Women who are trying to conceive with fertility treatments are well-advised to adopt some natural strategies to get their reproductive health at its best. One of the changes many women can make easily is to adopt a more friendly fertility diet, including one that is rich in fertility-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids have many benefits to couples that are trying to conceive. They help to regulate hormone levels for women and also increase blood flow to the reproductive organs. In addition, they have proved to help relieve stress, which is most couples’ constant companion during fertility treatments. For men, omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to improve the formation of the cone shape needed on the heads of sperm to help penetrate the egg’s outer membrane for fertilization.

So how do you make sure that you are getting plenty of these important fatty acids? For many people, the answer is fish, particularly cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel or tuna. It is important, however, to avoid other fish like shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish because of their mercury content, which has several health dangers. In addition, most experts agree that women who are trying to conceive or are already pregnant should not have more than 6 ounces of tuna per week.

If fish just isn’t your dish, however, there are other sources of these important fatty acids. You can also get omega-3 fatty acids from supplements. Walnuts and flaxseeds are another great source. Some people prefer to get their omega-3s from kidney or navy beans, olive oil and winter squash.

As for how much of the omega 3s you should get each day, there is some debate on that issue. Some experts say 2 grams a day, while others insist that 4 grams is what you need. Then, of course, you need to know how much omega-3s you are getting in each of the sources you choose and the serving size you consume. If you are going for an absolute calculation, you will probably get frustrated over time.

Here are some estimates of how many grams of omega-3 fatty acids you get from the following foods:

¼ cup of walnuts = 2.7 grams
¼ cup of flaxseeds = 6.3 grams
1 cup of beans (navy or kidney) = 0.2 to 1 gram
4 ounce serving of salmon = 1.3 grams
1 cup of winter squash = 0.2 grams
1 ounce of extra virgin olive oil = 0.1 grams

While this list gives you a ballpark number for serving size and omega-3s consumed, it is not important to track it down to the gram. What is more important is to think of ways to add the omega-3s in throughout the day. Chances are, just by adding a few new foods to your mix, you will get what you need each day, no food calculator needed.

The omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of anyone’s diet, but especially so for women and men who are trying to conceive. For a natural way to give your body a fertility boost, be sure to add more omega-3 fatty acids into your fertility diet.

Sources:

“Fertility Foods.” www.whattoexpect.com. Web. 6 August 2014.
<http://www.whattoexpect.com/preconception/fertility-foods.aspx>

“Seventeen Things You Should Do Before You Try to Get Pregnant.” www.babycenter.com. Web. 6 August 2014. <http://www.babycenter.com/0_seventeen-things-you-should-do-before-you-try-to-get-pregnan_7171.bc>

Welsh, Jennifer. “Omega-3s Vita for Sperm Health.” www.livescience.com. 12 January 2012. Web. 6 August 2014. < http://www.livescience.com/17878-dha-vital-sperm-health.html>

“How can I get more omega-3 fatty acids in my daily meals.” www.whfoods.com. Web. 6 August 2014. < http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=75>