The Influence Of Diet On Fertility

Updated on August 4, 2021

There are so many factors that can affect a person’s fertility and their chances of conceiving either naturally or through IVF. A person’s fertility level may be lower than others, but it is thought possible to boost fertility with the right diet. 

For example, are carbs and fertility linked? And what of all the ancient aphrodisiacs—do they help boost fertility too? Here, we look at how strong a connection there is between food and fertility, and what changes to your diet can be made to improve your chances of getting pregnant. 

Can Changing Your Diet Improve Fertility? 

When you are trying to get pregnant, should both men and women address their diets to help aid that effort? While the medical results from trials are sometimes a little blurry, with no  clear answer, a great deal of the evidence produced does at least show that there is no harm in trying. The reason it is difficult to determine positively one way or another is that diet includes so many elements that the subsequent effects on our health are hard to measure. 

It is certain that if you change your diet to a far healthier one full of vitamins and nutrients from a variety of foods, your body functions better. Your organs will be put under less strain and, as a result, can work better which, in turn, makes you feel better. Healthy eating can therefore optimize fertility in the way that peak performance is optimum for all physical systems and functions. 

Additionally, however, there is some evidence to prove that some foods can help increase your fertility. They will often be foods that are high in the nutrients and vitamins needed to help support reproductive function. Therefore, women are often recommended to take folic acid supplements, as well as ensure they have included foods in their diet that contain B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Disagreement arises when talking about foods such as full-fat dairy products, foods high in antioxidants, and caffeine. When it comes to caffeine, drinking too much of it can be bad for a baby in utero, so it is recommended to either cut down on it substantially or cut it out entirely when you are pregnant. Doing so when trying to conceive is, therefore, a good idea. Then when you are in the situation of being pregnant but don’t yet know it, you’ve already cut out caffeine. When it comes to the foods mentioned below, including them in your diet will do you no harm, so you may as well give them a try if you are struggling to conceive. 

What Foods Can Help Boost Fertility?

If you want to add a few foods to your diet that can help boost fertility, try these. 

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are good for improving fertility. Thanks to the high amount of folate and selenium in them, they can be particularly good for women trying to get pregnant as selenium supports the follicular fluid which surrounds a woman’s eggs. Folate can help egg quality so that chances of conception are improved. 


Figs are a delicious fruit that have a high amount of iron in them which can make them a good idea to eat when trying to boost fertility. Iron can help a woman produce better quality eggs as well as facilitate ovulation. 

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are so good for the body. They’re great for anyone, but they are especially helpful when it comes to fertility because of the high amount of antioxidants and folate they contain. Antioxidants help keep a person healthy and feeling physically fit. The high amount of folate will, again, help with egg quality. 

What Foods Are Bad For Fertility? 

While the following foods are not necessarily going to negatively impact your fertility per se, they do have negative effects on your body. So why put your body under undue stress and strain trying to process them when you are also trying to become pregnant. 

Plus, they can cause you to gain weight which then puts pressure on your heart and other important organs. When the rest of your body is not functioning well, it is hard for your reproductive organs to do so as well. 

As a result, if you can cut out alcohol and sugar, your diet will become healthier, and your body should function better – which can only help support reproductive function. 


Alcohol may be fun to drink, but it wreaks havoc on your body. Your liver and kidneys, in particular, struggle to process it, causing them both to become inflamed. You will often be able to see the effects of alcohol on your skin. It makes skin look dehydrated and sallow. 

That’s because it is a diuretic as well as being high in sugar. Both of which are bad for your body. Plus, alcohol, like caffeine, can be harmful to a baby when in utero. 

By cutting down or cutting it out completely, you do not risk the chance of drinking too much when you’ve become pregnant but don’t know it yet.


Foods with a high sugar content are bad for us—whether we are trying to get pregnant or not. They can make us gain weight if we do not burn off the extra calories they provide. 

Plus, they cause our blood sugar levels to spike, and that can affect our hormonal balances. Hormonal balances need to be regulated if you want to improve your chances of conceiving. 

As a result, it can be a good idea to decrease the amount of sugar in your diet. The worst that could happen is that you become a lot healthier for it. 

Food And Fertility—Key Takeaways

The thing to remember when looking at your diet as it relates to fertility is that fertility relies on many other factors, too. As a result, it is crucial to use diet as just one of many ways to improve your chances of conception. 

Whatever else you do, be sure to work with your healthcare professional to ensure that you are following a treatment course that is right for you. 

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