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There are certain nutrients that do have a direct impact on fertility, and the same has been time and again proved by science as well. Since at WishABaby we care for your health and particularly your ability to conceive i.e. your fertility, we have brought here a comprehensive list of the nutrients that are essential for maintaining fertility in males as well as females.
Micronutrients or Antioxidants, Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamin D: Helps create the sex hormones in the body which regulate ovulation and sperm production by striking a hormonal balance. You can get a whole lot of Vitamin D in eggs, fatty fish, dairy, and cod liver oil but Sunlight is always the best source of Vitamin D. Simply sitting in Sun for 15 to 20 minutes daily and it will help replenish the need.
Vitamin E or ‘Tocopherol’: The name means "to bear the young". Vitamin E is responsible for sperm health and motility.It is an important antioxidant for sperm protection from external body factors, especially when it enters the female body. It is also important for ensuring its egg DNA integrity.General food sources for Vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, olives, spinach, papaya, and dark leafy greens.
CoQ10: This micronutrient is a must for energy production. It is required to keep the ovum (egg) and sperm in robust health. CoQ10 is an antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage, thereby protecting the DNA against any destruction or unwanted mutation. Some good food sources of CoQ10 are seafood and organic diet. Since these two are not easily available at all places, thus doctors generally recommend CoQ10 Ubiquinol Supplements. But since every individual is different, it is always better to ask your doctor before popping in any supplements or medicines.
Vitamin C: It not only improves hormone levels in a female body but also is found to increase fertility in women facing luteal phase defect. Vitamin C in men improves the sperm quality as well as protects it from DNA damage. It also helps reduce chances of miscarriage and chromosomal mutational issues. Citrus fruits, red peppers, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, and cranberries are some of the commonly available sources of Vitamin C. But for women having Thyroid issues, we strictly recommend to consult your dietician before you go on to consume members of the cauliflower and mustard family.
Lipoic Acid: Very important antioxidant which acts as immune shield towards female reproductive organs. In men, it improves sperm quality and motility. Though in small amounts, Lipoic acid is found in potatoes, spinach, and red meat.
Vitamin B6: Helps regulate blood sugar levels and alleviates PMS. Known to relieve symptoms of morning sickness. B6 is a great help in women with Luteal Phase Defect.Tuna, banana, turkey, liver, salmon, cod, cauliflower, mustard greens, celery, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, chard, spinach, bell peppers, and turnip greens, collard greens, and garlic are some of the common food sources of Vitamin B6.
Vitamin B12: Boosts the endometrium lining during egg fertilization, thereby reducing the chances of a miscarriage. Also improves sperm quality and production.Deficiency of Vitamin B12 causes muscular cramps, which if occur in Uterus may cause a premature delivery or miscarriage.Deficiency may even stop ovulation altogether. You can take clams, oysters, mussels, fish, crab, lobster, beef, lamb, cheese, eggs, liver, caviar (fish eggs) to add some good amount of Vitamin B12 to your diet.
Folic Acid/Folate: This is basically a healthy cell generator in simple words. Prevents formation of deformed parts of the body like congenital heart defects, cleft lips, limb defects, and urinary tract anomalies in a maturing fetus. Deficiency in folic acidlevels in body may even cause mental retardation and low birth weight in the baby. Deficiency is also found to increase homocysteine levels in the blood, in many cases, which has been found to be the major cause of miscarriage and other related complications. Major food sources of folate includeliver, lentils, pinto beans, navy beans, kidney beans, collard greens,garbanzo beans, asparagus, spinach, and black beans.
Iron: The right intake of Iron can help reduce cases of anovulation (lack of ovulation) and poor egg health.Lentils, spinach, sesame seeds, navy beans, molasses, beef, kidney beans, pumpkin seeds (raw), venison, garbanzo beans are some common food sources of iron.
Selenium: Selenium is essential to prevent miscarriages and birth defects. Low Selenium means low sperm count in men since it is an essential micronutrient that is responsible for sperm creation. You can get a good amount of selenium from snapper, cod, liver, Brazil nuts (just one nut contains nearly 100% of the RDA for selenium), halibut, tuna, salmon, sardines, shrimp, crimini mushrooms, turkey, etc.
Zinc: Works with more than 300 different enzymes in the body to ensure its proper functioning as one unit. In men, the right amount of Zinc boosts sperm levels by improving the form, function, and quality of sperms.Calf liver, oysters, beef, lamb, venison, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, turkey, green peas, shrimp are some of the common food sources of Zinc. Zinc can be damaged by excessive cooking so some foods are better consumed in their raw form. Consult your dietician over these.
Essential Fatty Acids: Omega-3 acids are must to regulate hormones in the body, increase cervical mucus, promote ovulation, and improve overall quality and strength of the uterus to carry the baby for nine months. You can help fulfil your body’s requirement of the essential fatty acids by including flax seeds, walnuts, scallops, chia seeds, salmon, sardines, halibut, shrimp, or snapper in your daily diet.
Macronutrients Essential for Maintaining Fertility
Fats: Good Cholesterol is the starting point for the production of all the hormones, and hence play an important role in the production of fertility hormones in both males and females as well. Olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed meats, fish, nuts, etc. are some of the best sources of good fat. Avoid consuming hydrogenated oils and vegetable oils cooked at high heat since they generate bad cholesterol that is linked with the blockage of bloodvessels.
Proteins: Proteins are an essential source of amino acids which are the building blocks for body cells. Ideally, your daily diet must include a mix of both animal as well as vegetable protein.
Eggs – Vitamin D, B12, and Protein: Ensure to consume farm fresh eggs as far as you can. A deep yellow yolk is a sign of being a farm fresh produce. Prefer to buy eggs from your local farmer’s market or a health food store. Avoid buying from marts and places selling multiple food items, as they generally stock up food which may be weeks old.
Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are a rich source of Omega 3, Zinc, Vitamin E, as well as essential Protein. Avoid cooking them since it kills their nutritional quotient. See to it that you store them at a cool, dry place only.
The best seeds and nuts for omega 3 are:
Walnuts – 1/4cup = 2,270mg
Flax seeds – 2 Tbs = 3,510mg
Hemp seeds – 3Tbs = 3,000mg
Chia seeds – 1Tbs = 2,300mg
The best seeds and nuts for zinc are:
Pumpkin – 1/4cup = 2.7mg
Sesame – 1/4cup =2.8mg
The best seeds and nuts for vitamin E are:
Sunflower Seeds – 1/4cup = 18.10mg
Almonds – 1/4cup = 8.97mg
The best seeds and nuts for iron are:
Pumpkin seeds – 1/4cup = 5.16mg
Sesame seeds – 1/4cup = 5.24mg