The Fertility Diet – What I changed to have successful IVF Series. Part 3

When I found out that was infertile, I knew that something needed to change. After giving up cigarettes, drinking less and getting fitter, my diet was the next thing that got a major overhaul. A fertility diet was one of my ways of combatting infertility.I always ate well, but after finding out that we could not have kids a fertility diet became one of my main focuses. I reduced my meat consumption and followed a fertility diet that was high in fresh fruit and vegetables and low in processed foods. Eating a fertility diet helped me in two ways. I lost weight and improved the quality of my sperm. I don’t know if my fertility diet helped us to have successful IVF treatment, but it certainly cannot have harmed our chances.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FERTILITY SUPPLEMENTS THAT I TOOK TO HAVE SUCCESSFUL IVF TREATMENT

Many men find it difficult to eat a controlled balanced diet. I am an exception as I have always found it easy to eat healthily. I do struggle with portion control but the majority of the food that I eat is fuel for my active body as opposed to for pleasure. For our last IVF treatment, I knew that nutrition could have a positive impact on the results. In the weeks and months that led up to our final IVF treatment, I put a lot of effort into what I ate. In the days and weeks leading up to the treatment, my diet was impeccable.

On the day that I had to give my sperm, my friends were visiting on a stag weekend. On Friday night, I went out with them but did not drink. They knew that something was up as I was never one to say no to a drink. I lied and said that I had a small operation on Saturday morning. They didn’t buy it. I had worked so hard over the previous few months to make sure that this time our IVF treatment would be a success.  I wasn’t going to pour all my hard work down the drain.

On Saturday morning, I woke up fresh as a daisy and ready to give my sperm. My breakfast can be seen in the image below. It consisted of a whole pomegranate, several handfuls of walnuts, freshly pressed lemon and ginger juice and carton of blueberries. The fertility diet breakfast of champions. This was just the tip of the iceberg. I completely changed my diet for several months in the lead up to our successful IVF treatment.

Fertility Diet
My breakfast before IVF sperm donation. Pomegranate, Walnuts,  Ginger and lemon juice, blueberries and Walnuts.

Fertility Diet. What I ate in the lead up to our successful IVF treatment

Oysters

Fertility Diet - Oysters
Oysters. A fertility super food.

For thousands of years, Oysters have been known as an aphrodisiac. These slimy sea creatures are an acquired taste and are certainly not for everybody. They are, however, probably the best fertility food known to man. Oysters are rich in selenium which provides antioxidants that can help improve the motility and potency of sperm. Oysters are also rich in zinc. Zinc helps with sperm production and motility.

Lemon Water

Fertility Diet - Lemon Water
Fertility Diet. Drink lemon water to improve fertility!

Getting the right amount of vitamin C in your diet can have a positive effect on the quality of your sperm. Vitamin C is said to help with the morphology of the sperm and increase testosterone. You will probably tell me to go suck a lemon if I tell you to just eat raw lemons. The best way to get your daily fix of lemons it is to squeeze half a lemon into a warm water. I started doing this when we were going through our second try and it is still something that I do to this day. The benefits are endless.

Eggs

Fertility diet and eggs
Fertility diet – Eggs improve fertility

Eating eggs seems logical when it comes to boosting fertility. Eating eggs helps you to fertilise eggs. It is so simple. I love eggs and eat a boiled egg nearly every morning. Eating a soft boiled egg every day is said to help with sperm count. Soft boiling them makes it easier to absorb the essential nutrients such as amino acid.

Pomegranate

Fertility diet Pomegranate
Pomegranate are an important par of the Fertility diet

Not only does this antioxidant-rich superfood taste delicious but it can improve circulation, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce inflammation. Pomegranate also helps with male fertility by causing an increase in testosterone. A serving of pomegranate has proven to be a mood enhancer and increases sex drive for both men and women. After eating a pomegranate, not only will you be in a good mood, and ready to rock and roll,  but your sperms quality will be improved.

Tomatoes

Fertility diet and tomoatoes
Tomatoes should be part of you Fertility diet.

15 years ago I hated tomatoes. Today, I love them. Tomatoes are an easy fruit to incorporate into your diet and go really well in salads. They are rich in the antioxidant lycopene. Studies say that lycopene can increase the motility and morphology of a man’s sperm. Cooked tomatoes and tomato puree are the best ways to boost your fertility. Lycopene is enhanced by the cooking process and adding olive oil will help the body to absorb the antioxidant.

Walnuts

Fertility diet and walnuts
Walnuts for your nuts. The Fertility diet

Walnuts are good for your nuts and are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acid. This will help your sperm to mature and function properly. Click here to read a recent study by the University of California which shows the ability of walnuts to improve the quality of sperm. The improvements to the sperm include swimming ability, size, and shape. Just a handful of walnuts each day for the three months that lead up to IVF.

Ginseng

Fertility diet Ginseng
Fertility diet – Ginseng.

Known in China as the king of all herbs, Ginseng has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine as an aphrodisiac and to treat sexual dysfunction. Fresh ginseng is harder to come by in the Western Wolrd but it can be found in most Asian supermarkets. Ginseng is known to increase libido, erectile function, sperm count, motility and preservation. Of all of the foods on this list ginseng has the most properties to help with male factor infertility.

Ginger

"Fertility

Ginger is a super root. It is packed with potassium, magnesium and vitamin B-6. Ginger also contains a Manganese. Manganese helps with the release of testosterone which is vital for both a man’s sex drive and sperm production. It is also reported to regulate the woman’s menstrual cycle and thus increase the chances of conception.

Spinach

Fertility diet spinach
Spinach – The Fertility diet

Not just a source of strength for Popeye, this powerful leafy green can help your swimmers too. Spinach is filled with Folic Acid(B Vitamin family). Folic acid is essential for healthy fertility in both men and women. Getting enough spinach in your diet will help to boost your overall sperm health. The folic acid in spinach will help the sperm to reach the egg and fertilise it.

Berries

Fertility diet berries
Add berries to your fertility diet

Berries are good for both the women’s eggs and the man’s sperm. Not only are these little superfoods delicious but they are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. This helps with fighting against the ageing of the ovaries and stopping sperm from sticking together.  Vitamin C also protects the sperm from internal toxins. This helps to improve the morphology, motility and DNA of the sperm. Try to eat organic berries to avoid pesticides that can have an adverse affect on the quality of your sperm.

Pumpkin Seeds

Fertility diet - Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds. Part of the fertility diet

Zinc is one of the hardest nutrients to come by in the fertility diet. Zinc plays a huge role in sperm development and testosterone production. Pumpkin seeds are packed full of zinc which boosts male fertility. They are also packed full of other essential minerals and vitamins and should be added to your diet. When possible chose raw pumpkin seeds to get the most bang for your buck.

Beans

Fertility diet - beans
Eat beans daily as part of the Fertility diet

Beans and legumes are powerful foods that help with both male and female fertility. Just like nuts they are high in fibre which will make you feel full for longer. They are packed with B Vitamins and the amino acid L-arginine which is vital for fertility. L-arginine is very important for male fertility as it enhances the mobility and motility of sperm. Beans come in many different variations. For a fertility, boost try black-eye beans, butter beans, black beans, chick peas, white beans, peas and lentils.

Other Nuts

Fertility diet Nuts
Go Nuts for the Fertility diet

Nuts are packed full of nutrients that help fertility. For your fertility diet, you should make sure that you are eating nuts every day. Zinc deficiency is common in men that are struggling with fertility. Men need a diet rich in zinc for a healthy immune system and good sperm health. It is a powerful antioxidant the cleans toxins from the cells and helps control blood sugar levels. Zinc can be found in most nuts and seeds. Selenium is another very important nutrient in male fertility and thyroid function. Men should be making sure that they are getting enough selenium in their diet to ensure good reproductive health. One of the best sources of selenium is brazil nuts

Fertility Diet. Foods that I avoided while going through IVF.

Red Meat

Fertility diet - Red Meats
Avoid Red Meat as part of the Fertility diet

Red meat is, supposedly, the staple of a “real man’s” diet. For thousands of years, a man’s diet was built around the meat that he had hunted and gathered. Today, red meat is much easier to access in the convenience of your local supermarket. This means that today’s red blooded males eat a lot more red meat than our ancestors did. Too much red meat can mean too much ammonia in the body. For a woman, this can stop the egg implementation in the uterus.  For men, ammonia increases acidity which affects the sperm. Sperm needs an alkaline environment to perform optimally.

Processed Meat

Fertility diet processed meat
Try to avoid processed meat for during your fertility diet

It is not just red meat than might be affecting a man’s fertility. A recent Harvard Study said that men that consumed high amounts of processed meats had 23% fewer normal sperm. Another study in the journal of epidemiology found that eating processed meat is associated with lower sperm count. If you are going through IVF then try to cut out processed meats.

Refined sugar:

Fertility diet - refined sugar
Refined sugar and the Fertility diet

There is a sugar epidemic worldwide and eating a diet that is low in processed sugar is difficult. Too much sugar can lead to you being overweight which has a detrimental effect on fertility. For women, too much sugar can lead to insulin resistance. This can lead to PCOS, a condition that affects ovulation. This one of the leading causes of female infertility.

Non-organic chicken

Fertility diet - non organic chicken
Avoid non-organic chicken for theFertility diet

I have already mentioned that too much red meat or processed meat can have a negative impact on fertility. Chicken is a great alternative but make sure you buy organic. If the chicken that you eat is not organic then it will be full of antibiotics and hormones. This can negatively influence your hormone balance, health and fertility.

Gluten

Gluten and the Fertility diet
Avoid Gluten when on your Fertility diet

There are many links between celiac disease and infertility. A 2007 study published showed that exposure to gluten causes change to the small intestine. These changes cause a deficiency in Zinc, selenium, iron, vitamin D and calcium. All of these nutrients are essential for healthy reproductive organs in both men and women.

Further Reading:

http://gluten.lovetoknow.com/Gluten_Free_Diet_and_Male_Infertility

http://www.menshealth.co.uk/sex/male-fertility/how-to-boost-fertilityhttp://www.menshealth.co.uk/sex/male-fertility/foods-to-improve-your-fertility

http://www.menshealth.co.uk/sex/male-fertility/foods-to-improve-your-fertility

The primal desire to reproduce is prevalent in most people. It is frustrating that infertility is caused by mostly uncontrollable and unexplainable factors. Diet can play a huge role in infertility and it is something that you can control. Changing your diet is not easy and takes a lot of planning and discipline. If you are serious about having babies then you have to be serious about your diet and be willing to change. To eat for fertility, you must add fertility boosting foods to your diet. You also need to take out harmful processed non-organic foods.

Have you changed your diet for fertility? If so I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Please sign up for my newsletter below for more fertility updates.

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