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14th Jun 2019

3 small changes that can help to improve your fertility

Have babies on the brain?

Trine Jensen-Burke


Small canges that can help.

If you have decided to start trying for a baby (whether it is your first or if you are simply adding to your already growing family) did you know that there are things you can do to help boost your chances of conceiving naturally quicker?

We sat down for a chat with nutritionist Gaye Godkin to get her lowdown on why eating the right nutrients is so important when you’re trying to get pregnant. Here is what she had to say:

Get enough sunshine

Sunshine is good for you (but do it safely).

Godkin explains:

“Vitamin D is also incredibly important as low levels of this vital vitamin have been linked with reproductive disorders, including miscarriage, preterm birth and reduced production of the sex hormones”.

“Vitamin D is chronically lacking in the Irish population, but the good news is that it can be found in many food sources including oily fish such as mackerel and salmon as well as egg yolk, mushrooms, butter and dairy products.”

2. Eat some brazil nuts

One is for the boys, says Godkin.

“Brazil nuts are excellent source of selenium and when trying to conceive men should aim to include 4-6 Brazil nuts a day to keep their sperm in good shape and increase their fertility.”

3. Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet

Eating healthy is important at all times, but certainly when you are trying to prepare your body for pregnancy. Here are the key nutrients you should be making sure you consume:

For you

“Perhaps the most well know female pre-conception nutrient is folic acid.

“It is well documented that dietary deficiencies of folate are associated with an increased risk of spina bifida, and for this reason it is important to have the right amount of folate in your body before trying for a baby. In fact, the HSE recommends that Women should start taking folic acid three months before they become pregnant, and should not wait until they are actively trying to conceive.”

“Vitamins you should be aiming to get enough of include Magnesium and Zinc for egg production, Co-Q10 and B vitamins for energy, calcium, folate and iron for cell division, Vitamin C and E for circulation support and Manganese, Cooper and Vitamin B12 for antioxidant support.”

For himself
Don’t think preparing for baby is all up to us, ladies. Oh no. According to Godkin, men also need to optimise their diet and nutrient intake at the pre-conception stage to impact sperm quality, motility and morphology.

“A deficiency in any nutrient may have an impact on male fertility. When trying for a baby, the nutrients that men need to be proactively consuming include; Vitamin C to produce good quality cells, Vitamin E to protect cells from oxidative stress, Vitamin B12 to support cell division and, perhaps most importantly, Zinc and Selenium”

“Known to play a key role in male reproductive health, Selenium is particularly important in the production of sperm, and in promoting their motility. Food sources of selenium include; onions, garlic, grains, Brazil nuts, lean meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables”.

As well as these, make sure your man loads up on Zinc too.

“Zinc is one of the most important trace minerals to date for male fertility, increasing Zinc levels has been shown to boost sperm volume and improve the structure and function of sperm. The richest source of this mineral is oysters. Fish also contains lots of Zinc as do calves livers, beef, lamb, venison, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds”.


It can be difficult to get all the nutrients you need from your diet in today’s busy world. However, taking a comprehensive supplement daily can help to ensure you meet your body’s nutrient quota and consistently optimise good pre-conception health.

Godkin recommends looking for a comprehensive fertility supplement which contains all the key nutrients your body needs at this time.