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The Optimal Fertility Diet: Boost Your Chances of Conception Naturally

Embarking on the journey to parenthood can be both exciting and daunting, with so many factors influencing the chances of conception. The good news is that there is a big one that you can control - both yours and your partner's diet. An optimal fertility diet centres on nourishing your body with foods that enhance reproductive cell health, promote hormone balance and overall health.

The optimal fertility diet encompasses a rich variety of whole, fresh foods known for their nourishing nutrients. These include an abundance of vegetables and fruits, quality proteins like fish and eggs, beneficial oils and fats, plus nuts and seeds, and wholegrain carbohydrates.

By adopting this dietary approach, you naturally boost your chances of conceiving by providing your body with the building blocks it needs for optimal reproductive function.

healthy food fresh fish vegetables herbs

The Key Components of an Optimal Fertility Diet

Whole, fresh foods

Focus on unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods - fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, dairy products, meats, and fish. 

These foods provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support reproductive health and hormone balance. For example, leafy greens are rich in folate, while citrus fruits provide vitamin C, enhancing iron absorption and hormone levels.

Quality Protein

Protein is fundamental not just for reproductive function, but for overall health. Protein provides amino acids, the building blocks of our cells. For women, ensuring we eat enough protein helps to build and repair, but also stabilise blood sugars and therefore our hormone health. Hormone balance is crucial to ensure ovulation is occurring.

Healthy sources of protein include fish, eggs, beans and lentils. For red meat, the best quality is ideal - lean cuts, preferably organic or grass fed. For fish, try to go for oily types such as mackeral, salmon and sardines which are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Healthy Fats and Oils

Don't be afraid of fat, it's an essential part of a healthy diet. I know it can be confusing, and fat has received a lot of criticism. However, it is really easy to identify a good healthy fat.

healthy fats salmon butter olive oil

Healthy fats are found naturally in plants, seeds, nuts, fish and dairy. Stick to these.

Think about things like oily fish like salmon or sardines, vegetables like avocados, soy beans and olives, and nuts like walnuts or macadamia nuts.

Fats to avoid are excess cooking oils such as canola or vegetable oils, processed foods (these contain trans fats which are the worst kind), or excess animal fat such as a fatty cut of meat or bacon.

Slow-Burning Carbohydrates

We will never tell you to exclude an entire food group, but just like choosing healthy fats, choosing carbohydrates that are whole grain and less processed will provide your body the right type of energy source it needs.

Go for carb choices that are whole grains such as brown rice or quinoa, or starchy vegetables such as sweet potato. These provide a sustained energy release (especially when paired with a healthy fat), which is vital to maintain stable insulin levels, supporting regular ovulation cycles.

Avoid white and processed carbohydrates which is most food found in a packet. These foods too often contain trans fats mentioned above.

Additional Dietary Adjustments for Improved Fertility

  • Avoid processed foods, trans fats, and excessive sugar as these can disrupt hormonal balance. In general, avoiding these foods is associated with improved overall health regardless of whether you are trying to conceive.

  • Moderate caffeine and alcohol intake, as they can affect fertility, as they spike blood sugars. Alcohol can also affect the overall quality of egg and sperm health. No more than 1-2 cups of coffee per day is recommended, and ideally no alcohol.

Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight & Its Influence on Fertility

When it comes to fertility, maintaining a healthy body weight is very important. It's not just about looking good or feeling fit, but also about keeping your hormonal balance in check for optimal reproductive function.

Both being too heavy and being too thin can cause problems. Being overweight has been shown to negatively affect fertility by causing hormonal imbalances and problems with ovulation.  Specifically, being overweight can lead to an excess production of oestrogen, which can make it difficult to ovulate regularly. On the other hand, having too low a body fat percentage can also disrupt your hormone balance. Your body needs a certain amount of fat to make hormones like oestrogen. If you have too little fat, it can cause your periods to be irregular or stop completely, both of which make it harder to become pregnant.

So what should you aim for? It's generally considered beneficial for fertility to have a Body Mass Index (BMI) in the normal range of18.5 - 24.9. This range is associated with regular ovulation and higher chances of getting pregnant, however, BMI does not take into account many personal factors so it's always best to check with a health professional.

While everyone's experience with weight and fertility is different, it may be helpful to talk to a healthcare professional if you're having trouble reaching a healthy weight. They can give you personalised advice on diet and exercise that takes into account your fertility goals.

The Role of Prenatal Nutrition in Preparing for Pregnancy

When planning for a healthy pregnancy, making changes to your diet is crucial. These adjustments are important for the development of a healthy foetus and the well-being of the mother.


One key nutrient is folic acid, which is a type of B-vitamin. It plays a vital role in preventing neural tube defects and supports the rapid growth of the placenta and foetus. It's recommended to start taking folic acid supplements before getting pregnant if possible. Prenatal vitamins are specially designed supplements that contain multiple nutrients needed during pregnancy. They usually include iron, calcium, iodine, vitamin D, and extra folic acid. These vitamins work together to support the growth of the baby and the health of the mother. Before taking supplements it's always best to speak to a health professional to ensure they work for you and your needs.

The timing of prenatal nutrition is crucial. Ideally, you should start making changes to your diet and taking prenatal vitamins at least three months before you plan to get pregnant. This gives your body enough time to build up essential nutrients that will benefit both you and your future baby right from the beginning of pregnancy.

Your fertility journey is yours alone.

Advice exits to provide help and guidance, but you know your body best. If you think something doesn't feel right, health professionals are there to help. When it comes to fertility, it can be a minefield and can be very daunting, especially when you're so emotionally invested.

By starting with a fertility diet and a holistic approach to health you're already making positive changes. Choosing a fertility diet is a positive and holistic way to improve your reproductive health. The power of whole foods cannot be emphasised enough - just check out our founder Kelly's own fertility journey here.

Remember, the power of whole foods, which are packed with essential nutrients, cannot be emphasised enough for those trying to get pregnant.

Let this guide be the starting point for your nourished and healthy path towards creating new life.

If you are concerned about your fertility and would like to speak to our fertility nutritionist then please book a free call below.

Gail Madalena

Registered Nutritional Therapist, Fertility & Pregnancy Specialist


London Fertility, Pregnancy and Hormone Balancing Nutritionist

Gail Madalena is a registered nutritional therapist specialising in fertility, pregnancy and women’s health. Her expertise lies in hormonal imbalances, such as irregular cycles, debilitating PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, thyroid issues and sub-optimal fertility. Her goal is to reduce hormonal side effects and symptoms by addressing the root cause of the issue. Gail helps couples optimise your nutrition and lifestyle choices, supporting you on your journey to achieving a healthy pregnancy.

At The Natural Balance we do not attempt to prevent, treat or cure any physical, mental or emotional issues. Do not disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical advice because of information you have read on this website. Do not start or stop taking any medications without speaking to your primary health care provider.


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