Fertility Diet: What to Eat if You’re Trying to Get Pregnant By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on July 08, 2022

fruits, nuts, and fishAnyone can benefit from eating a healthy and nutritious diet, but it is especially important when trying to conceive. Following a proper fertility diet when trying to get pregnant supports overall health and reproductive health. This is beneficial whether someone is trying to conceive naturally, or through the assistance of fertility treatment at our fertility clinic. Here, fertility specialist Dr. Sonja Kristiansen, who serves individuals in HoustonTX, and surrounding areas, discusses the ideal nutrients to include in a fertility diet, and suggests foods that contain these helpful ingredients.

Folic Acid/Folate

It is essential that women get a lot of this B vitamin when they are trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy. Folic acid helps the body in forming healthy cells, and can be effective in preventing some birth defects, like spina bifida and anencephaly. Many individuals require a supplement to get enough folate, but the following foods are also great sources of folic acid:

  • Leafy green vegetables, like spinach, kale, and broccoli
  • Oranges 
  • Strawberries
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Fortified cereals


Most people are aware that calcium is good for bone development, and when a woman is pregnant calcium also assists in developing the baby’s bones. However, even prior to pregnancy calcium plays an important role. Calcium promotes a healthy reproductive system and benefits individuals who are trying to conceive. Good sources of calcium include:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Kale
  • Broccoli


Iron helps carry oxygen throughout the body. This is especially important during pregnancy, when oxygen needs to be delivered to the fetus. Maintaining sufficient iron levels is key, because iron deficiency during pregnancy has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. We recommend that our Houston patients build up their iron supplies while they are trying to conceive. Besides taking an iron supplement, women can get iron from the following foods:

  • Lean meats, like beef, chicken, and turkey
  • Spinach
  • Fortified cereal

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

People generally think of a healthy diet as being low in fat, but omega-3 fatty acids offer many benefits, especially when trying to conceive. Omega-3 fatty acids regulate some key ovulation-inducing hormones. They also increase blood flow to the reproductive organs. To ensure that they have ample omega-3 fatty acids to promote reproductive health, women should include the following foods in their diet:

  • Seafood (especially fish that is high in fat, like salmon and anchovies)
  • Nuts and seeds, like walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seed
  • Grass-fed beef


Fiber-rich foods help maintain digestive regularity, but more than that, fiber has been shown to decrease the risk of gestational diabetes. Women who are trying to conceive, or those who are pregnant are recommended to increase their daily fiber intake. Good sources of fiber include:

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans and legumes
  • High-fiber cereals


Protein supplies both mother and child with nutrients that are essential to health and development, so women who are trying to conceive should include good sources of protein in their diet. Some proteins are more beneficial than others. Good protein options before and during pregnancy include:

  • Fish
  • Lean meats (i.e. chicken, turkey, lean beef, bison)
  • Black beans

Contact Us

At the Houston Fertility Center, which is led by Dr. Sonja Kristiansen, we offer a wide range of fertility services to assist people who are ready to start a family. If you have struggled to conceive and would like to learn more about the fertility treatments that may help you on your journey, send us a message online, or call us at (713) 225-5375.

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Dr. Sonja Kristiansen

Houston Fertility Center

Dr. Sonja Kristiansen is the founder and Medical Director of Houston Fertility Center. She is a board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist Infertility (REI) specialist who is proud to help hopeful parents fulfill their dreams of having children. Our center is affiliated with the:

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine
  • Texas Medical Association

We provide convenient care for patients from greater Houston and visitors from out of town. For more information about our services, contact our office online or call (713) 225-5375 today.

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