Get lots of full-fat dairy
Low-fat dairy products such as milk and yogurt are connected with infertility, but a high-fat diet lowers the risk of infertility, according to a 2007 Harvard School of Public Health/Brigham and Women’s Hospital Nurses’ Health Study surveying more than 18,000 nurses. (The World Health Organization defines infertility as failing to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse.) To make low-fat dairy products, the dairy is spun at high speeds, separating the watery and fat components. “The watery components draw more male hormones and the fatty draw more female hormones,” says Maizes. “So with whole milk, there’s a normal balance of hormones. But with non-fat, it’s a more male-pattern hormonal picture, which negatively affects fertility.”
Get lots of iron-rich foods
According to Dr. Yaakov Bentov, a reproductive endocrinologist with the Toronto Centre for Advanced Reproductive Technology, up to 15 percent of women of reproductive age have low iron stores. “Iron deficiency affects the ability to get pregnant and to carry a pregnancy,” says Bentov. The same Harvard Nurses’ Health study noted that consuming iron from non-meat foods such as lentils and spinach or from supplements could lower your risk of infertility. However, specific dosages of supplements should be discussed with your physician.
Get lots of citrus
All antioxidant-rich produce are good for fertility due to their anti-inflammatory properties. “Inflammation impairs fertility‚ but citrus may play a specific role. There’s evidence that the vitamin C in citrus helps enhance fertility,” says Maizes. “It has bio-flavanoids, and these can improve circulation and blood flow to the uterus, making us more fertile.” In a 2011 study from Boston University, three or more servings of citrus fruit a week helped lower a woman’s chance of developing uterine fibroids, which can impair fertility. (Tip: Guava, papaya and kiwi have more vitamin C per fruit than oranges and grapefruit.)