8 Foods for Fertility This Season

drop of waterSpring is known as a time of re-birth and new life. So it’s only natural to be planning a pregnancy or thinking about your own fertility health this season.

“Spring is the fertile season. It’s a good time to consider shifting your diet to support that, and a good time to eat warming foods and sprouts,” says Acupuncturist Michelle Goebel-Angel, LAc.

To support fertility health, Goebel-Angel recommends a few key foods that focus on building blood and life force or qi, according to Chinese medicine. When applicable, eat the foods lightly cooked, warmed, or roasted. Raw or cold foods are typically considered more difficult for the body to break down, taking energy away from reproductive organs.

“You’re trying to preserve your body’s life force energy and keep the womb warm for creating new life,” Goebel-Angel says.

The exception to the rule of cooking includes nuts and seeds and sprouted foods, such as broccoli or microgreens. Because these foods themselves are new life, Chinese medicine views them as carrying a strong life force—and a higher concentration of nutrients.

Integrative Gynecologist Katherine Thurer, MD, FACOG, says focusing on what you eat is important because, “It’s a trite phrase, but we are what we eat. I tell my patients: You wouldn’t pour Diet Coke on a tomato plant and expect these gorgeous, flavorful tomatoes. The same goes for your own body.”

She adds that when trying to conceive, focusing on eating healthy can provide a level of control in a situation that feels beyond your control. “There’s so much not in your control that choosing what to put in your body is important. You and only you can do that.”

Read on to learn more about 8 foods you should incorporate in your diet this season if you’re feeling fertility-minded:

  1. Goji berries and other dark berries
    Not only are berries full of antioxidants and immune-boosters, they also contain phytonutrients that help balance the body’s hormones. Those hormones regulate ovulation and reproductive health. Just make sure to purchase organic berries because their thin skins easily absorb the pesticides used in non-organic growing methods.

  2. Beets
    This superfood helps to increase blood circulation, which keeps the uterine lining strong. They’re high in vitamin C, fiber, manganese, and folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.

  1. Leafy greens and seaweed
    Specifically dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and chard offer the most fertility benefits. They’ve been shown to increase ovulation, and are rich in folic acid, vitamin C, fiber, and more essential nutrients.

  2. Grass-fed bison or beef
    The iron in red meat is essential for red blood cells’ ability to transport oxygen throughout the bloodstream. Lack of oxygen can lead to exhaustion, and too little iron can put you at risk for anemia once you are pregnant.

  3. Eggs and poultry
    Chicken provides a lean animal protein, which is essential for reproductive health. Eggs also are full of vitamins and nutrients, such as choline, which helps the body absorb folic acid. When shopping, make sure the poultry is antibiotic-free.

  1. Seeds and nuts
    Packed with omega-3s that directly affect hormone levels, nuts and seeds help regulate insulin levels and improve ovulation because the body digests them slowly. They also contain antioxidants and boost the immune system.

  2. Green tea
    Spring is a natural time to transition from coffee to green tea. A great digestive aid and liver detoxer, it also warms and comforts your overall system. Not only that, but green tea is packed with antioxidants, and helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. To avoid too much caffeine, limit to one cup per day.

  3. Water
    Good hydration is always key to a well-oiled and well-functioning body. Try adding a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt (which contains 84 minerals) to stay hydrated. With only a pinch, your water shouldn’t taste salty—just really clean and pure.

While it’s important to incorporate these foods into your diet, Goebel-Angel also recommends avoiding certain foods. Foods to avoid include:

  • Coffee

  • Alcohol

  • Cold smoothies and juices

  • Ice cream

  • Sugar

  • Dairy

“You might consider an anti-inflammatory diet. I recommend doing a detox before starting on your fertility journey to reboot your body, clear excess toxins, and keep you in a focused state to conceive,” Goebel-Angel says. “It’s important, however, to have completed the detox before trying to conceive.”

The Raby Institute offers an annual group Spring Detox, which you can learn more about here. If you have questions about your own fertility journey, read more about our Integrative Fertility services.

"Dr. Raby is extremely intelligent and experienced in integrative medicine. She is an exceptional, highly respected physician with access to critical resources."

- Raby Institute patient