By Dr Rita Bakshi
Infertility is a problem that has been disturbing numerous lives of modern couples. It has been considerably growing over the last few years also because of inactive lifestyle choices and unhealthy habits.
One of the very significant factors that disrupt the whole process of fertility is lifestyle or consistent unhealthy practices that a person embarks on in their daily life. While one faces reproductive problems, it is a mandate to keep a track on their lifestyle and ensure that it is healthy. One should certainly inculcate the habit of going for regular workouts and consume a balanced diet. A healthy body shall fundamentally help in speeding up the process of conceiving.
Here are some superfoods that one must accommodate in their diets to boost fertility levels:
1. Nuts and dry fruits
Dried fruits and nuts are a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Nuts have high quantities of selenium, a mineral that declines chromosomal damage in eggs. This shall definitely help in boosting fertility levels as the damage shall be reduced due to the presence of selenium. This antioxidant keeps away free radicals and enhances egg production in the human body. Always eat a handful of nuts and dry fruits with whole fat milk every morning to boost your fertility levels.
2. Green leafy vegetables
The green leafy vegetables are a rich source of folic acid and vitamin C, which helps in improving the process of ovulation. It decreases the chances of miscarriage and genetic abnormalities. Vegetables like spinach, broccoli, kale and fenugreek must be included in the diet for greater results. Incidentally, the benefits instilled in green vegetables also help in making good quality of sperms.
Garlic is a fertility boosting spice and is augmented by the presence of an antioxidant, selenium. Garlic also maintains the estrogen balance in the body and thus supports fertility. For men, it really helps in enhancing the sperm movement which increases the odds of conception when consumed regularly.
4. Dairy products
The dairy products are generally rich in calcium, good fats and vitamin D. These products are essential for improving fertility levels in couples who want to conceive faster. They nourish the body wholly and help in conceiving faster. Greek yogurt, butter and whole milk are important to consume.
Berries are actually excellent for both men and women who are trying to conceive. Raspberries and blueberries are rich in natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which help in boosting fertility levels. They are also a good source of folate and vitamin C, which can help with foetal development. Berries also help in weight loss and should essentially be incorporated in your fertility boosting diet.
Beans are packed with lean protein and iron. It is very essential to consume beans while you are trying to conceive as low levels of iron in the body leads to the production of less healthy eggs. Beans are recognised to escalate a woman’s fertility levels and even boost libido.
7. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds really help in producing matured cells. They are also a rich source of zinc that aids in increasing testosterone and semen levels. It also stimulates a proper flow of blood to all the reproductive organs that sustains and controls a strong reproductive system. Pumpkin seeds are power packed with numerous benefits and the presence of abundant nutrition, thus must be consumed by one and all.
Bananas are jam-packed with Vitamin B6 and help in the formation of a zygote by regulating the hormones involved in the ovulation process. It is also a rich source with potassium and Vitamin C as well. The inadequacy of potassium and vitamin B6 results in poor quality of eggs and sperms. Therefore, it is important for the intending parents to include bananas in breakfast.
As we all know, eggs are a very good source of vitamins which are imperative to boost fertility levels. The presence of Omega 3 is also a source that improves the level of fertility and choline reduces the risk of some birth defects. Always try and amalgamate eggs in your breakfast.
It is vital that at least 50 percent of the daily grain intake to the prospective mother comes from whole grains. Swapping animal-based proteins for plant-based ones like quinoa helps in augmenting the chances of conception. Also, this helps in stabilising blood sugar levels and even regulates the menstrual cycle. Quinoa is a rich source of fibre too.
(The writer is Senior Gynaecologist, International Fertility Centre.)