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How Food Affects Female Fertility

Food affects female fertility in many ways – it’s not just your main source of energy. If you eat to get pregnant, you may increase your chances of conceiving a baby.

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If you overindulge in a certain taste, you may decrease your chances of getting pregnant. It’s not just the amount of food you eat, it’s the imbalance of certain tastes that affect your fertility levels.

“The different tastes – sweet, spicy, sour, bitter, salty, and aromatic – have certain effects when taken in moderation,” writes Randine Lewis in The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies. “However, if any of these tasted predominate, they can create imbalance in the body.”

It’s important to eat healthy portion sizes, but if you’re eating too much salt or sweet flavors, you may be affecting your chances of getting pregnant. Here are Lewis’s general dietary recommendations for women trying to conceive a baby. By the way, she describes how Chinese medicine views infertility and getting pregnant in natural ways – this book is a great read.

Food and Female Fertility

The following tips for increasing female fertility are from Lewis’ book. If you have any questions, please talk to your gynecologist or fertility doctor.

1. Eat alkaline, not acidic foods. Alkaline foods include noncitrus fruits, veggies, sprouts, cereal grasses, and herbs (black cohosh and valerian root help balance the reproductive system). Acidic foods include meat, dairy, and most grains. “Acidic cervical mucus may become hostile to sperm, which require an alkaline environment to survive,” writes Lewis in The Infertility Cure. She also suggests chewing your food thoroughly, as saliva can have an alkalizing effect on food – and she advises against washing your food down with fluids (it reduces the effect of your salivary enzymes).

2. Eat essential fatty acids. Linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid are “key in ovulation, specifically in the process of follicular rupture (releasing the egg) and collapse (allowing the development of the corpus luteum).” Essential fatty acids that could affect fertility are fish, fish oil, flaxseed oil, eggs, soy products, raw nuts and seeds, and dark green and winter veggies (cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, beets, broccoli).

3. Eat organic foods and hormone-free meats. “In natural-food circles, organic foods are touted as necessary for optimum hormonal functioning because many of the pesticides, chemicals, and hormones used to treat produce and animal products contain synthetic estrogen-like substances, which occupy estrogen receptor sites and have negative side effects on our organ and endocrine systems,” writes She also points out that practitioners of Chinese medicine have additional reasons to believe food affects fertility: “food loses its Essence and Qi as it moves away from the source.”

4. Eat cruciferous veggies. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower contain di-indolylmethane, which stimulates your body to use estrogen more efficiently. Also, read how a fertility diet increases pregnancy odds.

foods for female fertility

How Food Affects Female Fertility image by NocternitysanctuaryC via DeviantArt

5. Take natural multivitamins and minerals. “The vitamins and minerals important for reproductive health (vitamins A, C, E, B complex, zinc, and selenium) enhance fertility yet are lacking in the usual Western, highly processed diet,” says Lewis. What you eat can negatively affect female fertility – which is why vitamin supplements are beneficial.

6. Eliminate caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Get this: “nicotine ages the ovaries and makes the eggs resistant to fertilization,” writes Lewis. Ready to quit smoking? Read 5 Ways to Quit Smoking When You’re Trying to Conceive. She points out that green tea isn’t as problematic as coffee because it contains about 20% less caffeine, and it doesn’t affect female fertility the same way.

7. Avoid medications. Prescription meds can interfere with your chances of getting pregnant by blocking certain hormones and inhibiting ovulation. If you can avoid unnecessary drugs – including over-the-counter sleep aids, cold meds, pain killers, etc – then do so.

8. Live healthy! “Avoid junk food, excessive stress, too little sleep, too much exercise, or anything taxing to the immune system,” writes Lewis in The Infertility Cure. “Give your body every chance to be at its strongest and healthiest so that it can nourish your child.” If you want to increase your fertility naturally, you need to treat your body well.

If you have any thoughts about these fertility foods or eating to get pregnant, please comment below.

Are you trying to get pregnant? Fairhaven Health's Hormone Balance Bundle improves egg quality, encourages cycle regularity, and helps your body ovulate regularly.

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13 thoughts on “How Food Affects Female Fertility”

  1. I dont even know when i ovulates and my menstrations lasts for 3days and it stops and i menstrate in every 22 days….i need help pls…

  2. I don’t think eating any type of food – whether it’s chocolate or chow mien – occasionally affects fertility for females or males. It’s the long-term eating habits, such as drinking gallons of diet soda or eating bags of potato chips that have a detrimental effect on female fertility. Food is important, but it’s also good to have the occasional treat!

    If you have any questions about how food affects female fertility, talk to your doctor. Your body and lifestyle is unique, and thus you may need unique guidance on getting pregnant.

    My prayer for all women who are eating to conceive a baby is for patience, wisdom, and faith. May you take care of your body, nurture the healthy relationships in your life, and connect with God. And may you start a family when the time is right. Amen.


  3. Hi….We both are trying to conceive from last six months yet i didn’t get pregnant. Does eating chowmin(chinese food) once a while affects fertility.

  4. taking one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in one glass of water helps in restoring regular cycle.take it with a straw as it can harm tooth enamel.
    also unsulphared molasess is helpful for some people
    other then that cut down on diary products as well as whites bread flour sugar..
    eat fruits and veges

  5. hi …. we both were trying for about 3 month yet i dint get pregnant and my periods is irregular so i am taking progesterone tablet has dr prescribed yet i am not getting the blood flow much it was a little can i have the reason….

  6. I’m eating all the foods that increase female fertility. What else can I do? Do you have tips other than food for fertility? Thank you!

  7. If fertility drugs and conventional treatments available for infertility cure fail to help you conceive, you may want to consider a procedure called assisted reproductive technology (ART). ART involves a number of different fertility procedures with an aim to overcome infertility problems.

    In short, there are medical and natural infertility cure available for infertile couples. However, there are some downsides of medical infertility cures, one is that IVF and ART can be very expensive and time consuming. So, if you have not tried natural infertility cure, find out about natural infertility cures that work.

  8. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Yes, too much chocolate can affect your fertility levels. To improve fertility, it’s best to balance your diet as much as possible, with as many healthy food choices as possible. A bit of chocolate won’t hurt…but overdoing it might not be good for women trying to get pregnant!