The journey towards motherhood varies significantly for every woman. Infertility is a common fear for many women. The monthly crimson tides remind us that the ovaries are ready for fertilization. However, only until one tries to conceive that they surely know how ready their body is for a baby. Any woman struggling with it knows that there is no easy solution to it; seeking an answer for infertility is as intricate as the question itself. There are several ways to increase the chances of pregnancy. But one factor that aids in conception is right in front of us and is often overlooked; the nutrients in the food we consume.
You have probably heard of the infamous folic acid (vitamin B9), a pre-pregnancy vitamin that improves a baby’s neurodevelopment. The purpose of folic acid comes in handy after fertilization occurs. So, what about nutrients that enhance fertilization? Could there be fertility foods out there that will help you get pregnant? Let’s find out!
I highly recommend reading the book “It starts with an egg” it’s an amazing resource on everything that has to do with your egg health and help you grow healthy mature ones from supplements, diet and more!
Vitamin D works together with Calcium to improve bone health and prevent bone diseases such as Osteoporosis. However, Vitamin D also promotes female reproductive health, playing a vital role in pregnancy, lactation, and fertility. Studies show that deficiency of Vitamin D is a risk factor for reduced fertility and unfavorable pregnancy outcomes. Supplementation with Vitamin D also plays an essential role in managing menstrual disorders such as endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and uterine fibroids. The effective management and treatment of these menstrual disorders will improve ovulation and fertility. Sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D.
Well, technically, it isn’t a ‘source’ of vitamin D, but the UV rays activate certain enzymes that enable Vitamin D production within the body. But soaking in too much sunlight is harmful to the skin, which is why it is compulsory to turn to other sources of Vitamin D, food! Foods rich in Vitamin D are oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc.), fortified foods (milk, soy milk, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, etc.), eggs, red meat, and mushrooms.
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to improve cardiovascular health by preventing the deposition of fat within arteries. But another pivotal function of these fatty acids, specifically for women, is that a diet consistent and abundant in omega-3 fatty acids delays ovarian aging and improves the quality of oocytes (eggs).
Fertility in women is known to decline impetuously after 35 years of age, therefore, the intake of omega-3 fatty acid will be particularly beneficial for such women who are looking to conceive. A study also found that a higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in the body is fruitful for women undergoing assisted reproductive techniques. Seafood such as salmon, herring, oysters is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Plant-based options include zucchini, spinach, Brussel sprouts, avocados, walnuts, chia, and flax seeds. Cod liver oil contains abundant omega-3 fatty acids and as well as Vitamins A and D.
CoQ10 is an organic substance that is a powerful antioxidant. Studies show that it increases ovarian response to stimulation, improves ovarian reserve and the quality of oocytes in women with diminished ovarian reserve. Therefore, the increase in the consumption of CoQ10 foods and supplements will be particularly beneficial for women with age-related ovarian reserve decline. Foods containing CoQ10 are whole grains, organ meats, oily fish, broccoli, nuts, and seeds.
I take 600 mg a day, you can break these up with pills that come in 400mg and take one in the morning and one at night!
Selenium is an essential trace element present in poultry, seafood, eggs, and organ meat. Selenium has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is also crucial for regulating thyroid hormone production. Selenium improves ovarian functions, aids in the development and health of ovarian follicles, and reduces the risk of miscarriage. Iron is a mineral that is significant in maintaining menstrual health. Regular intake of iron-rich foods prevents iron deficiency anemia that can arise due to heavy menstrual bleeding. Pregnancy also increases the demand for iron.
Therefore, to prevent anemia, the consumption of foods abundant in iron may be necessary. Such foods include spinach, fortified grains and cereals, legumes, beans, red meat, seafood, and poultry. Of course, these are just a few nutrients that aid in achieving pregnancy. Other nutrients include Calcium, Vitamins B, C, E, to name a few. But the common denominator here is the balanced consumption of healthy foods. No one nutrient is superior over the other; each plays a vital in maintaining reproductive health and fertility. There are many factors to infertility that we cannot control, but what is within our power is what we choose to consume. So, why not treat our bodies right and consume fertility foods to encourage the chances of a healthy pregnancy?
Smarty Pants Prenatal Formula ( 4 chews a day )
Vitamin B6 200 mg
Vitamin C + Probiotics 900 mg
Liquid Vitamin E
Vitamin D3 10,000 IU
B-12 Chews 1000 mg
Ubiquinol QH 200 mg ( 2 pills a day )
Barlean’s Seriously Delicious Omega-3 Fish Oil
For smoothies here and there, I take Paleo Valley’s SuperGreens Powder this is great for your greens intake and to detox & inflammation caused by endometriosis, and more! It’s just healthy in general.
Myo-Inositol Powder is another great addition to your smoothie or yogurt! It’s important for healthy egg growth, patients with PCOS and more!
I have endometriosis stage 3, which was treated with a recent laparoscopy. I also have very low AMH and diminished ovarian reserve. Let’s continue the convo in the comments or follow me on instagram to dig deeper into this convo!