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Superfoods, Supplements and Fertility

Kale. Whole grains. Beets. Berries. While superfoods can’t guarantee a successful IVF cycle, they can help with sperm and egg quality and overall fertility health.

“Food sources that are high in antioxidants such as berries, sources of monounsaturated fats like avocado and nuts, using olive oil for cooking and salads, and supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids are diet recommendations for both women and men,” says Dr. Brooke Friedman, a fertility doctor with Reproductive Partners UCSD Regional Fertility Center. “We recommend against diets that are high in animal protein, in particular red meat, and avoiding foods with trans fats like fried foods and donuts,” she adds. Friedman she also recommends both men and women take a multi-vitamin supplement – hers should be a prenatal vitamin.

“We know that things that are good for the heart are good for the sperm,” Friedman says. As a result, a Mediterranean diet, one with less animal protein and less trans fats can play a role in male fertility. Friedman recommends increasing antioxidants like Vitamin C for men over the age of 40 or with any abnormal semen analysis and increasing Omega 3 supplementation particularly for men with low morphology. Omega 3 fatty acids help maximize blood flow to the testicles, and have been shown to improve sperm quality.

Omega 3 supplements are beneficial for women too, by helping to maximize blood flow to reproductive organs and may help with embryo implantation. For women over the age of 37, Friedman recommends increasing intake of antioxidants like Vitamin C, to help with egg quality, and considering the addition of CoQ10.


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