For the 1 in 6 couples in the UK that struggle with fertility problems, trying to find ways in which to boost their fertility naturally is a daunting and emotional task. However, this doesn't need to be the case. One area that you can look at is your lifestyle, nutritional deficiencies, stress management and emotional elements that could be affecting your ability to conceive.
Keeping a healthier lifestyle is essential whether you are trying to become pregnant naturally or going through IVF. Although you cannot boost your fertility in just a day, knowing the right foods to eat for each meal is important, especially when giving both yours and your partner's fertility a nutritional kick.
So, what can be done to boost your natural fertility from breakfast to dinner? Here are some meals I would highly recommend putting into your fertility boosting day to day nutrition plan.
Breakfast: I would recommend starting the day by eating fresh fruit, fruits are high in antioxidants which help to protect the body from damage. The fruits with the highest amount of antioxidants are pomegranate, strawberries, and blueberries, you could put these together in order to increase your intake by making a smoothie. They also taste amazing mixed in within porridge or oatmeal.
Alternatively, eggs are fantastic for enhancing your fertility, whether you have them poached, boiled or scrambled. Eggs are packed full of Vitamin D which helps to improve sperm and egg quality. Accompany your eggs with a slice of wholegrain toast, which is high in Vitamin B12 and complex B Vitamins that work to produce the DNA of the eggs and sperm.
Lunch: Baked potatoes are a good option for lunch as they are rich in Vitamin B and E which enhances cell division and increases the likelihood of a healthy embryo being produced. Potatoes also contain enzymes that help with implantation of fertilised egg and reduce the chances of early miscarriage. Top your potato with cheese for a good source of calcium which improves development and maintenance of the body.
Dinner: Fish makes a fantastic choice for dinner as it is one of the most nutrient dense food we can eat, you should aim to include two or three portions of oily fish in your diet each week. For example, salmon is bursting with Omega-3, which is vital for your reproductive health and ensures your partner's sperm reaches proper maturation.
Green vegetables are packed with minerals and are high in Vitamin C needed for healthy fertility, making spinach, kale, and broccoli an essential side for your meal. You could combine all of these foods by creating a soup or stir-fry.
Instead, I would advise replacing your chilli con carne with a lentil and bean chilli. Beans and lentils are packed full of iron and zinc, both of which balance out oestrogen and progesterone as well as raising the health of both your eggs and sperm.
Snacks: I would suggest a banana being your go-to mid-morning snack. Each one is packed with Vitamin B6, which regulates the hormones and is needed for good egg and sperm development.
Walnuts and almonds are packed with health giving nutrients which include cancer fighting properties. They can be beneficial for sperm quality, as they are an excellent source of omega 3 fats and vitamin E. They also benefit endometrial health through being a great protein resource.
One of my favourite fertility boosting snacks are fig, pear and pistachio muffins, which are really simple and easy to make, figs are rich in iron, which is important for healthy eggs and ovulation. Pistachio nuts are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, L-arginine (important for sperm health), B vitamins and antioxidants including vitamin E - essential for protecting eggs and sperm from free radical damage, and the use of ground almond provides plenty of protein.
Overall, I would suggests drinking as much water as possible to remain hydrated which will increase your overall health eventually helping you to conceive. Swap your caffeine filled tea for green tea which will help to clear your body of harmful toxins. Avoid drinking alcohol as this will decrease your fertility rate and affect the quality of your partner's sperm.
See Zita West at the Manchester Fertility Show on 25th March presenting her seminar "How to get pregnant and have the best possible pregnancy" at 10.30am.