16 Ways to Boost Female Fertility
Have you talked to your medical doctor about this only to receive a take-home message of “lose some weight” or “take a prenatal?” That is not sufficient advice, in my opinion, as there is so much more you can do to help boost your fertility chances. It has been well documented, with research ongoing, that nutrition and lifestyle have direct impacts on fertility outcomes.
As a Registered Dietitian, and someone who is always reading through new research papers, I have taken the information and broken it down for you into 3 categories. These are 1. Physically Focused tips, 2. Mentally Focused Tips and 3. Environmentally Focused Tips. Each category contains tips on what you can do at home to help you. I recommend making a short-term goals list from each category to get you started.
1. Choose plant-based meals more often
The study here indicates that eating 5% of your total energy intake as vegetable protein rather than as animal protein was associated with a more than 50% lower risk of ovulatory infertility. I have listed below some examples of how to swap out animal protein with vegetable protein:
This to That:
- Beef chili To Bean chili
- Chicken fajitas To Tempeh fajitas
- Meat Bolognese To Lentil Bolognese
- Seafood Pho To Tofu Pho
2. Load up on Colours in your plate
The more colour, the better because colour = antioxidants and antioxidants are the body’s way to fight off inflammation! If you need more information – check out these research studies here, here and here for more details. As I always say “May there be colours on your plate, and joy at your table.”
- Yellow: squash, zucchini, beans
- Green: pumpkin seeds, arugula, broccoli
- Purple/Blue: eggplant, purple cauliflower, blueberries
- Red: red peppers, tomatoes, beets
- Orange: orange pepper, butternut squash, carrots
- White: onion, garlic, leeks
3. Add nuts and seeds
I love nuts and seeds as they are nutrient powerhouses! As a result, nuts like walnuts, cashews, almonds, brazil. nuts and hazelnuts are great sources of nutrients that your body needs for essential activities. Having said that, seeds too, like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and flaxseeds (ground) offer you a host of nutrients as well. And not only that, nuts are full of healthy fats like Omega-3s which are rich are anti-inflammatories.
4. Take a good prenatal vitamin
A prenatal multivitamin is recommended for anyone looking to conceive a baby. Be sure to take a prenatal that has 3rd party verification so you can be sure that what is listed on the label is actually what is in the bottle.
5. Enjoy water
Above all, water does a body good! Staying hydrated is important for many aspects of health, including fertility health. Cells need water to function, eggs are cells, that is about it – it’s 1+1=2.
6. Limit Alcohol intake
Alcohol has been shown to have negative impacts on our overall fertility health. When speaking of this, excessive alcohol intake negatively impacts hormone health. As for how much is excessive, studies are still ongoing. Moderate intake also has negative impacts and again, studies are ongoing to indicate exact amounts. The best way to manage is to limit alcohol to the best of your ability.
7. Get some great yoga gear
Yoga is a great way to get some exercise, movement and blood flow while at the same time, calming the stress hormones happening in your body. Both of these concepts are important when it comes to optimizing your fertility and reproductive health. It also feels so great to get a new pair of leggings or workout bra or yes, a new pair of shoes (my personal favourite!!). By wearing something you feel good in, you will be even more motivated to get up and hit the mat as you flex, stretch and breath your way into improved health.
8. Poach, Steam or Boil your foods
Cooking methods are key to ensuring inflammation stays in check. When the weather gets cooler, it’s comfort recipes all around. With that, this means the use of slow-cookers and/or making stews, casseroles, or soups is welcomed. And such, this plays beautifully when trying to conceive because these types of cooking methods tend to provide less inflammatory agents than frying or searing methods. If you’re looking for great recipes, try my pumpkin lentil soup here or thai vegetable fertility soup, here.
9. Mind your hunger and fullness cues
Pay attention to your body’s cues on fullness and hunger. These cues are managed by your hormones, so if you don’t get them, give me a call. If you do feel these, answer their calls as these are your body’s way of telling you what your body needs.
10. Sleep well
Sleep is a very important factor when it comes to helping to improve your hormone and metabolic health. If you have difficulty sleeping, don’t ignore it. Try a bedtime routine that tells your body it’s time to unwind. Sometimes herbal teas can work, or even some supplements can be beneficial to promote sleep.
11. Find time to rest and recharge
Stress hormones creep in and stay there and when our stress hormones are up, our body’s ability to focus on other things, like digestion or reproduction, decreases. Studies show that stress has a profound impact on reproductivity and this is our body’s natural response to protect itself. See this study here for more details
12. Stop Smoking
This is a fairly solid rule. Smoking, whether it be tobacco or cannabis, decreases fertility outcomes for both male and female factors.
13. Hire a massage therapist, acupuncturist along with an RD
These allied healthcare professionals can help alleviate stress and take your body to a level of relaxation that is hard to do on your own. This study indicates that acupuncture can be beneficial to increase clinical pregnancy for women undergoing IVF treatments.
14. Get some bloodwork done!
Have some bloodwork done as a starting point to know how your body is currently functioning.. Speak to your healthcare professional (doctor) about this.
15. See a Medical Doctor and/or OB/Gyn Fertility Specialist
Speaking of healthcare providers, see a doctor if you feel something isn’t quite right. They can determine if you need to see a specialist or help guide you in a way, you may not have thought of before.
16. Walk or Get outside
Getting outside not only impacts your physical health but studies show that greenspace interventions have an impact on lowering cortisol levels and overall stress. High cortisol impacts your body’s ability to function well and this has an impact on your overall inflammation in the body.
The Quick Summary
Eating well, managing stress, getting outside and ensuring healthy movement has positive benefits when it comes to your reproductive health. Check out some of my fertility recipes online here, to help you!
If you are interested in knowing more about specific nutrition information that can be tailored made to your needs or want to leave me a kind comment, contact me at the link below.
When it comes to fertility health, nutrition is a crucial part of the puzzle and the other pieces include lifestyle factors, hormone health and environmental influences.
Try my free 7-day fertility optimizing meal plan, just click here.
As well, I work 1:1 or 2:1 with clients and couples to reach your fertility goals.
For more information or to answer any questions you may have, book a free discovery call today!
Call me and let’s talk! My name is Teresa Maiorano, and as an RD working in this field for over 10 years, I’ve seen it all and I can help you reach your goals.
You can connect with me through LiveandLoveNutrition.com, on IG @LiveandLoveNutrition, through LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/teresa-maioranord/ or send me an email at Teresa@LiveandLoveNutrition.com.
“May there Always be Colours on your Plate and Joy at Your Table!” by Teresa Maiorano, RD