The Best Diet for Fertility: Boosting Your IVF Success with the Mediterranean Diet

Pregnant woman searching for best diet for fertility

Key Takeaways:

  • Focus on folate, omega-3s, antioxidants, zinc, and selenium.
  • Consume more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
  • Limit processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
  • Consider fertility supplements as needed.
  • Embrace gradual dietary changes for long-term success.


Are you trying to conceive and considering In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)? You’re not alone. As more and more couples turn to IVF for assistance, there’s a growing interest in how to maximize the chances of success. One crucial factor that often gets overlooked is the role of nutrition. Today, we will explore the “best diet for fertility” and delve into the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for fertility in particular. We’ll answer some common questions and provide actionable tips to help you on your journey to parenthood.

What makes a diet the best for fertility?

A well-balanced diet that promotes overall health is essential for both men and women trying to conceive. Research has shown that certain dietary patterns can improve fertility and increase the chances of successful IVF outcomes. The key is to focus on consuming nutrient-dense, whole foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support reproductive health.

mediterranean diet for fertility
Mediterranean Diet for Fertility

How does the Mediterranean diet support fertility?

The Mediterranean diet is widely recognized as one of the healthiest diets globally and has been associated with improved fertility. This diet is characterized by high consumption of:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olive oil (as the primary fat source)
  • Moderate amounts of fish, poultry, and dairy
  • Limited red meat and processed foods

The Mediterranean diet for fertility provides essential nutrients that support reproductive health, such as:

  • Folate (found in leafy greens, legumes, and whole grains)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish, nuts, and seeds)
  • Antioxidants (found in fruits, vegetables, and olive oil)

How can I incorporate the Mediterranean diet into my daily routine?

Adopting the Mediterranean diet for fertility is surprisingly easy. Here are some simple tips to help you get started:

  • Swap out refined grains for whole grains, such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and quinoa.
  • Load up on colorful fruits and vegetables, aiming for at least five servings per day.
  • Choose lean protein sources like fish and poultry over red meat.
  • Use olive oil instead of butter or other unhealthy fats.
  • Snack on nuts and seeds, like almonds, walnuts, and chia seeds, for an energy boost and added nutrients.
  • Opt for low-fat dairy products or plant-based alternatives.
  • Limit processed foods and sugary snacks.

Are there any specific supplements I should consider for fertility?

While a balanced diet should provide most of the nutrients necessary for fertility, some individuals may benefit from additional supplementation. Consult your healthcare provider before starting any supplements. Common fertility supplements include:

  • Prenatal vitamins (providing essential nutrients, such as folic acid, iron, and iodine)

  • Vitamin D (supporting reproductive health and immune function)

How does the Mediterranean diet benefit male fertility?

The Mediterranean diet is not only beneficial for female fertility but also supports male reproductive health. Research suggests that following a Mediterranean-style diet can improve sperm quality, count, and motility. Key nutrients for male fertility include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish, nuts, and seeds)
  • Antioxidants (found in fruits, vegetables, and olive oil)
  • Zinc (found in nuts, seeds, whole grains, and seafood)
  • Selenium (found in Brazil nuts, whole grains, and seafood)

Can certain foods negatively impact fertility?

Yes, some foods can have detrimental effects on fertility for both men and women. It’s essential to limit or avoid the following:

  • Processed foods and refined sugars, which can cause inflammation and hormonal imbalances
  • Trans fats, found in fast food, baked goods, and fried foods, which can negatively impact ovulation and sperm quality
  • Excessive caffeine intake, which may interfere with hormone levels and fertility
  • Alcohol consumption, which can contribute to hormonal imbalances and reduced fertility

How does maintaining a healthy weight impact fertility?

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for optimal fertility. Being overweight or underweight can cause hormonal imbalances that disrupt ovulation and reduce sperm quality. Following the Mediterranean diet, combined with regular exercise, can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight to support your fertility journey.

maintaining healthy weight using the Mediterranean diet is good to optimize fertility

Is it necessary to follow the Mediterranean diet strictly to see fertility benefits?

While strict adherence to the Mediterranean diet can offer the most significant benefits, making small, consistent changes to your eating habits can still positively impact your fertility. Focus on incorporating more whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats while reducing processed foods and unhealthy fats. Gradually adopting a Mediterranean-style diet can make the transition more sustainable and enjoyable.


The Mediterranean diet shines as the best diet for fertility, supporting both female and male reproductive health. By incorporating nutrient-dense, whole foods into your daily routine and making small, consistent changes, you can significantly improve your chances of IVF success. Remember that lifestyle factors, such as stress management, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight, also play a vital role in fertility. Combining the Mediterranean diet with a well-rounded approach to overall health can help you on your journey to parenthood. Embrace the journey, and remember that every step you take brings you closer to achieving your dream of building a family.


  • Gaskins, A. J., & Chavarro, J. E. (2018). Diet and fertility: a review. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 218(4), 379-389.
  • Karayiannis, D., Kontogianni, M. D., Mendorou, C., Mastrominas, M., & Yiannakouris, N. (2018). Adherence to the Mediterranean diet and IVF success rate among non-obese women attempting fertility. Human Reproduction, 33(3), 494-502.
  • Salas-Huetos, A., Bulló, M., & Salas-Salvadó, J. (2017). Dietary patterns, foods and nutrients in male fertility parameters and fecundability: a systematic review of observational studies. Human Reproduction Update, 23(4), 371-389.
  • Vujkovic, M., de Vries, J. H., Lindemans, J., Macklon, N. S., van der Spek, P. J., Steegers, E. A., & Steegers-Theunissen, R. P. (2010). The preconception Mediterranean dietary pattern in couples undergoing in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatment increases the chance of pregnancy. Fertility and Sterility, 94(6), 2096-2101.
  • Showell, M. G., Mackenzie-Proctor, R., Jordan, V., & Hart, R. J. (2020). Antioxidants for female subfertility. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 8(8), CD007807.
  • Nouri, K., Litschauer, B., Huber, J. C., & Buerkle, B. (2013). Coenzyme Q10 improves sperm parameters, oxidative stress markers and sperm DNA fragmentation in infertile patients with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia. Andrologia, 45(4), 249-254.
  • Lerchbaum, E., & Rabe, T. (2014). Vitamin D and female fertility. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 26(3), 145-150.

2 thoughts on “The Best Diet for Fertility: Boosting Your IVF Success with the Mediterranean Diet”

  1. Pingback: The Marvelous Connection: Benefits of Yams for Fertility and a Healthy Pregnancy Journey - The Tox-Sick Free Life Blog

  2. Pingback: Inositol for Fertility: A Promising Aid in Battling Infertility and PCOS.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *