16 February 2022

4 Dietary Requirements to Improve Fertility

Fertility issues can be a hindrance to your plans of growing the family. Fortunately, there are also natural ways to overcome these challenges. Aside from making good lifestyle choices, being mindful of what you eat is also an effective way to boost fertility.

Take a look at four of the most important dietary components you need to pay attention to if you want to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are essential to your fertility diet because they help neutralise free radicals and fight against inflammation. Free radicals are unstable electrons that can cause cellular health damage, especially to your ovum (egg). Therefore, antioxidants are one of the most vital dietary components since they improve your fertility rate by protecting your health from potential damages. 

Brightly coloured vegetables and fruits, like blueberries, citrus fruits, bell peppers, spinach, and pomegranates, are the best sources of antioxidants. Be sure to fill at least half a plate with these ingredients every day to increase your chances of conceiving. 

Vegetables with deep orange and yellow colourings like carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in an antioxidant known as beta-carotene. This compound is essential for cell growth and miscarriage prevention. In addition, beta-carotene also plays a significant role in regulating your hormones to help sustain a pregnancy. 

On another note, asparagus and watermelon are high in an antioxidant known as glutathione. Glutathione can improve egg quality and protect it from damage. 

Being particular to these fruits and veggies can increase your antioxidant intake, thereby enhancing your fertility status. 

Vitamins and Minerals

Besides antioxidants, you should also include fertility foods high in vitamins and minerals in your diet, such as:

  • Vitamins C and E

On the one hand, vitamin C influences progesterone production to trigger significant egg release during ovulation. On the other hand, vitamin E increases the cervical mucus (the protective barrier surrounding the egg) to allow sperms to stay active longer. Moreover, both vitamins decrease the risk of developing endometriosis, a common infertility problem among women. 

Foods high in vitamin C include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, spinach, green and red peppers, tomatoes, leafy greens, pineapple, and citrus fruits. 

Foods high in vitamin E include almonds, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, pistachios, and avocados.

  • Folic Acid

Also known as vitamin B9 is a crucial nutrient to consume throughout your preconception stage. According to a study, women who consume at least 400 micrograms of folic acid daily are 40% less likely to develop ovulatory infertility. 

Besides supplements, some notable sources of folic acid are corn, asparagus, whole grains, grapefruit, papaya, oranges, peanuts, and beans.

  • Zinc

Likewise, zinc supports women’s fertility by regulating hormone function, ovulation, and cell division. By neutralising women’s monthly periods, zinc aids in conception. This is because women with regular cycles are more likely to get pregnant than those with irregular periods.

As such, be sure to consume foods like nuts, poultry, lean meats, oats, and oysters to increase your zinc intake and improve fertility.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fats—healthy unsaturated fats—can help women conceive faster. Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, helps protect the quality of the oocyte (egg cell) against age-related decline. As a result, even in their advanced reproductive ages, women can still successfully conceive a baby. 

Because the body cannot naturally produce these fatty acids, you need to be more proactive in including foods high in unsaturated, beneficial fats in your diet, like:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Trout
  • Anchovies
  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts
  • Seeds 

While unsaturated fats are healthy for you, make sure to avoid trans-fat-high foods that can increase the risk of infertility. Hence, avoid eating processed products, margarine, and shelf-stable snacks that negatively affect your fertility status.

Complex Carbohydrates

Like fats, not all carbohydrates are the same. The refined carbohydrates—those that come from white rice, bread, pasta, and sugary foods—are absorbed in the body quickly, resulting in blood sugar and insulin level spikes.

The increased production of insulin can lead to faster egg maturation and lower reproductive hormone production, which, in turn, can affect your fertility.

However, complex carbohydrates in whole grains and quinoa are digested quite slowly. Because of this, they don’t affect your blood sugar or insulin release as much as refined carbs do. 

Incorporating complex carbohydrates into your diet is essential because it’s your main energy source. What’s more, whole grains also contain B vitamins, which can help promote uterine implantation for a more successful conception. 

Consult with a Good Gynaecologist in Singapore

Although this information can jumpstart your dietary plan, it’s still recommended to visit a nutritionist or fertility expert to get better advice on what you need to take to conceive more effectively. 

WS Law Women’s Clinic provides consultation to assess your health and body requirements. Our gynecology clinic in Singapore will provide you with the essential information you need to start your conception journey on the right track.