By Carolina Santos-Neves
If you or someone you know has had difficulty with infertility, you know how devastating it can be. And it’s more common than you might think: About 10 percent of American women have trouble getting or staying pregnant. Reasons vary, with genetics, stress, thyroid disorders, obesity and other factors playing a role — as well as diet. If you’re thinking about conceiving, here are 6 foods that may improve fertility.
1. Cruciferous Vegetables
Sulfur-rich alliums like onions and garlic can help increase your body’s level of the antioxidant glutathione. This is 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.
3. Wild-Caught Fish
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, like avocados, are key for both men and women. They can boost sperm quality in men, and regulate ovulation in women. Chickpeas, liver, spinach, asparagus and beets are also good sources of folate.
5. Butternut Squash
Along with carrots, sweet potatoes and mangoes, butternut squash is rich in carotenoids. Research shows carotenoids can help with sperm health and motility in men, and aid 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.”