Everyone has a different opinion on what constitutes a balanced, wholesome, and healthy diet. But when it comes to nutrition and fertility, studies have shown that following a Mediterranean diet may enhance your chances of conceiving .
If you're a fan of avocado, eat lots of fruit and veg, and prefer to stick to fish, chicken, or legumes — then you're going to be one happy person.
Making some changes to your diet is one thing, but when you're starting to try to conceive, it's even better to know exactly what nutrients and vitamins could help with a healthy pregnancy.
Let's break these down for you and explore all the must-haves for an optimal fertility diet.
Folate (Vitamin B9)
Find it in... dark leafy greens, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, eggs, and liver.
Folate is a natural form of vitamin B9 and it plays an important role in conception and pregnancy.
A study from 2015 analysed the impact of folate on reproductive health among 232 women and found that higher consumption of this nutrient led to higher rates of implantation, clinical pregnancy, and live birth .
For women, it's recommended to have at least 400 mg of folate a day — and no more than 1,000 mg — whether that is through folate-rich foods or, for those trying to conceive, prenatal vitamins.
Find it in... spinach, red meat, chicken, fish, lentils, eggs, and fortified whole grains.
Iron is a mineral that is essential for our bodies development. It's especially important for pregnancy as your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from your lungs to other parts of your body, including a developing embryo.
When you get pregnant, your body produces more blood to carry nutrients to your baby, with this increase being greatest in the first 12 weeks.
If you struggle to meet your daily iron requirements, Kin's Iron Supplement can help. Designed to support you from conception to pregnancy and postpartum, this supplement helps to relieve tiredness, support healthy iron levels and maintain energy production without constipation and nausea.
Find it in... salmon, tuna, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts, and extra virgin olive oil.
Omega-3s are healthy fats that play a role in supporting the baby's foetal brain and eye development.
Omega-3 is also kind to the developing baby's neuronal cell membranes. It's basically feeding the baby's potential to hit all the fundamental milestones — their intellectual, emotional, communication, and motor skills — when they're earth side.
The problem is, 80% of Australians do not meet the recommended daily intake of Omega-3 — and that's where Kin's Omega-3 DHA can come in handy .
Our Omega-3 DHA is specially formulated to maintain cardiovascular health and healthy cholesterol while supporting cognitive function and mental wellbeing.
Calcium and vitamin D
Find them in... calcium in dark leafy greens, dairy, edamame, and almonds, and vitamin D in salmon, tuna, fortified milk (dairy or plant-based), and cod liver oil.
These guys come as a duo. Calcium is the mineral used to build your bones and teeth, and your baby's too. The thing with calcium is, you can take as much of it as you want, but your body won't be able to absorb it properly without vitamin D.
Calcium also plays a crucial role in fertilisation and the early stages of embryo development .
Vitamin D, on the other hand, can help improve symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis, 2 conditions that can negatively impact female fertility .
Find it in... dairy products, seafood, seaweed, eggs, bread, and iodised salt.
Iodine helps to ensure healthy brain development and the growth of your baby's organs.
If you lead a generally healthy diet, you probably get iodine from the foods we mentioned above. But another tip, especially when planning for a baby, is to start taking a prenatal vitamin, ideally 3 months before you start trying to get pregnant.
Many people don't realise that they're pregnant until they're well into their first trimester, but by then, a great deal of foetal development has already taken place.
If you start taking a daily prenatal vitamin before pregnancy, along with a healthy fertility diet, you can make sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs.
Find it in... lean meats, tofu, edamame, eggs, low-fat dairy products, and beans.
Whether you're trying to get pregnant or not, we're sure you've heard it before: (high-quality) protein is an essential nutrient for overall health.
So, it comes as no surprise that it is another must-have in your fertility diet.
The main thing to keep in mind here is that some sources of protein are better than others at improving your chances of getting pregnant. Some studies, for example, suggest that replacing animal protein with vegetable protein can help reduce ovulatory infertility .
If you're unsure where you should get your protein from, ask your doctor for advice.
What about male fertility?
If you're trying to conceive with a partner, it's crucial that he does his part to improve your chances of falling pregnant. After all, it does take two to tango.
There are a few things that can negatively impact male fertility, including trans fats, processed meats and excessive alcohol consumption.
As for what to include in a fertility diet for him, vitamin C, zinc and folate have all been linked to better sperm health and count . Vitamin A can help maintain the male genital tract and support sperm development, and selenium can help improve sperm motility , .
Kin's Male Prenatal promotes testosterone health, supports sperm health and motility and helps maintain energy levels.
Getting pregnant should be an exciting time, but it can often be confusing and stressful. Developed by fertility specialists, our Conception Checklist is tailored to your stage and lifestyle, and is designed to take the stress out of planning for a family, so that you can enjoy the journey rather than get lost in it.
When should you seek help from doctors?
The right fertility diet may help some conceive naturally, but others might still struggle. If you fall into any of the below, it may be time to speak to your doctor.
- You are 35 years old or younger and have been trying to get pregnant naturally for over a year without success
- You are over 35 years old and have been trying to get pregnant naturally for over 6 months without success
- You are concerned about your fertility because of things like irregular periods or a potential STI
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