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Top Food Tips for TTCs

Posted by Dr Fertility on

top-food-tips-for-ttcsThe wonderful midwives at have shared with us their top tips for foods to help all you TTCs conceive. Here’s what the midwives have to say:


Due to our modern busy lifestyles diets have changed compared to previous generations. These changes in diet may have affected our ability to conceive. A good starting point to using your diet to maximise your chances of getting pregnant is to ensure you are a healthy weight and to eat clean by cooking all your meals using fresh food from scratch rather than buying ready-made meals.


Most fertility experts use body mass index (BMI) to determine if you are overweight. You should aim for your BMI to be under 29 and ideally between 20-25. If your BMI is greater than 35 your chances of falling pregnant naturally or with assisted conception techniques such as IVF can fall dramatically.


A good diet should be low in refined carbohydrates for example potatoes, white bread, rice and pasta. In addition, try to aim to have two to three times the amount of vegetables compared to meat / protein to help with weight loss. If the vegetables are raw or cooked “al dente” this will ensure maximum nutrient and vitamin content.


Remember, whilst a good diet will help to maximise your chances of conception, smoking is the single most toxic lifestyle factor. Smoking has a negative impact on the quality of the eggs and sperm. However, the good news is that these effects can be reversed when smoking is stopped.


Foods to avoid

Red meat: A lot of red meat can affect implantation of an embryo due to excess ammonia production, and red meat can also increase acidity which may result in decreased sperm motility. Try to eat more white meat such as chicken or turkey and fish. If you eat chicken, try to choose organic


Sugar: Too much sugar, especially refined sugar can increase weight but may also exacerbate the symptoms of poly-cystic ovarian syndrome which is the most common cause of anovulation in ladies.


What Vitamins are important when you are trying to conceive?

Vitamin B6: Low B6 can negatively affect sperm development and contribute to irregular menstrual cycles. Bananas are rich in vitamin B6.


Vitamin B12: Low B12 can lead to low oestrogen levels and affect the lining to the womb making it more difficult for an embryo to implant.


Vitamin D: Some studies have shown low levels of vitamin D in women with fertility problems and also in women with poly-cystic ovarian syndrome. Eggs are a good source of vitamin D


Vitamin E: Low levels of vitamin E can have a negative impact on sperm motility. Vitamin E also has also been shown to protect the DNA in eggs and sperm. Almonds provide a good source of Vitamin E


Vitamin C: Low levels of vitamin C can contribute to poor sperm motility. Any citrus fruit is a good source of vitamin C


Iron: Maintaining good iron levels is important for blood flow to improve egg quality and aid ovulation. Whilst red meat is a good source of iron it is not good to eat too much. However, Tofu and green vegetables are other sources of iron.


Zinc: Can help to contribute to healthy sperm in terms of the number, shape and motility of the sperm. In women, zinc can aid oestrogen and progesterone balance. Peas provide an excellent source of zinc.


Selenium: Plays an important role in sperm quality and protects both sperm and eggs from free radicals which could damage the DNA and can increase your risk of miscarriage. Salmon is a good source of selenium.


Essential Fatty Acids: The body requires essential fatty acids and in particular omega 3 and omega 6 to aid fertility, in order allow cells to function more effectively. Oily fish such as salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel are all good sources of these essential fatty acids.


In addition, the UK Department of Health recommends for women 400mcg folic acid (vitamin B9) supplement once a day whilst you are trying to conceive and for the first twelve weeks of your pregnancy, and 10mcg of vitamin D throughout your pregnancy until your baby is born and whilst you are breastfeeding. You can buy a range of pre-conception vitamins and supplements from Dr Fertility's fertility shop


You can also buy Frieda’s Fertile Food bars which use natural ingredients that are known to help support natural fertility such as zinc, B vitamins and essential fatty acids making it the perfect pre-conception and pregnancy snack for both men and women.


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