A study conducted by the World Health Organisation revealed that up to 10.1% of women across the world or about 48.5 million women could not have a child in 2010: a number so depressingly high that it might just ruin your day. What is sadder than a mother with an unfilled cradle? Ask any OB/GYN and you’ll know that female fertility is a very complex phenomenon that depends on a lot of things: hormone imbalances, tumors, problems with the reproductive system, and stress and anxiety being only the tip of the iceberg. So no, this article is not going to tell you about a miracle cure you can find in your kitchen. However, what we do want you to know, is that based on recently published research, switching to an appropriate diet can lead to an 80% decrease in female infertility. Here’s how it can happen:

Replenish Your Iron Levels

The key thing to remember when trying to conceive is that you are still menstruating – a process known to decrease iron levels. Low blood iron content can lead to anemia which adversely affects your fertility, so your primary concern should be eating foods high in iron. These include all kinds of beans and lentils and vegetables that are green and leafy (think spinach and kale). Abundant research has also shown that Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron, so don’t forget to eat those ‘tangy’ fruits such as oranges, kiwis, and bell peppers.

RED FLAG: Meat, while being a source of iron, should be avoided when trying to conceive. According to a 2014 paper by Myriam Afeiche of Harvard University [1], consuming meat, including chicken and turkey, leads to a 32% drop in female fertility. If at a loss for iron-rich foods, it is better to take an iron supplement than to regularly consume meat.

Eggs and Fish for Protein

The same Harvard study mentioned above also tells us that fish is one of the healthiest sources of protein for women looking to conceive. They do not adversely affect fertility but are packed with significant amounts of essential fatty acids that aid the division of cells in your reproductive system, which increase the odds of you producing a healthy ovum in time for fertilization.

Eggs are important because of other than protein, they are also rich in the B-Vitamins. Of these, B12 is the most important as a sufficient intake of vitamin B12 has been linked to a remarkable decrease in birth defects and speaking of Vitamins…

Boost Essential Vitamins

Eating a handful of nuts (peanuts, walnuts, almonds, take your pick) lead to a marked increase in female sex drive because of the high concentration of Vitamin E, and a higher sex drive implies better fertility. Also, drinking one serving of whole milk a day will prevent the chances of infertility during ovulation because of its high vitamin D content. If you’re lactose intolerant, have probiotic yogurt instead.

Addendum: Maintaining Your Weight

We have recommended whole milk, eggs, nuts, and some other foods that contain fat because pregnant women need certain fats in their body to prepare them for pregnancy. However, being overweight or underweight can also affect your baby’s health. It is important, therefore, to engage in light exercises such as Kegels to keep your weight within the BMI range.

Works Cited

Chavarro, J. E., Rich-Edwards, J. W., Rosner, B. A., & Willett, W. C. (2008). Protein intake and ovulatory infertility. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 198(2), 210.e1-210.e7. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2007.06.057

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