Nutrients that interfere with fertility

Is there a diet that promotes conception? It seems so.

The right physical activity, proper nutrition and the banning of smoking, alcohol and harmful substances, allow not only to decrease the chances of problems in pregnancy but at the same time, also to increase the chances of conception.

A study published in the Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine and conducted on 367 couples who had previously suffered from primary and secondary infertility, highlighted the importance of proper nutrition and its implications on fertility.

The participating females had an average age of 34 years and the males 36.

The study lasted 3 years, couples were subjected to a precise food program and 89% of them managed to conceive a child and give birth to healthy children. There was no miscarriage, all babies were born normal weight and healthy.

Couples who have changed their diet have managed to have a baby

Of the 204 couples with fertility problems, 86% carried the pregnancy to term. If you consider that assisted reproduction techniques have an average success rate of 25% (1 in 4), you can well understand the importance of the study: a lifestyle care directly affects the outcome of pregnancy.

What are the useful changes to make to the diet?

Let’s see them together. Nowadays it is increasingly complicated to take essential nutrients due to foods that are increasingly processed and impregnated with toxic substances (such as pesticides). However, everything we eat and drink can affect our fertility and this should not be underestimated.

To understand if there are particular deficiencies you could do some particular analysis, such as the examination of the mineral composition of the hair for example. In any case, you can start simply by starting to split between “good” and “bad” foods.

Following a healthy pre-conception diet simply means introducing all the nutrients to conceive and grow the baby well while eliminating all those substances that interfere with this process.

Substances that interfere with fertility

Among the various substances that interfere with fertility are: caffeine, cigarette smoke, alcohol, drugs, mercury, lead, pesticides and herbicides.

The pre-conception diet (and diet does not mean a weight loss program!) In addition to banning these substances, it is proposed to provide the couple with all the substances necessary for conception and a healthy pregnancy.

The best would be to have a vegetable garden where tomatoes, carrots, fruit … But it is not possible nowadays, especially for those who live in the city.

The organic products you buy are fine but only if they are actually organic. Always pay attention to what you buy, I recommend! Quality first! Your health is at stake.

It takes about 3 months of proper nutrition for the couple to begin to feel the first benefits of the new lifestyle.

The pre-conception diet consists of the right amount of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fibers, lots of (pure) water. 

Do you want to have the recipes and scientific notions on why certain foods promote fertility?

You can find them in our book: Fertility Recipes


Carbohydrates are divided into simple (sugars) and complex (starches and fibers), both healthy and important.

When simple sugars are processed into cookies, sweets, fizzy drinks or candy, they lose any minerals and vitamins , they just raise blood sugar levels without providing any needed nutrients.

Better therefore to leave out sources such as refined sugar, white flour, white bread and pasta, sweets, biscuits, carbonated drinks, jams and jellies, and better to opt for equal whole foods and cereals. And obviously excellent sources of carbohydrates are fruit, potatoes, legumes and fresh or steamed vegetables.


Proteins play a very important role in our body as essential “building blocks” of muscles, enzymes, organs, tissues, hair…

Proteins are chains of amino acids that also play a very important role in fertility.

Spermidine and spermidine play a vital role in sperm synthesis, and males with low sperm counts also have low levels of both. Spermidine and spermidine levels can be restored with the right foods and supplements. Protein sources such as cakes and pre-packaged snacks, sausages, salami, hamburgers, frankfurters, pates and processed meats should be avoided.


When you hear the word fat you think alas too often in the negative. There are fats and fats +. In fact, some of these are essential for fertility. The “good” fats are represented by unsaturated fats, which are found in fish, oils, nuts, seeds and contain essential fatty acids which cannot be synthesized by the body and must be introduced in the diet. Ok therefore to omega 3-6 9 while the sources of “bad” fats to avoid are represented by: red meat, lamb, pork, cream, fatty cheeses, palm oil, margarines, pies, biscuits, cakes, french fries, foods fried food in general, ice cream and cereal bars.


Fibers play a key role in keeping the digestive system healthy and eliminating toxic substances from the body.

The fibers also help relieve the symptoms of certain conditions such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which are associated with high levels of estrogen in the body. Fiber works by preventing estrogen from being reabsorbed into the blood.


Always make sure that the water is of good quality and free of pollutants. At least 8 glasses of water per day are recommended.

Vitamins and minerals

Some vitamins (e.g. folic acid) and minerals are very important before, during and after pregnancy.

Here is a diagram regarding the recommended amounts of the main nutrients:

Vitamin A: essential for the production of female sex hormones. Do not take Vitamin A supplements during pregnancy or when you are about to conceive. High rates of retinol are associated with possible fetal abnormalities.

B vitamins : it is a group of vitamins very important for fertility and their absorption is inhibited by smoking, alcohol, stress and antibiotics. The hypothalamus that releases sex hormones is very sensitive to vitamin B deficiencies.

  • Vitamin B1: deficiency of this vitamin is associated with the absence of ovulation or failure to implant the egg.
  • Vitamin B2 : its deficiency is associated with infertility, miscarriage and low birth weight. B2 to eliminate hormones that have completed their task and which could, if accumulated, interfere in communications for the production of new hormones, thus causing dysfunctions.
  • Vitamin B5: important at the time of conception for the development of the fetus.
  • Vitamin B6: important for the formation of female sex hormones.
  • Vitamin B12: necessary for the synthesis of DNA and RNA.
  • Folates: Recommended intake levels for pregnant women 400 mcg/day,

fluid: iron deficiency can negatively affect fertility, while its adequate presence can help prevent miscarriages.
: a selenium deficiency is associated with infertility and risk of miscarriage : deficiency is associated with low birth weight and premature births
: as in the case of selenium, its deficiency is associated with infertility and risk of miscarriage
Manganese: according to some studies, a manganese deficiency is associated with dysfunctions in ovulation and inhibits the synthesis of sex hormones.
Co-Enzyme Q10: its supplementation can increase fertilization rates in IVF practices.

To understand where these nutrients are contained, I recommend using this database of the National Research Institute for Food and Nutrition (INRAN).

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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