For those of us trying to conceive, the world of nutrition advice can be a tricky one to navigate. The amount of “you HAVE to try this!” guidance from well-meaning friends and family (or, let’s face it, sometimes simply strangers on the internet) can range from the truly helpful, to “eh, it can’t hurt," to off-the-wall gimmicks with no factual basis in science or medicine.
With that being said, it’s no wonder so many folks have a difficult time sifting through these suggestions trying to ascertain the facts from the fiction. But knowing what nutrients you need to help assist the reproductive process and how to make sure you’re getting enough of them to be beneficial doesn’t have to be confusing.
Need-to-Know Fertility-Boosting Nutrients
Luckily, there are some surprising, yet tried-and-true nutrients that will not only nurture your body during every phase of life, but can help to improve fertility throughout your TTC journey. Best of all, these science-backed fertility-boosting nutrients are simple to integrate into your diet or routine.
Magnesium has a number of important qualities to help support reproductive health. This nutrient is naturally present in many foods, including green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
The fertility health advantages of magnesium that may improve your overall chances of conceiving include:
- It helps to maintain the crucial blood supply needed for the womb.
- Magnesium plays a vital role in the production of progesterone.
- Magnesium aids in decreasing both inflammation and overall body stress.
Melisa Karabeyoglu, a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Expert at Vivoo, points out an additional and vital aspect of Magnesium when trying to conceive: “Magnesium is responsible for relaxing smooth muscle spasms in our fallopian tubes, facilitating fertility.”
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Calcium plays a crucial role in many different steps of the environment in the reproductive system. These include the importance of triggering some sperm functions, such as the tail whip movement. Because Calcium deficiencies are shown to be connected to decreased fertilization rate, it’s vital to include this essential nutrient as part of a healthy diet while trying to conceive.
Melisa says, “Research demonstrates sufficient calcium intake is directly related to healthy sperm motility, spermatogenesis, capacitation, and fertilization in men. In addition to dairy foods, calcium-fortified plant milk and vegetarian sources of calcium such as beans, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds should be prioritized.”
So while milk, cheese, and yogurt may be the first things that come to mind when most folks think of calcium-rich options, foods high in calcium aren’t limited to just dairy products.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C has a world of important qualities, and there’s much more to this essential vitamin than just the immune-boosting power that we’ve all heard of. When trying to conceive, It’s important to make sure Vitamin C is a healthy part of your daily routine, even when you’re not feeling under the weather.
This mighty vitamin is essential for preventing inflammation while also decreasing the risk of oxidative stress.
It can assist in both the health and motility of sperm. In fact, studies show that a twice-a-day Vitamin C supplement regimen for up to two months increased sperm motility by 92% and sperm count by more than 100%.
Vitamin C promotes the intake of other vital nutrients and hormones, including iron absorption and progesterone production.
“Research shows that the antioxidant effects of vitamin C consumption can counteract stress-induced infertility in men, and regulate maternal reprogramming of DNA methylation. In females, studies show that optimal vitamin C levels are correlated with healthy serum levels of the main reproductive hormone: progesterone, which is instrumental in sexuality and fertility,” points out Melisa. “Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and therefore varies daily according to diet, lifestyle and genetics.”
Food sources of Vitamin C include citruses such as oranges and grapefruit, bell peppers, strawberries, and tomatoes.
Keeping a close eye on your hydration levels is always important, especially when you’re trying to conceive. Knowing the symptoms of dehydration can help you ward off the problems it can cause, but it’s best to keep hydrated all day long to avoid any issues arising in the first place.
Staying hydrated can help to prevent the reduction of cervical mucus. Keep your liquid intake up in order to help increase your cervical mucus secretion, which is vital for the transportation of sperm to the fallopian tubes. Dehydration can also lead to fertility issues such as lessened egg health and sperm quality.
Melisa notes that “hydration is important in regulating the reproductive system (sex hormones and fertility), along with energy production and metabolism. Maintaining adequate hydration can help you feel energetic and signal to your body that you are in a state of health.”
How Do I Know if My Nutrient Levels Are Optimal for Fertility?
While we can all do our best to keep a mindful daily routine and diet, it can be nerve-wracking to be uncertain if the levels of vitamins and nutrients you’re intaking are enough to give your body the wellness it requires for optimal fertility. This is where Vivoo comes in.
Vivoo is an at-home urine test that works alongside an app, giving you real-time data on your magnesium, calcium, hydration, and vitamin C levels, as well as oxidative stress, sodium, pH, ketones, and proteins. And the best part is, you’ll get personalized nutritional advice from doctors and nutritionists to help you improve your results. It’s also super easy to use: you just urinate on the strip and scan to the app to receive your results in 90 seconds.
Wellness should be accessible to all, and Vivoo makes it easy to listen to your body’s voice. Use the code FERTILITY at checkout to get 30% off your Vivoo purchase. However you decide to learn about and incorporate additional nutrients into your diet, be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning any supplement or vitamin regimens.
Lindsey Williams is a library worker and writer who lives in Arizona with her husband and their dog, Peaches. After 5 years of trying to conceive with dual-factor infertility, she is currently expecting her first child conceived with the help of IVF.