10 Tips to Improve Your Diet to Optimize Your Fertility

Dr. Carl Sgarlata

By Dr. Carl Sgarlata, ORM’s Integrative Medicine specialist.

Anyone can be challenged in having a family. Infertility does not discriminate- millions of Americans are affected regardless of their race, sexuality, religion or socioeconomic status.

I am often asked by patients, “what can I do to help become better prepared for pregnancy and improve my chances?” Diet – eating the right foods – can help improve the chances of a successful conception for both women and men.

In general terms, the Mediterranean diet that has been identified as the most “fertility friendly.” General guidelines include:

  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Remember portion control
  • Eat more whole foods
  • Aim for at least 5 servings fruits and vegetable daily
  • Hydrate with filtered water (~ ten 8-ounce cups per day)
  • Limit foods with sugars and simple starches.
  • Avoid processed foods/food products
  • Choose foods rich in monounsaturated fats – olive, canola, peanut, sesame and sunflower oils; avocados

Here are 10 tips for improving your diet to optimize your fertility.

  • Fertility OptimizationNuts nutritionally dense food! Almonds: High in fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin C, and zinc. Walnuts: High in fiber, zinc, and magnesium. A vegetarian source of omega-3’s. May improve sperm function and quality. Brazil nuts contain selenium which may improve both egg and sperm quality. (I recommend 1-2 teaspoons daily.)
  • Lentils: A plant-based source of protein, iron, zinc, and fiber. 1 cup of cooked lentils provides 90% of your daily folate requirements.
  • Cinnamon: A favorable spice, cinnamon is an antioxidant, that may help lower blood sugar. (I recommend 1/2 -1 teaspoon daily.) Could be helpful in women with insulin resistance (PCOS) to regulate periods.
  • Leafy Greens: Spinach, romaine, arugula, broccoli, and other dark leafy greens are high in folate, Vitamin B6, and iron. (I recommend 1-2 cups daily.)
  • Berries: contain natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, High in fiber, folate and vitamin C, Buy Organic! Berries can be eaten alone, placed in a smoothie or yogurt, or even added to a salad (I recommend 1 cup daily.)
  • Quinoa: A gluten-free whole grain source of carbohydrate and protein. It is rich in folate and zinc. A serving size is 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa.
  • Avocado: Avocados are nutrient dense with folate (folic acid), healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin C, K, additional B vitamins, potassium, and other minerals and fiber. (serving size is typically 1/3 of a medium avocado)
  • Carrots: Rich in beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K, and potassium. The carotenoids in carrots have been demonstrated to improve sperm motility (movement). A single carrot daily meets the daily recommended Vitamin A requirement.
  • Salmon: an excellent source of protein, omega-3’s fatty acids including DHA and Vitamin D. Consume 12 ounces a week
  • Citrus fruit: A good source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and folate. (I recommend 1 serving daily.)


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