Fertility Diet

If you find yourself in the DOR infertility journey it is crucial to provide your eggs with the specific nutrients needed to support embryo development, to maximise your chances of getting a healthy baby.

Diet can have a direct impact mainly during the 70 days in the tonic growth phase and protein synthesis of your eggs, between day 90 and 20 before ovulation. During this time the eggs grow largely in size and start producing much more energy. Every single egg must then execute the precise process of separating and ejecting copies of chromosomes. Any imprecision can lead to chromosomal abnormalities that are the cause of early miscarriages and the reason it takes older women longer to conceive.

The 10 main fertility dietary guidelines for DOR in order to improve egg quality that I manage to compile though different doctors advice and my own research from books and published medical research -check the footnotes for further information – are these:

1. Cut out refined carbohydrates.

Because how easy to process these pulverised starch particles is for the digestive enzymes, a rapid release of glucose is send to the bloodstream, that force the pancreas to release a huge amount of insulin, that have a negative effect on eggs quality. Switch to slowly digested carbohydrates where the release of glucose is much more gradual. 

Insulin is a hormone that regulates glucose but also binds to receptors in the ovaries altering the levels of the reproductive hormones, so too much insulin leads to much testosterone & other male hormones. Insulin resistance is associated with significant mitochondrial damage that compromise the production of ATP which the eggs need to mature and process chromosomes properly.(1)


2. Cut fruit sugar and honey.

All sugars, fructose and glucose, cause similar rises in blood sugar and insulin, deriving to the same problem for fertility. Although fructose does not trigger the same immediate release of insulin, long term consumption of large amounts of fructose interferes with insulin function and significantly raises insulin levels.(2)

Best fruits: apple, pear and berries. Limit them to 1 or 2 servings a day.

3. Cut starchy or sweet vegetables.

Limit: potatoes, winter squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, carrots, yams and corn. These vegs have a greater impact on blood sugar levels. 

4. Cut trans fat.

Trans fats also derivative in insulin resistance (3). Often are found in commercial backed and fried foods under the label of “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oil. They are man made fats created to increase a product’s shelf life. 

5. Increase:

  • folate and vitamins B6 and B12.
  • vegetables- at least 200 g/ day – : Spinach, bell peppers, Kale, broccoli.

Limit starchy, bright vegetables: sweet potatoes, winter squash, carrots and pumpkins.

  • Monosaturated & polisaturated fatty acids -omega 3 & 6-: vegetable oils, avocado & nuts.
  • vegetable rather animal protein, nuts, meat -max 3 serving/week- but not raw because your body uses pelvic energy to digest.

Limit fruits to apples, pears and berries -max 1 serving/day- TCM suggest eating only “warming foods” for a complete list follow this link Warming and Cooling Food 

  • fish and seafood -at least 3 servings/week-
  • eggs.
  •  legumes: lentils, chickpeas and beans -at least 3 servings/week-

Limit whole, unrefined carbohydrates: quinoa, wild rice and buckwheat.

  • If any, consume full-fat dairy -max 1 serving/day- TCM suggest that dairy thickens your cervical mucus and make your body sluggish.

6. Cut turkey, dark meat chicken and farmed salmon.

  • Limit beef, lamb, chicken breast and lean pork to 2 servings/week.

These meets are high in omega 6 arachidonic acid that is harmful for your fertility.(4)

7. Cut high mercury fish -shark, swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel and albacore tuna.

8. Cut alcohol, soda and caffeine.

9. Cut icey cold drinks, food and ice cream,  this draws circulation away from pelvic organs. Increase the intake of warm stews and soups. (5)

10. Go organic and no artificial anything.


(1) – “It Start with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriages and improve your odds in IVF” by Rebecca Fett

(2) –  “Fructose: a highly lipogenic nutrient implicated in insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis and the metabolic syndrome.” by Dekker MJ, Su Q, Baker C, Rutledge AC, Adeli K., Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2010, Nov; 299(5):E685-94.

(3) – “Fatty acid composition of human follicular fluid phospholipids and fertilisation rate in assisted reproductive techniques” by Shaaker M, Rahimipour A, Nouri M, Khanaki K, Darabi M, Farzadi L, Shahnazi V, Mehdizadeh, A., Iran Biomed J, 2012; 16(3):162-8.

(4) – “Differecial effects of dietary saturated and trans-fatty acids on expression of genes associated with insulin sensitivity in rat adipose tissue” by Saravanan N, Haseeb A, Ehtesham NZ, Ghafoorunissa., Eur J Endocrinol 2005; 153:158-65.

(5) – Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

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