Top Foods To Eat And Avoid To Improve AMH/FSH Levels And Get Pregnant

May 21, 2024

Top Foods To Eat And Avoid To Improve AMH/FSH Levels And Get Pregnant

Nutrition is a powerful tool in the journey to conceive, for both men and women. Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your preconception diet is key, as it can help restore hormonal balance and improve reproductive health. A nutrient-rich diet not only supports overall reproductive health but can also significantly improve fertility outcomes, especially for individuals dealing with conditions like low AMH or high FSH. By focusing on foods that combat inflammation and avoiding those that contribute to it, we can create an optimal environment for conception. Let's explore specific foods to add and avoid to support fertility effectively.


Foods to Add:


  1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3s support hormone production and help regulate the menstrual cycle in women while enhancing sperm quality in men (1, 2). Rich dietary sources of omega-3s, such as fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, possess potent anti-inflammatory properties. To increase your omega-3 intake beyond fish, consider incorporating other foods into your diet. Flaxseeds, chia seeds, hempseeds, and walnuts are rich in alpha-linolenic acid; sprinkle them on meals or snacks. Certain seaweeds and algae, particularly those containing DHA, are a great plant-based omega-3 food source. Diversifying your intake with these foods can help support hormone balance and reproductive health effectively.


  1. Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries contain antioxidants, particularly flavonoids and vitamin C. These compounds reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, promoting healthier eggs and sperm (3,4).


  1. Leafy Greens and Vegetables: Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are abundant in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. These foods are also rich in antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are known to have positive effects on reproductive health (5). Furthermore, broccoli and other brassica vegetables contain phytoestrogens that help maintain female hormone balance (6).


  1. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, and flaxseeds provide healthy fats and micronutrients. They are rich in CoQ10, selenium, zinc, and vitamin E, which are essential for fertility and reducing inflammation (7, 8)


  1. Pre and Probiotic Foods: Prebiotic foods like asparagus, bananas, garlic, and onions nourish beneficial gut bacteria, enhancing nutrient absorption and immune function (9). Meanwhile, probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, and kimchi contain live beneficial bacteria that directly influence gut health, hormone balance, and inflammation reduction, ultimately enhancing reproductive health (10). 


  1. Protein: Including proteins in your preconception diet, such as nutrient-dense organ meats like liver, can significantly benefit fertility by providing essential micronutrients crucial for reproductive health. Liver is rich in iron, zinc, vitamin A, B vitamins (including B12 and folate), and CoQ10, which supports hormone production, egg quality, and sperm health, helping prevent nutrient deficiencies that may affect fertility (11). Incorporate liver into dishes like liver pâté or stir-fry to maximize nutritional benefits and support your fertility journey effectively. Other excellent sources of protein that support fertility include skinless poultry (chicken, turkey), fish (such as cod, haddock, and shrimp), legumes (beans, lentils), and grass fed organic red meats. These protein-rich foods provide essential nutrients like high-quality protein, B vitamins (including B12), iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, critical for reproductive health without excess saturated fats (12). Including a variety of these protein sources in your preconception diet optimizes fertility outcomes by ensuring adequate nutrients for hormone balance and overall reproductive function. 


Foods to Avoid:


  1. Processed Foods: Highly processed foods like sugary snacks, fast food, and refined grains can trigger inflammation and disrupt hormonal balance (13,14). Moreover, these foods often lack the essential nutrients necessary for conception (14).


  1. Trans Fats: Trans fats, found in fried foods, margarine, and many packaged snacks, have been linked to inflammation and infertility (14).


  1. Sugar: High intake of sugar and sugary beverages can lead to insulin resistance and inflammation, negatively impacting fertility (14).


  1. Processed Meats: Consuming processed meats such as salami, ham, sausage, bacon, pepperoni, and hot dogs has been linked to increased inflammation (14). Opting for organic, grass-fed red meats, as well as organic turkey or chicken, is a healthier alternative.


  1. Dairy and Gluten: Some individuals may have sensitivities to dairy or gluten, which can trigger inflammation in the gut (14). Consider exploring alternatives like non-dairy alternatives and gluten-free grains.


  1. Allergens: In the pursuit of optimizing fertility, it's important to consider the impact of common allergenic foods like eggs, GMOs, corn, and soy on reproductive health. These foods can trigger sensitivities or allergies in individuals, potentially disrupting hormonal balance and immune function. Couples aiming to enhance fertility should consider undergoing food sensitivity testing to identify specific foods that may not be well-tolerated. To steer clear of GMOs, avoid foods derived from genetically modified crops such as corn and soy, including corn tortillas, chips, crackers, cereal, and other processed foods like baked goods and snacks. Always cook soy products like tofu, tempeh, and soybeans thoroughly to mitigate the potential adverse effects of raw consumption. Avoiding allergenic foods and GMO-containing products can minimize inflammatory responses that may negatively affect fertility (15). For instance, reduce egg intake by avoiding baked goods, fried foods, and store-bought dressings. Instead, opt for nutrient-rich alternatives such as animal liver, seafood, cruciferous vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds to obtain essential nutrients like choline found in eggs.


  1. Mold Exposures: Certain foods like peanuts, corn, and grains are prone to mold contamination, which can contain mycotoxins—toxic mold-producing substances. These mycotoxins have been linked to hormonal disruption and immune system suppression, potentially affecting fertility (16). Avoiding mold-prone foods, choosing organic produce, properly storing grains and nuts, and maintaining a clean, well-ventilated kitchen can also reduce mold exposure in the diet (17).  


  1. Alcohol: If you're trying to get pregnant, it's wise to avoid alcohol. Research has shown that alcohol consumption can reduce the probability of conception by more than 50% during a menstrual cycle (18). Additionally, alcohol can adversely impact male fertility by interfering with hormone production and affecting testicular function, potentially leading to reduced testosterone levels and impaired sperm maturation (19). To maximize your chances of conceiving, consider abstaining from alcohol. Your body will thank you for it during this critical time.


  1. Caffeine: Caffeine, commonly found in coffee, tea, and certain sodas, can delay conception (20). Moreover, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, leading to increased levels of stress hormones like cortisol, which can further disrupt reproductive hormones (21). Caffeine also affects nutrient absorption, reducing the body's ability to uptake essential vitamins and minerals crucial for fertility (22). For men, excessive caffeine intake is linked to decreased sperm count and motility (23).


Your Food Choices Impact Your Fertility:

Inflammation can interfere with ovulation, sperm production, and implantation, making it crucial to prioritize a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods. These foods not only reduce inflammation but also provide essential nutrients that support reproductive health. By adopting a whole-foods-based diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins, individuals can create a fertility-friendly environment within their bodies.

In summary, adding anti-inflammatory foods and reducing inflammatory triggers can significantly boost fertility during the preconception phase. Collaborating with a provider to personalize dietary recommendations based on individual needs is important. Take the first step by downloading our Spring Elimination Diet Guide. Together, we can leverage the power of nutrition to optimize fertility and support the path to parenthood.



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