- There is no specific fertility diet that will cause pregnancy, but following a well-balanced, nutritious diet can increase you and your partner’s chances of getting pregnant.
- For women, consuming plant-based protein, full-fat dairy, and monounsaturated fats is associated with a lower chance of infertility.
- For men, those who eat the most processed meat have lower sperm counts and are encourages to swap processed meat for fish and other lean protein.
- This article was medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness expert with a private practice based in New York City.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
For many people, trying to conceive can be nerve-wracking. But you can boost your chances even before you begin trying to get pregnant by eating a healthy, fertility-focused diet, says Soma Mandal, MD, an internist specializing in women’s health.
“There is no specific fertility diet or food that will magically cause you to get pregnant, but a well-balanced diet that is high in nutrition can support overall health in both men and women,” she says.
Here are some dietary pointers to follow when your goal is to boost fertility.
A realistic approach to fertility diets
Mandal points out that no diet is magic, so eating healthy can’t help with all fertility troubles.
For example, there is no specific food that will unblock blocked fallopian tubes or improve egg quality, but there are foods that will improve your health and increase your chances of conception, she says.
Arielle Spiegel, CEO and founder of Cofertility, an organization that seeks to empower people about fertility challenges, agrees.
“If you’re trying to conceive, addressing all facets of fertility with diet certainly can’t hurt. Diet is a great natural way to boost your fertility and move it in the right direction, even if you’re already taking medication or undergoing treatment,” Spiegel says.
Fertility diet for women
Mandal says that much of the information and research about nutrition and female fertility is drawn from the Nurses’ Health Study, which has been ongoing since the 1970s and led to the book “The Fertility Diet.”
The Nurses’ Health Study found that women who ate more plant protein (such as beans), full-fat dairy (including whole milk), and monounsaturated fats (like those found in olive oil and avocados), had a 66% less chance of experiencing infertility related to ovulation disorders and a 27% lower risk of infertility due to other causes.
Mandal suggests that women who are trying to conceive follow these dietary recommendations and take certain steps, including:
- Avoid trans and saturated fats. These unhealthy fats, found in processed foods and meats, can lead to heart disease and infertility, Mandal says.
- Eat monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats. These are healthy fats, like those in olive oil, nuts,…