Whether you’re trying to get pregnant for the first time, or are hoping to boost your fertility ready for baby number two, eating the right foods can make all the difference. Whilst we’ve known about these 14 fertility superfoods for a while, Director of Harley Street Fertility Clinic, Dr Venkat has outed one festive fertility booster you might have overlooked – pumpkin seeds!
Not only are these little seeds beneficial to your partner’s fertility, but they are a great source of zinc, which is vital when trying to conceive as it helps in the production of mature eggs.
Dr Venkat said: ‘Believe it or not, pumpkin seeds are considered one of the most important trace minerals to date for male fertility as zinc has been known to increase semen levels and testosterone levels. Pumpkin seeds are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which stimulate blood flow to sexual organs and improve sexual function.’
There you have it – make sure you save those precious seeds when carving this year’s pumpkin (or just add some to your trolly on the next shop!) if you’re trying for a baby this autumn.
Read next: 14 fertility superfoods worth tucking in to if you’re trying to conceive
TomatoesPacked full of a nutrient called lycopene, which has been found to boost sperm count by up to 70 per cent and increase swimming speed. Two brilliant reasons to encourage your partner to include more tomatoes in his diet.
AlmondsJust a handful of almonds a day can boost your man’s sperm health. They contain vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps to protect the DNA in both sperm and eggs. Plus, it’s thought to increase sperm production.
BananasA banana should be your go-to mid-morning snack if you’re trying for a baby. Each one is packed with vitamin B6, which regulates the hormones and is needed for good egg and sperm development.
AsparagusDelicious roasted and teamed with egg or popped in a salad, is easy to add into your meals – and well worth doing, too. It’s filled with folic acid, which has been found to reduce the risk of ovulation issues.
Citrus fruitsLemons, oranges and limes – they’re all packed with Vitamin C, which improve sperm quality and stop them clumping together.
Brussel sproutsThis festive food may not be everyone’s favourite veg, but it’s packed with fertility boosting properties. They contain folic acid, great for improving fertility, and are filled with vitamins and nutrients that help women absorb balanced levels of oestrogen and help the body get rid of excess hormones. Forget the mushy products of Christmases past and griddle or roast with a little oil and garlic.
CarrotsFilled with carotenoids that give carrots their colour, this veg is ideal for boosting your conception chances. Research has found that carotenoids help sperm swim towards an egg, improving sperm performance by up to eight per cent.
OystersAs well as being famous for being an aphrodisiac, oysters are bursting with zinc, which is crucial for conception. If you’re lacking in zinc, you menstrual cycle might be interrupted – slowing down the release of your eggs.
Dark chocolateYou shouldn’t be as hard pressed to encourage your man to up his chocolate intake – but make sure it’s high in cocoa levels. It contains amino acid that has been proven to double sperm and semen volume and is also filled with antioxidants, which defend against free radicals and toxins linked to male infertility.
EggsEggs contain vitamin D, thought to help increase fertility levels in women. Plus they’re a pretty healthy breakfast option to add into your day.
MackerelThis fish should definitely be your friend when trying for a baby. It’s bursting with fatty acids that help keep your reproductive system strong and your partner’s cholesterol levels low – allowing his sperm to mature properly.
Packed with zinc – the most important mineral for male and female fertility – sunflower seeds are great for getting your body in baby-making mode.
GarlicGarlic is a great conception booster for men. It contains allicin, which improves blood flow to his sexual organs and protects sperm from damage, and selenium, an antioxidant that improves sperm quality.
ChickenProtein is really important for your egg production – and gram for gram chicken is a great source. But hold off on that Atkins diet while trying to conceive, as high-protein diets aren’t advised pre-pregnancy. Get your fill by trying out Mary Berry’s parmesan-crusted chicken recipe or rustle up a delish griddled Vietnamese chicken with salad.