TTC man and woman cooking with fertility foods

8 Best Foods for Fertility: Must-Know Benefits for Women & Men

The science might still be inconclusive for fertility diets, but there is a variety of food that boost male and female fertility. We detail eight of them and how a healthy diet improves how fertile you are.

Professional athletes are meticulous about what they eat during competition season. An optimized diet improves performance and shortens recovery time while helping prolong their career. Couples trying to conceive would do well to follow their footsteps — or meal plan, instead — and include the best foods for fertility in their diet.

Although the jury is still out on fertility diets, research has shown that healthy eating positively affects one’s fertility. Good news: This applies to both men and women. As a bonus, good nutrition does wonders for your overall health too. Talk about a win-win situation!

When it comes to good food for fertility, it’s tough to narrow down your choices at the market or grocery store. However, we’ve identified eight of them you need to know and how your diet and fertility health are linked. Read on to find out more.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended as medical advice.


The Undeniable Link Between Diet & Fertility Health

As mentioned above, regularly having nutritious meals positively impacts your fertility and overall health.

Although there’s no conclusive scientific evidence for fertility diets yet, what you eat definitely plays a part in determining how fertile you are. For one, a 2017 study found that folic acid supplementation was linked to better female fertility.

These improvements include lower odds of anovulation (when the ovary fails to release an egg) and higher success rates with assisted reproductive technology (ART) techniques like in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Biologically male people also had better semen quality when they followed a healthy diet. In this context, a healthy diet includes fish, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Another study in the same year produced similar results. When male-aligned individuals kept their diet healthy, their semen quality improved, and the probability of helping their partner conceive increased.

In essence, it really does pay for you and your partner to pay attention to what you eat as you try to conceive.


8 Best Foods for Fertility: Must-Know Benefits for You & Your Partner

To help you narrow down your choices when you’re grocery shopping, we’ve listed down the best foods for fertility across three categories. We’re also singling out walnuts, which you’ll find out why below.


mushrooms best foods for fertility for men and women

twoplus’ Favorites:
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Peanuts

Superfoods refer to foods packed with nutrients while being low in calories. Despite being called ‘superfoods,’ they are more common than you think. You can easily find garlic, mushrooms, and peanuts at your local supermarket. 

Here’s why superfoods are some of the best foods for fertility.

Benefits for Female Fertility

Before you turn your nose up at garlic, you may want to read about its benefits relating to procreation.

A 2022 study found that garlic alleviated the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in laboratory mice. Although the study involved a small sample size using animal models, the researchers concluded that garlic could be “considered as a candidate therapeutic approach for PCOS.”

Mushrooms are also another food that may increase fertility in females.

In 2010, researchers discovered that maitake mushroom extract may potentially induce ovulation in PCOS patients. For more stubborn cases of PCOS that didn’t respond well to maitake mushroom extract or clomiphene citrate (a common fertility drug), the researchers assigned them to a combination therapy of the fungi and medication. The results were astonishing; nearly 100% of the group ovulated with combination therapy.

Garlic and maitake mushrooms benefit female fertility, but they have a superfood status because of their positive impact on your overall health. For garlic, it can help prevent diseases like cancer and diabetes. As for maitake mushrooms, they are linked to better gut health while controlling hypertension.

Benefits for Male Fertility

Garlic makes a return, with a 2018 study finding that it may enhance male fertility because of its antioxidants. To be exact, garlic could potentially boost sperm production and increase your testosterone levels.

Then, there’s the peanut. This tried-and-tested bar snack is an excellent source of resveratrol.

Resveratrol is an antioxidant that positively impacts male fertility, boosting sperm motility (at low concentrations), and protecting against sperm DNA damage. It’s also noted for improving sperm concentration and total sperm count. Last but not least, resveratrol can help with obesity-induced fertility disorders.

The peanut isn’t a superfood just because of its resveratrol content. It also contains every amino acid and has more protein than any other nut.


Zinc-Rich Foods

fresh oysters good food for fertility

twoplus’ Favorites:

  • Oysters
  • Kale

Zinc-rich foods run the gamut, from oysters to kale.

ICYDK, the recommended daily allowance of zinc for adults is 8-11 milligrams (mg) — and one raw oyster already contains 5.5 mg of it! For our vegan and vegetarian friends, a cooked cup of kale contains 0.3 mg of zinc, not to mention other vitamins and minerals.

Zinc is an essential trace element as it keeps your immune system strong and helps your bowels function well. Below, you’ll learn why zinc-rich foods are some of the best foods for fertility.

Benefits for Female Fertility

In humans who ovulate, zinc plays a crucial role in egg fertilization.

A lack of this essential mineral reduces the quality of eggs formed. Additionally, zinc helps develop the placenta when you’re expecting.

Benefits for Male Fertility

According to a 2018 study, zinc is an “essential element for male fertility.” This highlights how important adding zinc-rich foods to your diet is.

Zinc helps to maintain your sperm quality and function, along with the lining of your reproductive organs. The research also found that zinc supplementation can help treat infertile men with prostatitis, in which the prostate gland becomes inflamed and swollen.


Fruits & Vegetables

spinach food that increase fertility in females and males

twoplus’ Favorites:

  • Acai berries
  • Spinach

Almost everyone knows about the general health benefits of fruits and vegetables. However, some specific ones level up your fertility status — think berries and dark leafy greens. Discover how these foods boost both female and male fertility.

Benefits for Female Fertility

Consuming more fruit and less fast food decreases the time it takes for people with ovaries to conceive while lowering your risk of infertility.

Regarding berries specifically, a study performed by the fertility clinic, CCRM Fertility, found that acai berries may better the odds of IVF results because of their high antioxidant levels.

As for dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, they are an excellent source of folate.

Also known as vitamin B9, folate helps cells in the fetus to develop. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends daily folic acid supplementation for women trying to conceive or already pregnant.

Benefits for Male Fertility

In 2021, researchers found that high fruit and veggie consumption can possibly elevate your semen quality. That’s because fruits and vegetables generally contain more antioxidants than other foods.

Before eating or cooking your produce, wash it thoroughly to remove pesticide residues. Minimizing your pesticide intake is linked to increased total sperm count (by 169%) and sperm concentration (by 173%).

As such, make sure your produce is clean and, where possible, be discerning about the source of your fruits and vegetables. 



walnuts food to get pregnant faster

Peanut’s resume is impressive, but the walnut is more than worthy of being included in your fertility diet. It contains vital micronutrients such as:

  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B9 (aka folate)
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc

The following sections explore the fertility-related benefits of walnuts for women and men.

Benefits for Female Fertility

According to a 2022 study, women who took omega-3 fatty acid supplements were 1.5 times more likely to conceive than those who did not. In that same study, researchers also concluded that omega-3 fatty acid intake was associated with higher IVF success rates.

And because walnuts contain a sizable amount of folate, they are highly recommended for pregnant individuals and folks who are TTC.

Benefits for Male Fertility

Regarding male fertility, walnuts provide a boost in many areas.

When infertile patients added walnuts to their diet, research showed that the nuts improved their sperm motility and morphology. When it comes to nuts in general, adding them to your diet also improves your overall sperm count and how healthy your sperms are.

This improvement may be the reason for less breakage in the sperm’s DNA. Additionally, walnuts are a great source of zinc, an essential mineral for male fertility, as explained earlier. 


The Best Fuel in Your Body Gets the Best Results

There might not be a one-size-fits-all diet for couples trying to conceive, but good food for fertility definitely exists. From garlic to walnuts, the best foods for fertility are conveniently sold at your local grocery chain.

A healthy diet improves how fertile you are and elevates your overall health. It’s a good habit to cultivate as you’ll need to be mindful of your eating patterns when you’re TTC or pregnant.

Now that you know what foods are good for fertility, it’s time to get your shopping list going and start scouring for the best recipes. Remember, eating healthy doesn’t have to mean bland meals! 

Check Out Meals for Fertility