Way back in 2007, a study found that following a “fertility diet” was associated with a lower risk of ovulatory disorder infertility and other causes of infertility. This was based on information gleaned from over 116,000 women and essentially confirmed that a healthy lifestyle — one that ticked all the boxes for good nutrition, weight management, and physical activity — lowered the risk of ovulatory disorder infertility by 66% and infertility from other causes by 27%. For hopeful mamas-to-be, it was invaluable info. Fast forward more than a decade to a clinical review of diet and fertility studies, and the info still stands — science once again confirms that a healthy diet can definitely boost fertility. Here’s what to know about the fertility diet if you’re trying to become a parent.
- Science shows that following a fertility diet can lower the risk of infertility from various causes by a significant percentage.
- The fertility diet includes prioritizing healthy fats, high-fiber carbs, plant-based sources of protein and iron, high-fat dairy, and multivitamins.
- Supplementing with high-quality prenatal vitamins for men and women will fill nutritional gaps and ensure both parents-to-be are getting the nutrients they need for the best chances of conception.
The Fertility Diet in a Nutshell
While there’s some room for interpretation, here’s how the fertility diet is summed up:
- Healthy fats — think olive oil and avocados — over trans fats, like margarine, baked treats, microwave popcorn, fried foods, nondairy coffee creamer, etc.
- High-fiber, low-glycemic carbs, like whole grains
- Plant-based protein sources over animal sources
- Vegetarian-based iron sources, like beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds, over animal sources like red meat
- High-fat dairy over low-fat dairy
In other words, eating varied, nutritious foods and avoiding the processed stuff and too much meat is a good way to maintain a healthy weight and get the nutrients you need. In a perfect world, eating well would get you all of the nutrients you need for the many processes that drive conception, but, well, nothing’s perfect, least of all our diets. And that’s where supplementing comes into play.
The Value of Prenatal Vitamins During Preconception
In addition to underscoring the importance of nutrition, the clinical review had a few other key takeaways. Both folic acid and vitamin B12 were positively linked to fertility. And, as it happens, you’ll find both vitamins in the average prenatal vitamin. For parents hoping to conceive — yes, we’re talking about hopeful moms and dads — prenatal vitamins are highly recommended. And that recommendation is based on two factors.
First, prenatal vitamins are formulated to deliver the right nutrients in the right amounts for a greater chance of conception. Case in point? Beli for Men. Our men’s prenatal is a research-backed supplement made with nutrients shown to support and promote various parameters of male fertility. We include vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to improve sperm quality, motility, and count, protect sperm growth, and improve egg penetration, among other benefits.
Second, so much development happens in the very early weeks after conception, often well before women even realize they’re pregnant. Folic acid and choline are critical at this stage to help prevent neural tube defects. You’ll find both in Beli for Women. We formulated our women’s prenatal to support mamas during all five stages of the pregnancy journey — from postpartum through all three trimesters into postpartum. We’ve included nutrients to boost fertility and egg quality, to support your growing baby, and to nourish you before, during, and after pregnancy. Plus, Beli for Women is one of very few prenatals on the market meeting current recommendations for folate, choline, iodine, magnesium, and vitamin D.
We’ve known for some time that the health of hopeful parents-to-be plays a big role in a successful conception. And not only that, it can affect the health of a pregnancy and the lifelong health of their child — and even into the next generation! No pressure, but facts are facts. While so much of pregnancy is out of our hands, controlling our diet isn’t one of them. Science has shown us again and again that a healthy diet — AKA a fertility diet — makes a difference in our fertility. If the goal is getting pregnant, make a point of eating a varied, nutritious diet, supplementing with a high-quality prenatal vitamin, and getting regular exercise. Every little bit helps!