Practical Nutritional Advice for Fertility

Stefi Kalli, Clinical Dietician-Nutritionist, BSc, MSc, PhDc

  • Strive for a healthy bodyweight. If you are overweight, a 5-10% weight reduction may promote proper ovarian function. Reduced bodyweight combined with female malnutrition cannot adequately support pregnancy and the development of a healthy placenta.
  • Avoid partially hydrogenated fatty acids or trans fat usually found in industrialized food and fast food.
  • Boost your nutrition with omega-3 fatty acids (oil-rich fish, nuts, seeds), monounsaturated fat and vitamin E through olive oil, nuts, legumes and avocado.
  • Consume mainly plant-based protein (legumes, quinoa) and less animal-derived proteins.
  • Prefer whole grains to processed cereals/grains that cause an abrupt blood sugar increase as well as hyperinsulinemia. High blood sugar levels induce greater circulation of free testosterone in blood impeding fertility.
  • Keep your folic acid and iron levels in blood in check regularly.
  • Consume daily a minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables with a goal of gradually increasing their consumption. A variety in fruits and vegetables is an equally important goal that will cover your nutrient intake needs.
  • Avoid sugary soft drinks and sodas.
  • Consume coffee and tea in a moderate manner, choose water as your main hydration source.
  • Exercising is beneficial but in a moderate manner. Excessive exercise may exert a negative effect in fertility.