If you or someone you know has faced infertility (or you’ve followed Chrissy Teigen, Kim Kardashian or other celebs’ struggles), you know how devastating it can be.
About 10 percent of American women have trouble getting or staying pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reasons vary, with genetics, stress, thyroid disorders, obesity and other factors playing a role.
Luckily, if you’re just thinking about conceiving or you’ve recently started trying, there are some foods you and your partner can enjoy that can help boost your odds.
Onions, garlic, shallots
Sulfur-rich foods, such as alliums like onions and garlic, can help increase your body’s level of the antioxidant glutathione, important for both male and female fertility. For guys, it can improve sperm quality and health. In women, glutathione can help boost egg quality and the health of the embryo after conception.
You may already know that it’s important to get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids when you’re pregnant. But don’t wait; preliminary research shows those omega-3s’ inflammation-reducing power may boost ovarian health, leading to better egg quality and easier fertilization.
Foods rich in folate are key for both men and women. It can boost sperm quality in men, and in women it can help regulate ovulation. Avocados are high in folate, as are chickpeas, liver, spinach, asparagus and beets.
This fall favorite, along with carrots, sweet potatoes and mangoes, is rich in carotenoids, pigments that have great antioxidant power. Research shows carotenoids can help with sperm health and motility in men, as well as aiding in hormone regulation and ovarian function in women.
Eating walnuts may improve sperm quality, shape and ability to move, according to a recent animal study. So feel free to tell your guy to “grab some nuts.”