best food sources when it comes to antioxidant lycopene. Studies show that lycopene has been found to significantly improve motility or the sperm's ability to swim, activity, and structure of sperm. Lycopene can benefit women also as some studies suggest that it can help treat endometriosis. So, if you have this condition, this is great news. Tomatoes are also a great all-around fruit for healthy nutrition and boosting fertility. They’re a good source of vitamins A, C, K B6, folate, and fibre, among other nutrients, that help balance hormones and improve ovulation. They’re also beneficial for heart health, cholesterol, and overall health.

Oysters help boost fertility because of their high zinc content. Other zinc rich foods include baked beans, eggs, and walnuts.

Lentils are considered one of the richest sources of folate or natural folic acid, which is equally important for both male and female fertility. Men with lower folate intake often have higher rates of chromosomal abnormalities in their sperm, which can affect fertility.

Blueberries have two of the best, most powerful antioxidants there are — quercetin and resveratrol. Quercetin helps maintain healthy sperm parameters, including motility and quality, while resveratrol helps improve sperm count and motility.

Avocados are a great source of vitamin E and essential for fertility. Along with being another powerful antioxidant, they also improve the viability of the sperm. Avocados are considered “healthy fats” and are essential for hormone functioning and stabilising of its levels.

A variety of nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, both rich in vitamin E, helps protect embryos from miscarriages.

Eggs are packed with nutritional sources that boost fertility. They contain vitamin B12 and folate, both of which minimise birth defects. Eggs are also rich in antioxidants and carotenoids, which help boost fertility in women.

Black-eyed peas
These are also a great food to eat if you’re trying to lose weight, because they’re filling but low in calories. They also don’t contain any fat or cholesterol, making them a great food choice when looking to eat healthy overall.

Olive oil
This is another good choice for health and fertility. Extra virgin olive oil especially makes for a great cooking oil of choice, because it is rich in vitamin E, which helps protect the health of cells, including eggs and sperm cells.

Leafy greens (spinach, chard and kale)
Leafy greens are loaded with iron, which is important for regulating ovulation. Studies have shown that women who get sufficient iron in their diet have, on an average, 40 per cent less risk of ovulatory-related infertility.

Dr Pankaj Shrivastav is Director of Conceive Gynaecology & Fertility Hospital in Sharjah