What are the foods that can affect fertility?
Five important nutrients you should include in your diet
1. Folic acid
Helps optimal sperm formation in men, and helps prevent neural tube defects for women who are pregnant.
- Kidney beans
- Orange juice
- Romaine lettuce
Zinc is a major player in growth, sexual maturation and reproduction. Decreased serum testosterone has also been linked to low zinc levels. Zinc also helps maintain the prostate and testicular tissue.
- Lean ground beef
- Dark chicken meat
- Baked beans
3. Vitamin C
Not a fan of orange juice? Here are some less obvious foods that contain Vitamin C:
- Tomato sauce
- Red and yellow peppers
4. Chaste berry supplement
Chaste berry supplement is a well-known herb that has been used for centuries in Europe to help women with hormonal imbalances. This herb acts on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands by increasing luteinizing hormone (LH) and mildly inhibiting the increase of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone).
The result is a shift in the ratio of estrogen to progesterone in favour of progesterone. Several studies have shown promising results. The supplement should be taken once daily in the morning. Always ask your physician before you start taking any supplement.
5. Unsaturated fats
Fat intake and weight gain are essential for women to reach optimal fertility. Here are some foods that are high in unsaturated fats:
- Olive oil
- Salad dressing
The Ultimate ‘Fertility Feast’
Entrée: Penne with “extra lean” ground meat sauce and asparagus with vinaigrette
Dessert: Sliced orange, grapefruit and strawberries with a handful of sunflower seeds or plain almonds.
Fertility Threats to Avoid
- Avoid foods that contain heavy metals and toxic trace elements such as mercury, including shark, tilefish, swordfish, tuna steaks and farm-bred salmon.
- Limit or avoid alcohol intake, which can cause sperm damage.
- Consider avoiding caffeine. Studies have speculated that excessive caffeine may delay conception. Drink no more than 1 to 2 cups of coffee each day.
- Heaty (USNA) foods
- Oily foods
- Junk foods
- Artificial foods
Why Certain Foods?
In olden times a difference was made between materials that improved fertility versus one that simply better sex drives. One of the key issues in early times was nutrition. Food was not as readily available as it is today. Malnutrition creates a loss of libido as well as decreases fertility rates. Constituents that “by nature” represent “seed or semen” such as bulbs, eggs, snails” were considered usually to have sexual powers.
Other types of foods were considered inspiring by their “physical alikeness to genitalia” It’s important to realize these food substances were recognized (documented) by the likes of Pliny and Discords (ancient Greeks) first century AD and later by Paul of Aegina from the seventh century. Later more credibility was given to foods that “content nutritional satisfaction”.
Other foods considered to have these aphrodisiac potentials were derivative from tradition.
Aphrodite, the love goddess was said to deliberate “sparrows” blessed because of their “amorous nature” and for that motive was included in several aphrodisiac beverages.
There was not always agreed upon what foods were actually aphrodisiacs (increases libido) or “anaphrodisiacs” (decrease potency).
But the ancient list included
- Gladiolus root
- Orchid bulbs
- Pistachio nuts
- Rocket (arugula)
- Sea fennel
- Skink flesh (a type of lizard)
- River snails
The ancients suggested you steer clear of dill, lentil, lettuce, watercress, rue, and water lily.
A very popular aphrodisiac with many culinary uses. It has been used as an aphrodisiac since the Greeks and the Romans, who believed aniseed, had special powers. Sucking on the seeds is said to increases your desire.
Given its phallic shape, asparagus is frequently enjoyed as an aphrodisiac food. Feed your lover boiled or steamed spears for a sensuous experience. The Vegetarian Society suggests “eating asparagus for three days for the most powerful effect”.
A symbol of fertility throughout the ages the aroma is thought to induce passion in a female. Try serving Marzipan (almond paste) in the shapes of fruits for a special after-dinner treat.
Arugula or “rocket” seed has been documented as an aphrodisiac since the first century A.D. This ingredient was added to grated orchid bulbs and parsnips and also combined with pine nuts and pistachios. Arugula greens are frequently used in salads and pasta.
Any Indian dried, powdered herb used as a sexual stimulant in Ayurvedic medicine. The herb has a very strong, garlic flavour.
A Chinese herb that is known for stimulating the immune function, it also significantly increases sperm motility– by 150 per cent.
The Aztecs called the avocado tree “Ahuacuatl which translated means “testicle tree”. The ancients thought the fruit hanging in pairs on the tree resembled the male’s testicles. This is a delicious fruit with a sensuous texture. Serve in slices with a small amount of Balsamic vinegar and freshly ground pepper.
Contains high amounts of beta carotene and trace minerals for glandular nutrition and its chlorophyll content helps purify the blood.
The banana flower has a marvellous phallic shape and is partially responsible for the popularity of the banana as an aphrodisiac food. An Islamic myth tells the tale that after Adam and Eve succumbed to the “Apple” they started covering their “nudity” with banana leaves rather than fig. From a more practical standpoint banana is rich in potassium and B vitamins, necessities for sex hormone production.
Basil (sweet basil)
It stimulates the sex drive and boosts fertility. It is also said to produce a general sense of well being for body and mind.
Considered a complete food, is produced by the male part of flowering plants. The Hunzas of the Himalayan Mountains and the Caucasus people of Russia, both renowned for their longevity, eat above-average quantities of bee pollen and raw honey. Athletes and health conscious individuals consume bee pollen as an energy-promoting food supplement.
It contains all the necessary vitamins and ten essential amino acids necessary for a complete protein as well as enzymes and coenzymes. It has been shown to improve sperm production in men and menstrual problems in women. But if you have plant or pollen allergies, you might be allergic to bee pollen, while it has helped some people overcome allergies.
Broccoli Rabe (And Other Mustard Greens)
The ground seeds of various plants in the brassica family were believed to increase virility. In the case of broccoli rabe, it’s more likely a myth created to get people to eat this bitter vegetable.
A hormone balancing herb used extensively by Native Americans Research in Europe has shown that it contains triterpenes and flavonoids that suppress the secretion of luteinizing hormone and has mild but significant estrogenic effects. The herb should be taken in small amounts per dosage recommended on the label — excess consumption may cause headaches.
A hormone balancer used for general female problems.
The Aztecs referred to chocolate “nourishment of the Gods”. Chocolate contains chemicals thought to affect neurotransmitters in the brain and a related substance to caffeine called Theobromine. Chocolate contains more antioxidant (cancer preventing enzymes) than does red wine. The secret for passion is to combine the two.
Try a glass of Cabernet with a bit of dark chocolate for a sensuous treat.
Another good reason to eat carrots–believed to be a stimulant to the male. The phallus-shaped carrot has been associated with stimulation since ancient times and was used by early Middle Eastern royalty to aid seduction. It contains High vitamins and beta-carotene.
Chaste Tree Berry
Documented ability to raise progesterone levels, lower estrogen levels and lowered progesterone levels in the second half of a woman’s cycle are a common cause of miscarriage and infertility. Researchers in Germany have discovered that chaste tree influences these hormones by acting on the pituitary gland.
Caffeine is a well-known stimulant but remember too much and it becomes a depressant. Serve small amounts of rich dark coffee in special little demitasse cups Coffee stimulates both the body and the mind to partake of a little in preparation for an “all-nighter”.
Coriander (Cilantro seed)
The book of The Arabian nights tells a tale of a merchant who had been childless for 40 years and but was cured by a concoction that included coriander. That book is over 1000 years old so the history of coriander as an aphrodisiac dates back far into history. Cilantro was also known to be used as an “appetite” stimulant.
Traditionally recommended by herbalists for increasing fertility and sexual desire in both males and females although no scientific studies have been conducted, there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence in its favour.
Used for thousands of years by Chinese women for menstrual regularity and to nourish and balance the reproductive system. Modern science has verified that Dong Quai is rich in vitamin E, cobalt and iron, though it takes months of regular use to benefit.
Evening Primrose Oil
Contains essential fatty acids (EFAs) which are crucial to proper functioning of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which induce ovulation and some types of infertility may be linked to EFA deficiency and subsequent prostaglandin imbalance which could prevent ovulation.
Also known as the helonias root, a uterine tonic and diuretic, for menstrual or ovarian pain and dysfunction. Of all the herbs, the false unicorn has one of the strongest reputations for promoting fertility.
In the 1930s fennel was found to be a source of natural plant estrogens. Use of fennel as an aphrodisiac dates back to the Egyptian times where it was used as “libido enhancement”
An open fig is thought to emulate the female sex organs and traditionally thought of as sexual stimulant. A man breaking open a fig and eating it in front of his lover is a powerful erotic act. Serve fresh Black Mission figs in a cool bowl of water as it is done in Italy and be sure to eat with your fingers!
The ‘heat’ in garlic is supposed to stimulation sexual desires. Garlic has been used for eras to medication everything from the common cold to heart diseases. This is a good time for reasonableness.
Ginger root raw, cooked or crystallized is a stimulant to the circulatory system. Perhaps a stir-fry with freshly grated ginger can stir something spicy up in the bedroom later.
Many medicines in Egyptian times were based on honey including cures for sterility and impotence. Medieval seducers plied their partners with Mead, a fermented drink made from honey. Lovers on their “Honeymoon” drank mead and it was thought to s “sweeten” the marriage.
Rich in trace minerals, used as a blood purifier and contains significant amounts of iodine, calcium and potassium. The iodine content is helpful for those with first-generation hypothyroid (underactive thyroid–a common cause of miscarriage) and elevated prolactin levels.
The Chinese have used liquorice for medicinal purposes since ancient times. The essence of the Glycyrrhizin glabra (liquorice) plan, glycyrrhizin, is 50 times sweeter than sugar. Chewing on bits of liquorice root is said to enhance love and lust. It is particularly stimulating to a woman.
The green pigment found in plants is an excellent cleanser for the liver, regulates menstruation and builds blood.
Believed to stimulate the sexual glands and increase desire. Prepare a tenderloin roast (filet mignon) for two with a mustard and peppercorn sauce.
Nutmeg was highly prized by Chinese women as an aphrodisiac. In quantity, nutmeg can produce a hallucinogenic effect. A light sprinkling of the spice in a warm pumpkin soup can help spice up your evening.
Oysters were documented as an aphrodisiac food by the Romans in the second century A.D as mentioned in a satire by Juvenal. He described the wanton ways of women after ingesting wine and eating “giant oysters”. An additional hypothesis is that the oyster resembles the “female” genitals. In reality, oysters are a very nutritious and high in protein.
Rich in zinc, a nutrient vital to healthy functioning of the male reproductive system and more zinc is found in the male reproductive fluid than anywhere else in the male body. Pumpkin seed supplements can be purchased in powdered capsule form at most health food stores.
Zinc is a key mineral necessary to maintain male potency and pine nuts are rich in zinc. Pine nuts have been used to stimulate the libido as far back as medieval times. Serve pine nut cookies with a dark espresso for a stimulating dessert.
Rich in vitamin C and is used in the homeopathic treatment for impotence. Add a spear to a sweet Rum drink for a tasty prelude to an evening of passion.
Raspberries and Strawberries
“Perfect foods for hand feeding your lover” Both invite love and are described in erotic literature as fruit nipples” Both are high in vitamin C and make a sweet light dessert.
Red Raspberry Leaves
Contain significant amounts of vitamin C, A, B-complex, D, and E, iron, Phosphorous, manganese and calcium and has been used for centuries by Chinese women to nourish the reproductive system.
Widely used commercially as a flavoring and foaming agent in food, it is also considered both a male and female tonic and, in New Guinea and Central America, as an aphrodisiac. It is believed to contain hormones testosterone, progesterone and cortin and it has been used to produce a synthetic of testosterone.
The berries were traditionally used by Native Americans as a male tonic, aphrodisiac and general gland nourishes. In clinical trials, the fruit was shown to reduce symptoms of BPH, enlarged prostate in men, and is shown to have estrogenic compounds.
A general tonic that some believe has aphrodisiac properties that enhance and increase male sexual function, through the production of LH which stimulates testosterone production.
The Greeks and the Romans considered the rare Truffle to be an aphrodisiac. The musky scent is said to stimulate and sensitize the skin to touch.
The scent and fflavourof vanilla is believed to increase lust. According to the Australian Orchid Society, “Old Totonac lore has it that Xanat, the young daughter of the Mexican fertility goddess, loved a Totonac youth. Unable to marry him due to her divine nature, she transformed herself into a plant that would provide pleasure and happiness.” Fill tall Champagne glasses to the rim and add a vanilla bean for a heady, bubbly treat.
A glass or two of wine can greatly enhance a romantic interlude. Wine relaxes and helps to stimulate our senses. Drinking wine can be an erotic experience. Let your eyes feast on the color of the liquid. Caress the glass; savor the taste on your lips. Do remember that excessive alcohol will make you too drowsy for the after-dinner romance. A moderate amount of wine has been said to “arouse” but much more than that amount with have the reverse affect.
A professor at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria conducted studies on the native Yoruba tribe who have one of the highest rates of TWIN BIRTHS in the world. The professor found that their diet contained large amounts of yams. Science is beginning to support the long-held belief that yams enhance fertility due to containing steroid-like compounds which are easily converted into sex hormones in the body, triggering the release of FSH which stimulates the ovaries to release an egg.
High yam consumption appears to stimulate the release of more than one egg each month. Wild yam is widely available in a cream form, often marketed as a “progesterone cream.” It is rubbed on the abdomen. Thighs and upper arm areas where it is readily absorbed, and is also available in capsule form, sometimes combined with other herbs to regulate hormone function.
Vitamins and Minerals
Is apparently linked to the female reproductive process. Birth control pills almost completely eliminate this vitamin from the body. In a study of 14 women, aged 23 to 31, who had unexplained infertility and who were unable to become pregnant for from 18 months to 7 years, 11 of the 14 became pregnant within 6 months, the 8th woman became pregnant after 11 months, and the other 2 dropped out of the study–one after adopting a child and the other due to divorcing.
Progesterone concentrations increased in 5 of the 7 women whose hormone levels were measured. A proper balance of estrogen and progesterone is essential for pregnancy to occur. Vitamin B6 deficiency leads to a buildup of estrogen in the system and the ovary responds by shutting down its progesterone production, which can lead to miscarriage and luteal phase defects. B6 is also effective as bromocriptine in lowering prolactin–the hormone which prepares the mother for breastfeeding; too much prolactin can prevent pregnancy.
Can improve sperm’s ability to impregnate and has been shown to prevent miscarriages by developing a healthier uterine wall and increasing the health of the placenta. Vitamin E is plentiful in a diet of whole grains, seeds and nuts–especially raw almonds. About 92% of vitamin E is lost in refined flour and is also lost in refined rice and roasted almonds.
A diet rich in wheat germ, a teaspoon of wheat germ oil (vitamin E) 3 times daily, raw foods with fruits and vegetable juices, plenty of water cleansing herbs and a teaspoon of false unicorn twice daily is said to help many infertile couples conceive within a year.
Will normalize deficient sperm counts and sperm motility, Even marginal zinc deficiency can cause sperm counts to drop below the point of technical sterility.
An anti-oxidant, 1,000 mg daily reversed infertility in men by curing sperm clumping and increasing sperm motility, viability and number. Men deficient in vitamin C showed increased levels of DNA damage.
Vitamin-like substances found in the white part of fruit rinds and in broccoli, parsley, potatoes, cabbage and green peppers, play a role in the formation of healthy blood vessels important as the uterus prepares for implantation. If the uterine lining is weak, spontaneous abortion will occur.
In the 1950s researchers at Cornell University studied 100 pregnant women with histories of spontaneous abortion and 91 carried their babies to full term by taking large doses of bioflavonoids with vitamin C. The bioflavonoid called flavone corrected uterine bleeding within 3 menstrual cycles in cases not caused by physical damage to reproductive organs.
Found in whole grains, are often called the “stress vitamins” because they play a central role in healthy nervous system function and hormone balance. In some cases, stress and tension can hinder conception. A deficiency of B vitamins can create an excess of estrogen and excess estrogen can further deplete B vitamins. B vitamins are lost to refined sugar, stress, alcohol and other drugs.
Besides being recognized for its connection to healthy vision, especially night vision, scientists have linked it to healthy sperm production, but megadoses (of more than 25,000 IU daily without consulting a health professional) can be toxic since, unlike water-soluble vitamins, which the body can eliminate when it has more than it needs, vitamin A is stored in the liver and can build up to the point of toxicity.
Because of this, the best source of vitamin A is its precursor, beta carotene, a substance from which the body can manufacture vitamin A as needed. Beta carotene can be purchased as a supplement from fish liver oils at a health food store and is found in asparagus, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, spinach and carrots.
Found in whole grains and eggs. Studies have shown that populations living in areas with soil rich in selenium have higher birth rates and also indicate a connection between selenium and sperm production. At least half of the selenium in the male body is found in semen.
This trace mineral may be as important as zinc for healthy sperm. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 50 to 200 micrograms. Symptoms of selenium deficiency include cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, cataracts, dermatitis, sexual dysfunction and infertility