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Does Diet Impact Fertility?

Pregnancy is one of those funny things where you likely spend years trying to avoid it, then one day you decide you actually want to become pregnant and everything changes. Out the window goes all these preventative methods and you wonder, “will I be one of the many who get pregnant on their first try?” For most, that is not the case and it takes most couples an average of 6 months to 1 year to conceive.  Fertility can be challenging but there are solutions! According to a study, in the United States 10% of women have difficulty trying to conceive. When trying to heighten your chances of conceiving naturally, diet has been proven to positively impact those chances. Harvard Health linked folic acid, Vitamin B12, Omega 3-fatty acids, and an overall healthy diet to positive effects on fertility. 

What should your diet look like?

An overall healthy diet for a couple trying to conceive should involve an adherence to wild-caught fish, organic poultry, organic whole grains, and organic fruits and vegetables. Of course, this can be customized to your dietary specifications, as long as you are getting all the vital nutrients needed. With a variety of nutrients including healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals it can be directly related to better fertility in women and better semen quality in men. 

Is Supplementation Necessary? 

By no means is supplementation a must, although in a recent study, intake of supplemental folic acid was consistently related to numerous markers of female fertility. There is evidence also discovering a relation between vitamin D and Vitamin B12 enhancing chances of fertility. Long-chain fatty acids, like Omega-3 and lower intake of trans fatty acids may be beneficial for enhancing female fertility. Fatty fish are usually the number one source for these healthy fats, but flaxseeds, chia seeds, and nuts are just as good! When it comes to supplementation, it isn’t necessary, but can be helpful if you aren’t getting enough through natural sources. 

3 Foods to Increase Chances of Conception

1. Avocados 
Avocados are filled with naturally occurring folate, and loads of healthy fats! They also contain other nutrients such as potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Avocados are known to help regulate the hormones involved in reproduction, which is why it’s amazing to include into your diet. 

2. Nuts and Seeds
Again nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts and flaxseeds provide your body with substantial amounts of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Fats are so important when it comes to hormone regulation as for the vitamin and mineral content these nuts and seeds contain. 

3. Beans
Beans are lower in fats, but a great source of fiber, protein, and folate! They also contain essential nutrients such as iron, calcium, and potassium. They are rich in nutrients that help boost fertility in both men and women. 

Foods That Should Be Avoided

There are foods that can have a negative effect on your chances of getting pregnant. For example avoiding foods like, sugar-sweetened beverages, fast food, white processed breads, and fish with high levels of mercury. A study discovered a relation between intake of saturated and trans fats to lower semen quality.  

It’s no secret that your diet can optimize your fertility. By providing your body with optimal energy through nutrient-rich foods and avoiding potentially harmful substances. It’s always recommended to talk to a professional about where your diet stands and necessary changes that are needed for you personally. 

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