Reader Question: Foods for Fertility?
What are the best dietary choices to maximize chances for conception in both men and women?
According to an article in Nutrition & Food Science the strongest factor affecting fertility is being either overweight or underweight. You can use a BMI (body mass index) calculator to check if you are overweight or underweight. The results may surprise you!
The article also states that testosterone and body weight have an inverse relationship in men. In other words, the more you weigh, the less testosterone you produce. So maintaining a healthy weight is particularly important for men. In terms of nutrients both zinc and folate have been identified as increasing fertility for both men and women. Zinc is particularly important for men. Click here for the top ten foods high in zinc, and here, for a list of foods high in folate (vitamin B9).
Are there any other factors?
A recent study on the effects of dairy and fertility published in the journal of Human Reproduction found that women who consume low fat dairy products (skim milk, low fat cheese, etc) are twice as likely to experience infertility compared to those who consume full fat products.
One, however, should not start eating butter in the hopes of increasing fertility and should still approach high fat dairy foods with caution. Instead, one can look to consume a diet higher in healthier fats such as seeds and nuts.