Fertility Diet: What to Eat During Each Stage of Your Cycle

There’s a reason people say, “You are what you eat.” Learn which foods will best support your TTC efforts and increase fertility at each stage of your menstrual cycle.

First things first: Can your diet actually affect your hormones and fertility? 

The answer is a resounding yes. There is a proven formula for eating around your cycle to promote fertility, recommended in both the clinical and acupuncture realms.

Consuming the right foods can supplement your natural cycle with what it needs most week by week, and can help balance your hormones. Go here to learn more about fertility diets and here to learn more about which vitamins will best support your TTC journey.

But first, we’re sharing the best foods to eat during each stage of your menstrual cycle to promote fertility…


What to Eat During: Menstruation Week

During day 1-7 of your menstruation cycle, eat blood-nourishing foods to replenish blood loss and associated minerals. This includes:

  • Clean meat
  • Fish
  • Black beans
  • Lentils
  • Kelp
  • Beets
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Broccoli
  • Red grapes
  • Raspberries
Try eating clean meat, fish, black beans, lentils, kelp, beets, dark leafy greens, broccoli, red grapes, cherries, raspberries

 

Also, make sure to increase your Vitamin C intake to ensure better absorption of iron. Foods high in Vitamin C include:

  • Mangoes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Potatoes
  • Watercress
  • Tomatoes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peas

What to Eat During: Pre-Ovulation Week

During days 8-14ish of your cycle, eat yin-nourishing foods. On the days leading up to ovulation, go heavy on the foods rich in Vitamin E to support your developing follicle. This includes:

  • Clean meat
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Cold-pressed oils
  • Whole grains
  • Avocado
  • Organic dairy products
  • Leafy greens
Try eating clean meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, nuts, seeds, cold-pressed oils, whole grains, avocado, organic dairy products, leafy greens

What to Eat During: Ovulation Week

During ovulation week (roughly days 14-20 of your cycle), eat foods high in Vitamin B to help with egg release and implantation. Additionally, increase the amount of zinc in your diet, which can assist cell division and progesterone production. Foods to eat include:

  • Clean meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Figs
  • Leafy greens
  • Wheat germ
  • Whole grains
Try eating clean meat, fish, eggs, figs, leafy greens, wheat germ, whole grains

What to Eat During: Week Before Your Period

The week after ovulation (days 21-28), right before your period, eat hot cooked foods like soup to keep your uterus warm. This includes:

  • Soups
  • Bone broth
  • Hot tea
  • Hot water with lemon
  • Ramen
  • Chili
Try eating warm, cooked food like soups and broth

 

What Not to Eat for Fertility

While we all know which foods can best help support our uterus and reproductive organs (leafy greens, healthy fats, lean protein), there are a few foods and chemicals we should avoid. Foods to stay away from during all times of our cycle include:

While diet alone cannot “fix” or “solve” infertility, there is a lot of research to support that proper nutrition can help reduce inflammation, regulate hormones, improve blood flow and increase your mood and energy levels. All of which are important factors that can affect your fertility.

To learn more about plant-based diets click here and to discover 5 foods to help regulate your hormones click here.

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