Vitamins are an important part of our nutritional intake in order to sustain a healthy and happy life. They play an indispensable role in many of the bodily functions, especially important activities such as procreation. If you are trying to conceive, then as a couple you may want to consider some vitamins.
Most of the vitamins that are used for fertility are overall good for your well-being and healthy as well. The vitamins contain Omega 3 and Folic Acid, which are recommended as an essential part of every woman’s diet as well. Make sure you research and understand the benefits and side effects of consuming these supplements in order to be better informed to make a decision.
Just as your body needs to be prepared for pregnancy and child rearing, you should also be emotionally and psychologically ready to have a child.
Both men and women need to get plenty of vitamins and minerals in order to conceive and here are top vitamins mentioned for your easy reference.
List of Vitamins that Help You Boost Fertility
Vitamins are organic compounds needed by the human body to attain optimum performance. They help nourish and grow the body. An ideal diet needs to include small quantities of these nutrients because they cannot be synthesized in large quantities by the body. If they are not consumed in the normal food that you eat, fortified foods and supplements can help.
1. Folic Acid
This is an absolute must-have for anyone wanting to get pregnant. The ‘superhero’ vitamin for all pregnancies, a woman in any reproductive age group must consume 400 mcg of folic acid in a day. It is a B-complex vitamin that is used by our body to create red blood cells. It is one of best vitamins for female fertility as the extra blood is required during pregnancy and it reduces the possibility of a neural tube defect (an issue in the baby’s spinal cord). It is available as both a synthetic vitamin and is naturally occurring, which makes it easy to find and consume. Folic acid intake can be increased by having citrus fruits, whole grains and green, leafy vegetables. For a couple wanting to get pregnant, the woman must start consuming folic acid rich food a month or two prior to pregnancy and also part of prenatal care.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D and fertility are closely linked; Many studies have shown that women with normal levels of vitamin D are likely to conceive naturally. It is a fat-soluble vitamin which is vital for reproductive hormones. Vitamin D can be found in fortified dairy products, salmon, mackerel, tuna, cod liver oil. A simple walk during the day with your partner can also provide exposure to the sun which is a good source of Vitamin D.
You may be wondering what both you and your partner can consume to increase the chances of pregnancy. In this case, Zinc becomes the most important mineral that contributes to fertility. Men, especially, have to ensure proper intake of zinc as it contributes to sperm production. The recommended dosage of zinc for men is 11 mg and for women is 8 mg daily. Oysters are high in zinc, but couples can also consume whole grain, dairy, legumes, beans, crabs and lobsters.
Pregnancy is physically demanding for a woman, and you need to ensure that you are getting the right amount of iron into your body prior to pregnancy. Low levels of iron lead to anaemia, and it also contributes to low levels of conception. Make sure you get a test done to check your iron levels and ensure you are getting adequate supplements to normalise the same. Iron builds the blood levels in the body and aids in fertility and also balances ovulation. Iron can be found in meat, tomatoes, beet, broccoli, spinach and pumpkin and can also be taken as a synthesized tablet if the levels of iron are low. High levels of iron reduce the risk of pregnancy-related anaemia as well, making it extremely important for reproduction.
5. Vitamin E
Several studies have shown that vitamin e for a women’s fertility is essential. It is important for the men too as it helps improve the quality of sperm production. Vitamin E is also important to protect the egg and the sperm DNA integration after conception. Vitamin E is an antioxidant which protects the body from free radicals which can damage your cells, thereby leaving you prone to infections. In men, low levels of Vitamin E can also lead to testicular damage thereby affecting sperm production. In women, deficiency can prevent ovulation decline thereby affecting changes of getting pregnant. You can increase your daily intake by including different types of seeds such as sunflower, pumpkins and nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, peanut butter in your diet. Even fruits such as kiwi and mangoes are rich in vitamin E. Do not take any supplements without consulting with a doctor if you are considering tablets. The daily recommended dose for adults is 1000mg.
6. B Vitamins
All the vitamins in the B group are essential for reproduction. They include thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), and cyanocobalamin (B12). This group is crucial for conception as it aids the ovaries and the release of an egg around ovulation. Vitamin B6 helps balance the progesterone levels in a woman’s body and can also length the luteal phase thereby ensuring proper time between ovulation and menstruation which is integral to a successful pregnancy. B12, on the other hand, has been known to increase the quality of sperm production in men and is a hormone regulator. All the essentials of B group can be found in Chickpeas, whole grains, leafy greens, tuna, banana, clams, caviar, cauliflower, mustard greens, chard and eggs.
The human body converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A (retinol) which is great for your skin and hair. It is also important for healthy eyesight, our mucous membranes and of course our immune system. For pregnancy, it is a hormone regulator and helps prevent miscarriage. It can be found abundantly in carrots, cantaloupes, sweet potatoes, kale, butternut squash and broccoli.
8. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The ultimate superfood for fertility and pregnancy, omega 3 fatty acids are an absolute must. These help the woman’s body to release eggs, increase blood flow to the uterus and balance out the hormones. Not only that, post conception it is helpful for the foetal brain development, and IQ. Although, not all vitamins include omega-3 one can take it as a supplement. Food rich in omega 3 are chia seeds, flax seeds, anchovies, herring, walnuts, cod liver oil, flaxseed oil, sardines. If you do not like the taste of fish, you can always supplement these with tablets after consulting with a physician. Omega 3 contains two acids which are crucial one is DHA and the other is EPA. Low levels of DHA has also been associated with premature birth, low birth weight and hyperactivity in children.
An antioxidant this essentially helps protect the egg and sperms from free radicals which can destroy the cells. Normal levels of selenium promote sperm motility in men and oestrogen metabolism in women. It is a powerful resource of nutrition and can be found in Brazilian nuts, leafy vegetables, whole grains and fish.
10. Coenzyme Q10
Studies show that taking this supplement helps in both male and female infertility. It is a fat-soluble vitamin-like compound that occurs naturally in a human body. It is not naturally produced by the body hence must be consumed with food. It is an essential substance for the function of cells. Evidence shows that it increases sperm count and the recommended daily dose is 30-200 mg divided throughout the day. It can be found in meat, fatty fish, whole grains.
11. L- Carnitine
An absolute energy source for sperms and sperm maturation, it is a substance that is crucial to enhance sperm motility. It is an amino acid-like compound that has the main function of producing energy. It is found in high quantities in milk and dairy products.
It is important to consult a gynaecologist before starting on any medication. Also, important to check for allergies during this time to ensure that you stay healthy and happy.