With the increase in chemicals in our environment, increased stress levels, and increased toxins in our foods, it’s no surprise that infertility rates continue to rise. In fact, as of 2016, 16.9 million women used fertility services in the US alone and almost 12% of US women have received fertility treatment during their lifetime.
In addition, we’re so busy that we can often lose focus on the foods we’re eating and the products we’re putting in our body. So many experts recommend anyone looking to boost their fertility to look at what they’re eating first because there are some key nutrients that can increase chances of conceiving.
Taking a look at your protein intake can be one of the easiest things you can do to evaluate and improve your fertility. A high protein low carb diet has been proven to have a positive effect on fertility rates both for men and women. Plus, protein powders are recommended to increase female fertility and male sperm count, thereby increasing a couple’s ability to conceive.
In addition, there has been some indication that replacing animal protein with vegetable based protein could further increase fertility. Time to stock up on those veggies!
There are too many reasons to list why our body needs water to function and thrive, which is why staying hydrated is so important when we want our bodies to prepare to create a child. We need water to keep the blood flowing in our bodies, nourish our organs that will carry or create a child, deliver hormones throughout our organs, and flush toxins out.
Water is equally important for women when we carry or breastfeed a child and for keeping our moods from fluctuating too much.
Vitamin D supplements is one of the first nutrients that is recommended to pregnant women (even in addition to pre-natal vitamins!) and to babies. It’s critical for your baby’s and your own immune system, bones, and cell development. It’s also shown to be even more important over the last few decades for your fertility as we’ve seen a rise in vitamin D deficiencies, particularly in some demographics more than others. In fact many professionals are advising those struggling to conceive to have their vitamin D levels checked.
Although a zinc deficiency alone won’t result in infertility, the trace element may play a key role in male fertility. Zinc is needed for sperm production and for avoiding chromosomal defects. In fact adding a zinc supplement (with folic acid) has shown to increase sperm count as much as 74% in some men. Although zinc is found in many foods including fish, some meats, pumpkin seeds, and yogurt, you can find zinc supplements as well.
A few years ago folic acid started making headlines for its ability to improve fertility rates but luckily it wasn’t just a flashy headline, in fact as recent as 2014 researchers were able to determine a positive correlation between folic acid supplements and increased fertility.
These two amino acids are synthesized in different parts of our bodies and are used for a variety of different cellular processes in the body that keep us functioning and healthy. L-Carnitine ensures healthy sperm by maintaining its cell membrane so that the sperm can mature and then enables it to be mobile (or ‘swim’). In fact given doses of L-Carnitine was shown to improve fertility in a group of fertile men and improve endurance in athletes.
L-Arginine has shown to support both female and male fertility by supporting a healthy uterus by strengthening the lining and supporting blood flow and demonstrating that it can increase sperm count in men.
Both L-Arginine and L-Carnitine can be found in a variety of foods and supplement forms.
As a chemical element with non-metal properties, you might think you’d want to keep selenium as far away from your body as possible. But you’d be wrong. It actually has shown to have potential to improve male fertility. Combined with Vitamin E it has shown even more promise to support male sperm mobility.
Progesterone is a female hormone that is involved in preparing your body and supporting it through pregnancy by keeping the lining of the uterus healthy. Taking a progesterone supplement has shown to increase the likelihood of getting pregnant for women who had historically had difficulty and increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy for those who had suffered miscarriages in the past.
Interesting in eating your way to optimal health? Check out our article on 20 Reasons to Drink Green Tea Every Day.