Your Fertility Diet – Get Pregnant…And Have a Health Baby
The benefits of following a fertility diet will impact generations – your healthy, nourishing (and fertility boosting) foods will give you greater health… …and it will give your children, your grandchildren, and even beyond greater health.
Doctors studying prenatal and pregnancy nutrition find that mothers eating an excellent fertility diet (and pregnancy diet) give health benefits to their children that last for generations.
In fact, it's possible that your nutrition at conception has more influence on your baby's birth weight than your pregnancy diet!
…and eat only food.
Unfortunately, what passes for “food” today is often not actually food… You need to eat food. That means the processed, sugar-loaded garbage at the grocery stores is not food. Sure, sometimes everyone is going to eat some processed food, but for the most part you need to stick to real food – the foods people have been eating for ages.
Avoid imitation and soy foods! You may have heard that eating soy can cause you to ovulate, but soy is really not good for adults and it's especially bad for babies. Eat the foods listed below and your cycles will improve – even if you're not ovulating now.
So What Should I Eat?
You need to eat a traditional fertility diet – here's an overview:
Raw, grassfed dairy foods (milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir, butter) and/OR seafood (fish and shellfish).
Organ meats one or two times a week (liver, liver pates, heart, kidney, etc. Pates are best if you're not used to the taste of organ meats. You can also have ground liver or heart – mix 1/4lb of organ meat to 1lb of ground beef for spaghetti) The organ meats should come from grassfed animals. Or you can eat shellfish or fish stocks (the stock should be made with the fish heads, too).
Eat plenty of animal protein. Stewed meats or lightly braised meats are best for you (stew or roast chicken meat, braised or stewed is fine for beef and lamb). Make sure you're getting fat with your meats. Fish and shellfish are also good (oysters, calms, crab, lobster) – try to get these in once or twice a week. They supply idodine – an idodine deficiency can cause infertility. You need lots of protein daily, and will continue to throughout pregnancy.
Eat two eggs daily, and you can add more yolks.
Lots and lots of vegetables – fresh or lightly cooked vegetables (serve with plenty of butter, homemade dips, or olive oil and vinegar dressings over your salads) are very good for you. The nutritional value is unsurpassed. Veggies should be your major source of carbs. You'll get lots of vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidents from vegetables.
Leafy greens provide you with a lot of folate (also in chicken, fish, fruit, nuts, and lentils) – which is vital to preventing birth defects. Get your folate from food because studies are showing synthetic folic acid may lead to increased asthma in children.
Fermented foods – sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, and kombucha are examples. You want foods that are lacto-fermented, meaning they're prepared in the traditional way (not with vinegar). It's getting easy to find these even in normal grocery stores. Yogurt, kefir, poi, and beet kvass are some more fermented choices. It's best to use homemade yogurt and kefir, or use one you know has been made authentically and without added sugar.
Use lots of bone broths (soup stocks). Making your own bone broth is really quite easy. These broths bring lots and lots of minerals to your diet (one of the biggest deficiencies in women trying to conceive is mineral deficiency). They gently cleanse the body and help digestion. Plus, they taste good!
You want to make sure you're getting plenty of fat in daily, too. If you're following the above recommendations you should be, but I want to emphasize just how important fat is. Research is showing that fats are vital to conception. And we know that the human brain is largely fat – that means your baby's brain is made of fat – it's vital that you don't starve your developing baby's brain! Fats like lard supply vital vitamin D.
Good healthy fats are butter, lard, coconut oil, olive oil, the fat in nuts and seeds (and nut butters), and other animal fats. Avoid “modern” fats like corn oil and soybean oil. Those are the fats that will kill you. Eat the fats that have helped produce healthy babies for ages. Avocados are another good food to get good fats. Avocados and nuts provide a lot of Vitamin E, which is vital to conception.
Use the special foods listed below along with supplementing a few fertility super foods like maca, cod liver oil (this is absolutely vital! Provides Vitamin A and D), and royal jelly.
Rami Nagel has done extensive research on proper preconception nutrition and he gives some guidelines to follow (these are specific to diet):
2+ years prior to conception: Use fermented veggies, raw veggies, and raw animal foods to help heal the body. Raw animal foods can be anything from raw milk and cheeses, to egg yolks in your smoothie, to traditional meals like steak tartare.
Eat highly nutritious foods like oysters and other shellfish, raw milk (or fermented milk products like kefir and yogurt), grassfed butter, grassfed cream, fish eggs, chicken eggs, and organ meats (like liver) from grassfed or pastured animals.
As you can see from the above recommendations, it's important to get your foods from clean sources. Luckily it's getting easier and easier to find all these foods, even if you live in an urban setting.
6 months preconception: Start focusing specifically on super nutrient-dense foods. Eat them regularly – several times throughout the week to several times daily. Here's a list of foods to focus on:
- Fish eggs (from wild fish). Fish eggs are called different names – caviar, tobiko (flying fish roe), ikura (salmon roe), and just fish eggs among others. I personally have a much, much easier time eating tobiko, because the eggs are tiny and don't taste fishy like some of the other fish eggs.
- Grassfed yellow butter (and grassfed milk, cream, and cheeses). Grassfed means the butter comes from cows eating what they're supposed to eat (yeah, it's important for them, too!) – which is grass. Cows should be on pasture, eating grass. The butter is a deep yellow color when it comes from cows eating freshly growing grass (in the Spring). I try to put deep yellow butter in the freezer when it's available so I can have it year round. It's the best butter I've ever tasted.
- Crab and lobster including the “mustard” and “tomalley.” Pick your crab and lobster from a source fishing clean waters. All shellfish are very nutritious and were tradionally revered as good foods for women trying to conceive (and for children). Shellfish have so many nutrients in them.
If you want to do a cleanse preconception doing it 6+ months preconception is best.
3 months preconception: at this point you want your diet to include the above highly nutritios foods daily. Your man should also be eating these foods. Fish milt is a good choice for him, if you can find it, and is revered as a fertility food.
These foods are loaded with nutritional value. They'll start by giving health to your body and nourishing your developing eggs. They'll nourish developing sperm. They'll increase your fertile fluid, circulation and health to your reproductive organs, and your overall fertility. All of this works together to create an incredibly healthy baby.
(NOTE: Want the Top Easy Steps to Boosting Your Fertility? Use these 5 simple, evidence-based steps to get pregnant and carry your healthy baby to term. Get them here.)
- Brewer, T. H. Metabolic Toxemia of Late Pregnancy, A Disease of Malnutrition
- Krebs, Gail Sforza and Tom Brewer The Brewer Pregnancy Hotline
- Price, Weston A Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
- Pottenger, Francis Pottenger's Cats: A Study in Nutrition
- Nagel, Rami Healing Our Children
- Planck, Nina Real Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods
- Singer, Katie Honoring Our Cycles: A Natural Family Planning Workbook
- Van de Weyer, Courtney et al., Changing Diets, changing minds: How Food Affects Mental Well-Being and Behavior
- Whitrow, Moore, Rumbold, Davies, Effect of Supplemental Folic Acid in Pregnancy on Childhood Ashtma
- The Weston A. Price Foundation's Diet for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers