40 Fertility Super Foods

When you are trying to conceive, it’s especially important to nourish your body with Real Food to optimize fertility and stock your body with the materials it needs to make a healthy baby. While this sounds logical, you may be surprised by some of the suggestions below.

These nutrient-dense foods offer an abundance of fat-soluble vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and wholesome fats in six main categories: seafood, liver, full fat dairy, eggs, animal/coconut fats and bone broth. It is essential to source these foods from good quality sources including pasture raised animals, sustainably harvested fish, and organic, preferably unpasteurized dairy.

  1. Oysters on the half shell
  2. Butter on everything
  3. Liver and onions
  4. Caviar
  5. Sushi with extra masago, tobiko, and ikura
  6. Fermented cod liver oil with high vitamin butter oil
  7. Bone broth
  8. Homemade whipped cream
  9. Pastured eggs scrambled with cream or fried in butter
  10. Salmon with cream sauce
  11. Clams with drawn butter
  12. Mussels in their own broth
  13. Pate and Cheese Plate
  14. Fried chicken liver
  15. Foie gras
  16. Milk shakes made with egg yolk and cream
  17. Ice cream made with egg yolks and cream
  18. Homemade mayonnaise
  19. Clam chowder-made with lots of cream
  20. Cream of ___ soup
  21. Cheese fondue
  22. Taramasalata (greek dip made with carp roe)
  23. Caesar salad with extra dressing (egg yolk, anchovies)
  24. Fried Sardines
  25. Bacon
  26. Veggies sauteed in bacon grease
  27. Full fat yogurt
  28. Cheese burgers (Grass fed beef with ground liver mixed in)
  29. Spaghetti bolognese (Use grass fed beef and add ground liver and heart)
  30. Coconut oil, cream, butter
  31. Roasted potatoes in duck fat
  32. Flan or custard
  33. Homemade ranch dressing (mayo, buttermilk, creme fraiche)
  34. Meatloaf with hidden ground liver and heart
  35. Cured salmon with creme fraiche
  36. Fish pie (with oily fish and lots of cream)
  37. Popcorn slathered with ghee or butter
  38. Mixed of Seafood Paella
  39. Bouillabaisse
  40. Braunschweiger

For more information on eating Real, Nutrient Dense Food for optimal fertility, pregnancy and birth, and the healthiest child possible, read this post on the alternative to prenatal vitamins and check out the awesome Beautiful Babies E-Course by Food Renegade. Bon Apetit!

This post is part of Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday blog carnival.

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Comments

  1. Disa says

    Yum! My mouth was utterly salivating as I read the list. These are all foods I have been craving. I think my body is telling me something. :)

  2. kirsten says

    do you really promote the process foie gras? forced feeding a duck by sticking a pipe down his esophagus doesn’t sound too humane to me.

  3. Sarah says

    Alcoholics crave alcohol, addicts crave a fix…. Just because we crave something does not mean it is what our bodies need at all…. I have gone through two pregnancies, and am well experienced in the infertility world. As a vegan, I am appalled by this list. There are plant based ways to approach infertility, which have been used for thousands of years, when creme fraiche want around…. DO more research before you jump to this high fat, high cholesterol diet which will contribute greatly to atherosclerosis….

    • Emily says

      Hi Sarah – I understand that the ideas that you may find in this post and on my site do not fit in with the norm of modern nutritional beliefs. It is my belief that diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol is actually an ideal choice that promotes fertility and other aspects of optimal health. This is the way humans have thrived throughout human history, and there is no successful society that have thrived in multiple generations on a vegan diet. For more information on traditional diets: http://www.westonaprice.org/about-the-foundation/vegetarian-tour

  4. Susan says

    I love when vegans come onto site like this, where we all live by the WAPF principles, and spew their venom at us like we are evil. They always seem to be such a hostile group. Its probably because their brain is needing some fat!!

    Disa, I disagree with what Sarah said. I believe when our body is craving something it is because we need it. I never ate a tomato in my life. I thought they were gross. But when I got pregnant, I craved them. Couldn’t get enough of them! I am now a tomato lover.

    For someone to compare the cravings of nutritionally packed foods to an alcoholic craving alcohol is just stupid and irrational. Again, I think someone’s brain is craving some saturated fat! :)

    • Christen says

      Not all of us vegans are evil and hateful–sometimes our passion can be a little in-your-face–but it would be nice to have a few more vegan-friendly options on the list. The brain and body both need saturated fats, and there are certainly some animal-friendly options that could be added to the list in addition to coconut oils: avocado, nuts and seeds, healthy oils, etc. It seems the purpose of the list is to promote full-fat, nutrient-dense, whole foods, and thankfully there are plenty of plant-based options :)

  5. michelle waite says

    Oh my, that list makes me want to have more children. We had difficultiy conciving. I wish I had the correct information about food and nutrition when we were trying. We would have ate so well and probably cut our time substantially.
    We adopted and then got pregnant. The first child was about a year old and I was cooking a lot with butter for him and found I loved the taste. We also went to a Tibetan party just before I got pregnant. The whole meal was filled with meat and fat it was wonderful and I was pregnant the next week.

    • says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Michelle. I’ve never had Tibetan food, but would love to try it!

      I too didn’t eat the greatest when I was TTC (I thought I was eating perfectly healthy, but you know how that goes!). Looking forward we can continue to eat a nutrient dense (absolutely delicious) diet for our own optimal health, and feed our children the best food possible so they can have the best foundation possible.

  6. Jill says

    I am so confused by this. I have struggled with infertility for 7 years. I have one healthy daughter and two miscarriages. Every fertility appointment begins with weighing me and lectures on my weight and consuming a low fat diet so I can conceive. I struggle constantly with my weight, how could I ever eat this and maintain a healthy weight?

    • says

      Hi Jill – I understand the frustration. On one end you’re hearing that a low-fat diet it the way to be healthy and conceive, and then here you see this list of ‘fertility foods’ laden with fat and cholesterol. Without knowing the details of your case, I can still say that if you truly would benefit from losing weight in order to conceive, a low fat diet is not the way forward. I would focus on a diet of real food – nothing processed at all – including reduced fat milk and other dairy products. Eliminate sugar, and reduce your intake of starchy foods. Do not cut out fats, such as the foods you see on this list. Fat will not make you fat, but it will give you the nutrients your body needs to grow a healthy baby to term. Wishing you the best…

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  8. marisa says

    This is a really great list for most people but with pcos this would kill me, meat products, even the freshest, local, pasture raised meat and dairy products contain animal hormones, which i already have too much of my own, and sends my symptoms into over drive, but i would pick this stuff over franken food any day!

  9. Benjamin Kalm, MD says

    I’m a pediatrician and I can vouch for the fact that eating fat does not necessarily make a person fat. If someone eats too much of anything they will become obese. I could see someone reading this site believing that they should just keep eating more of these foods even when they do not feel hungry. That said, most people do not have a deficiency of fat soluble vitamins with the exception of Vitamin D. This requires more time spent in the sunlight, preferably for at least 15 minutes a day WITHOUT sunscreen.

    On the other hand, PLEASE do not use unpasteurized dairy products!!!! Prior to the advent of pasteurization thousands of babies every year died of infection with listeria. Since widespread pasteurization began, this infection is almost unheard of. Pasteurization does not add any foreign chemicals, it only kills bacteria.

    • says

      Hi Benjamin – Thanks for your comment. The Standard American diet is actually replete of fat soluble vitamins – so where do you imagine that vitamin A and K2 are coming from in the diet? Certainly not from carrots (which provides beta-carotene, not vitamin A) and margarine (a fake and toxic fat).

      Also, your opinions about pasteurized milk are flatly wrong. Prior to pasteurization, listeria was a problem when raw milk was coming from unsanitary dairy practices. When from grass-fed cows and clean dairies, raw milk is far more safe and nutritious than pasteurized milk.

    • says

      In New Mexico we had a small diary, where the raw milk was safe. Safety depends on the care the animals are given and the cleanliness of there enviroment. My baby and myself grew up on raw milk. Here in the midwest it is illegal and difficult to buy in raw form…too bad. Europeans hate our overly processed cheese that lacks bacteria.

  10. says

    The top photo of this post – which is in your most popular posts section of the sidebar – is becoming a real issue for me. Daniel and I recently found a very affordable source for oysters, so stopping by to grab an article now means seeing the pic, heading to my fridge and shucking oysters, and very possibly forgetting what I came for in the first place. Mmmm . . . oysters.

  11. says

    Great list! Presumably if these things help with fertility then they will also help with conditions that are induced or exacerbated by hormonal issues, such as Endometriosis?

  12. Steph H says

    I love this list! I’ve been traveling the “real food” path for a couple years now but I am fairly new to the nutrient-dense “nourishing” foods, so please excuse my ignorance, what exactly is cream? I know is what floats to the top of raw milk but I mean how will I find it at the store? I’ve never seen anything label as just “cream” thanks!

  13. Jenn says

    I LOVE your site. Love it. I’ve been reading and pinning things like crazy. I have grass-fed/finished beef liver in my freezer that I’m just determined to sneak into all our food.

    Can I just tell you how much I love you for saying popcorn?!? Ha! Popcorn is a comfort food for me and my kids. I pop it on the stove in coconut oil, put kerrygold butter and celtic sea salt on it andwe eat it with relish. I was feeling guilty for how much I loved popcorn like this since it’s technically a grain, so thank you for alleviating my guilt! Ha!

    Also, thank you for all of the practical information about nutrition, lifestyle, and holistic health. Thanks for being willing to share your wealth of experience with us!

  14. Monica says

    Ha! I’m sorry I know I should read all the comments before posting! But I just can’t help it. I was on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet with my Autistic son when I got pregnant with my 4th. It didn’t take but a few days for my body to say hello again to Bread, butter and big slices of cheese! It knew what it needed! It probably came on me so strong with this pregnancy because I had been so deficient prior to conception. Great, great info! I will pass this along to my dear friend who has had to go through 4 miscarriages. I’ll pass it along when the moments right though :) Love your site!!!!!

  15. Amy says

    Thanks for this!! Would love to see a list of foods to avoid while TTC as we’ll. I know soy would be on there… What else?

  16. Erin says

    I am a 4th yr midwifery student in Canada and i LOVE your nutritional approach to wellness for mums and future-mums.
    So here’s my personal question, My partner and i hope to start a family soon, and a dear friend has offered to be our assistant (ie make us some sperm and share it) He’s an amazing human whom i think many people would be delighted to receive some chromosomes from. But here is the rub: he eats like crap. Take out, processed, etc. This makes me sad for a dear friend, but also worried about his “material”. My partner and i hope to start trying to be pregnant in about 6 months, so i feel like i have time to start supplementing his diet, or at least nudging it in healthy directions…. I don’t want to suggest supplements, as that is not our idea of a good foundation.
    Do you have suggestions for optimizing male fertility and epigenetics through diet that are different from above? Many thanks!

  17. says

    Wow, that’s a super list. :) I have no problem with salmon, mussels and other seafood, but I just cannot eat oysters. I get stomach ache when I do. I just have a question…

    What do you think about soy when it comes to boosting fertility? I have heard a lot of different opinions about it and just want to know what you think about it. :)

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  19. mka200 says

    i read the post where u, EMILY, say that fat does not make you fat, BUT how about CALORIES? these foods HAVE a lot of calories and if u are trying to lose weight or maintain your weight, how do u do it? i always heard that its logical to think that if you put certain amount of calories in your body, then u have to burn certain amount in order not to gain weight, and that sounds logical to me. you NEED to burn those calories!!…. although i do believe that vegans are missing out on a lot of nutrients. so, what do u do if u want to get fertile but at the same time u want to lose weight or maintain it? how about all those calories?

  20. mka200 says

    another question is: i am 45 and i never had kids. i never smoked nor do i drink alcohol. i try to avoid toxic foods, although i like sweets, not junk though. i like gourmet foods. i want to have a kid but i dont want to carry it cause of my age. although i dont want to use a surrogate with her eggs, i want to use a gestational carrier with my eggs. i heard of those fertility treatments to make more eggs so that they can extract them for the procedure i’m saying. i dont want to go thru those toxic chemicals to make more eggs. WILL IT BE SUFFICIENT WITH THIS DIET TO DO WHAT I TELL YOU I WANT TO DO??

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  22. Jessica says

    Love everything on this list, but I am confused by #37. Why is Popcorn a good food for fertility? Isn’t most of the popcorn in the US genetically modified?

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  24. Lisa says

    Hi Emily! I eat many of the foods on this list and in abundance and I’m still not pregnant. Recently, I came across something about being too acidic so sperm cannot survive and it said meat and eggs (which I eat in ridiculous quantities) can cause this problem. What should I do or is this a real concern? Thanks!!!

  25. says

    Thanks Emily! I have meaning to post a list like this and sharing yours now as I just had some some amazing oysters on Sunday!1 Yum!! Sincerely, Trish Carty

  26. Marty says

    I recently read The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care where this list came from & was surprised at the animal products. There is a good amount of studies backing up the diet & I absolutely believe eating real food is essential for great health. My question is about traditionally vegetarian cultures, such as India. Are there a lot of infertility & child illnesses there due to the lack of animal fats in their diet?

  27. Hayden says

    I am wondering what your options are for someone that has an extreme dairy allergy. At the current moment I am not able to tolerate dairy at all. I would love to try raw diary once my gut is in better health (following GAPS now). Are there any dairy free recommendation you have to offer? Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Hayden – Thanks for your comment. If you have trouble tolerating dairy, try the other dairy-free super foods on the list. Hope that helps!

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