Everything you eat can increase or decrease your fertility levels – so check out these foods to avoid for increased fertility levels, especially if you’re a couple coping with infertility or trying to get pregnant!
“We know that certain pollutants and chemicals in the environment can affect both male and female fertility, and there may be many more substances that we come into contact with in everyday life that combine to form a ‘toxic cocktail’ with unknown long-term consequences,” writes Marilyn Glenville, PhD, in Natural Solutions to Infertility: How to Increase Your Chances of Conceiving and Preventing Miscarriage.
If you’ve been diagnosed with infertility, read 5 Ways to Overcome Fertility Problems.
What to Eat for Increased Fertility
Dr Glenville recommends the following tips to make sure the toxins, pesticides, and insecticides in food don’t decrease your fertility levels.
Remove plastic-covered food as soon as possible
“Avoid, as far as possible, food and drinks in plastic containers or wrapped in plastic – especially fatty foods in plastic,” writes Glenville in Natural Solutions to Infertility. “This is because xenoestrogens are lipophilic (fat-loving) and will therefore migrate into foods like cheese and chips.” Glenville recommends removing food from plastic packaging as soon as possible.
Don’t heat food in plastic
When you’re heating your lunch or leftovers for dinner, put the food in a glass dish and cover it with a paper towel (unless you don’t mind bits of food exploding everywhere!). To increase fertility levesl, avoid heating your food in plastic containers in the microwave – even if it says “microwave safe” – and don’t let plastic wrap cover your food.
Eat lots of fiber
Decrease your intake of chemicals and toxins to increase your fertility levels! According to Natural Solutions to Infertility, fiber helps prevent the absorption of chemicals into the body that can interfere with estrogen and testosterone production and functioning. For more info on how food affects your fertility levels, read How a Fertility Diet Increases Pregnancy Odds.
Wash your fruits and veggies
I confess: I don’t buy organic food and veggies, and I barely rinse them before chowing down. Luckily, I’m not struggling with female infertility (though we are a couple coping with infertility) — but I’ve learned that it is important to at least wash your produce carefully before eating it. This is an easy, inexpensive way to avoid decreasing your fertility levels!
“Washing cannot alter the amount of pesticides inherently absorbed into the vegetables,” writes Glenville. “But peeling fruit can lower the pesticide residue by about three-quarters.”
Eat lots of broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower
According to Natural Solutions to Infertility, these cruciferous veggies are high in a substance called indole-3-carbinol, which reduces the metabolism of estrogen into a toxic form. Indole-3-carbinol also speeds up the release of toxic forms of estrogen.
Eat soy for fertility
Soy products can also reduce the toxic forms of estrogen in your body. Eat tofu, soybeans, and soy nuts – but don’t go overboard! Read How Protein Increases Female Fertility for tips on getting pregnant faster by eating certain foods (but remember – there are no guarantees!).
I welcome your comments on these foods to avoid for increased fertility levels, but I can’t offer medical advice or health counseling. If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, the best thing to do is book an appointment with your gynecologist or a fertility specialist.
May you get pregnant quickly and easily, and have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
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This article has been updated for Quips and Tips for Couples Coping With Infertility, and called How to Increase Fertility Naturally.