Menu

7 best foods to boost fertility

Changing your diet may increase your chances of getting pregnant.

foods to boost fertility

There are plenty of rules about what you should and shouldn't eat once you're pregnant, but what if you're trying to conceive? We now know that what we eat plays a huge role in helping our bodies function properly, and the reproductive system is no different.

A woman's menstrual cycle seems pretty straightforward—when we ovulate, our bodies prepare for conception, and if we don't conceive, we get our period. But there are so many bodily functions that occur behind the scenes that are responsible for making this natural process happen, and the foods we eat can affect the level of our hormones, quality of our blood and its circulation, and how well our brain is able to send messages to the rest of our body—all things that play a role our fertility. For example, if hormones such as estrogen or progesterone are even slightly out of whack, our menstrual cycles can be irregular or even non-existent, which can make creating a baby a bit difficult.


So, whether you're just starting to think about having a family or you've been trying to conceive for some time, it's important to take a look at what you're putting in your body. A diet rich in healthy fats, organic fruits and veggies, whole grains and protein is something we should all be following, but it's even more critical when you're starting to prepare your body for building another human.

Here are seven foods that are great for helping boost your fertility:

1. Wild salmon

This cold water fish is an excellent source of omega-3, a healthy fat that acts as a building block for hormones. It's also important for brain function and can even help regulate menstrual cycles. But don't worry, if you aren't a fish eater, there are other plant-based sources of omega-3 such as flax seeds and walnuts that are great as well.


foods to boost fertility


2. Quinoa

This naturally gluten-free grain is a fertility staple for many reasons, the most important being its ability to control blood sugar levels. When you eat quinoa, or other whole grains such as brown rice or whole grain bread, it takes your body long to digest because of its high fiber and protein content, which keeps your blood sugar levels stable and your hunger at bay. When blood sugar spikes and plummets after a sugary or nutrient-sparse meal, your insulin levels get out of whack, which can affect your hormone balance. Too much fluctuation in blood sugar and insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance and even diabetes which can be problematic for fertility, pregnancy and beyond.

3. Organic, whole fat Greek yogurt

We've been on the “fat free" or 'low-fat" train for quite some time, but research is now showing that full fat dairy is the way to go to get the right balance of nutrients. Greek yogurt makes for a great breakfast or snack with protein, calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to play a role in regulating menstrual cycles and improving fertility by balancing sex hormones. Try and buy organic to avoid additional hormones and additives, which can mimic hormones in your body.

4. Spinach

Spinach and other dark, leafy greens are great sources of iron and folate. Iron is super important for your cycle, especially during menstruation, and supports ovulation and healthy egg development. It's also helpful to stock up on iron before you conceive to make sure you aren't entering pregnancy as anemic. Folate is another critical nutrient that is even more critical during the first few weeks after you conceive. Folate support brain, heart and neural tube development in baby and also helps avoid pregnancy complications.

5. Lentils

Beans, and specifically lentils, are great sources of iron, folate and fiber. They also serve as a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Lentils are great in salads, soups or even with some olive oil and spices, and beans in general can be added to almost any dish for an extra nutrient boost. Fiber is super important to keep your digestive tract functioning properly and helps with fertility by getting rid of excess hormones in the body.

6. Blueberries

Colorful fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, pomegranates and strawberries aren't just high in vitamin C, folate and fiber. They are full of antioxidants that boost fertility in both men and women. Antioxidants help to reduce damage to reproductive cells caused by environmental toxins and things called “free radicals" created in the body.

7. Oysters

While raw oysters should be avoided once you're pregnant, enjoy them now while you're trying to conceive to benefit from their high levels of zinc—a mineral that boosts fertility in women. But, if the idea of slippery oysters grosses you out, pumpkin seeds are the next best thing.

From the Shop

TTC? We've got what you need to get down to business

For more tips on trying to conceive, check out The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama!

True

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


Keep reading Show less
Shop

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play