How Does Your Diet Impact Your Fertility?

There are lots of factors that contribute to fertility, from healthy ovulation to how old you are. But one thing that you may not realize can impact your fertility is actually something you're paying attention to every single day: your diet (via Shape).

Fertility refers to how easily you're able to conceive naturally, according to the American Pregnancy Association. It's impacted by things like healthy eggs and sperm, how clear the fallopian tubes are, and how well the embryo implants in the uterus. While this is straightforward for some, about 10% to 15% of couples trying to conceive in the United States struggle with infertility.

Factors that can impair your fertility include smoking tobacco or marijuana, age, being overweight or underweight, drinking alcohol, and lack of exercise (via Mayo Clinic). Keep in mind, there are some strategies for increasing your ability to become pregnant, such as exercising more, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, and limiting caffeine. In fact, fertility specialists say that changing your diet might be helpful, too, according to Shape.

Nutrition changes to increase your fertility potential

While some factors that impact fertility can't be changed, such as your age or certain medical conditions, lifestyle changes, like altering your diet could help your fertility (via Shape). Dr. Michael Guarnaccia, a fertility specialist at Oma Fertility in New York, says that optimizing your nutrient intake is an important way to maintain your fertility. He suggests first focusing on getting the proper amount of calories. Eating too much and becoming overweight can impact your chances of conceiving, but so can eating too little and being underweight. If your weight is at either extreme, you may experience difficulties ovulating, which could prevent you from becoming pregnant.

It's recommended to eat foods rich in folic acid, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. These can all support a healthy pregnancy. You should also focus on eating complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, quinoa, and rolled oats, instead of simple carbohydrates, like pasta, potato chips, and white bread.

Managing your stress is also an important part of becoming pregnant, so don't let consuming the "right" or "wrong" foods stress you out too much (via Healthline). While trying to conceive can naturally be a stressful process, taking time to relax and be mindful can increase your chances of becoming pregnant.