When your skin is exposed to sunrays it magically makes vitamin D. It’s actually a hormone rather than a vitamin and having low levels of it can make it harder to conceive. Sperm need lots of vitamin D to make them swim faster. Studies also show that women who have miscarried in their first and second trimester have lower vitamin D. Luckily, it’s something that’s relatively easy to fix.
Vitamin D from sunshine is the most powerful. But it can be tricky for us in northern climates to absorb enough from the sun alone. There’s just not enough sunshine all year around to keep us topped up, so you might be low in vitamin D. Whilst the sun is out try and absorb as much as you can by responsibly exposing your face, neck and arms for 20 minutes max. And when it’s warm try and expose even more skin like your legs and arms. This may help to boost fertility or improve your chances of IVF. That being said, there are foods that contain vitamin D too. Here’s our top choices.
Our favourite… oily fish
Fish like mackerel, salmon and sardines have plenty of vitamin D. They also contain calcium and Omega 3 fats that are essential for pregnancy and a healthy baby. If you’re concerned about mercury in the fish, then anchovies, herring, sardines and mackerel are safe choices for you.
Selenium is a mineral in fish that helps protect your body against heavy metals like mercury. It’s also an antioxidant that fights inflammation. So it’s great for pregnancy and sperm health.
Egg yolks and butter
If you can, try to start your day with eggs. Egg yolks have lots of healthy cholesterol in them to build hormones and keep your oestrogen and progesterone in balance. This is important because it helps to ensure the pregnancy reaches full term. Yolks are also full of B vitamins and good fats that will help make you more fertile. To up the good fats add a heaped teaspoon of butter on your eggs. It’s not only delicious it may will help you conceive. Choose organic and free-range eggs because they have higher amounts of vitamin D.
Eggs from free-range hens that forage in grass have higher amounts of vitamin D and Omega 3 fats. So your egg choices will make all the difference.
Liver is full of vitamin D and it’s a nutritious food to include in your fertility diet. It has lots of other nutrients too, like B vitamins and iron that help prevent miscarriage. We know that liver isn’t the top of everyone’s shopping list. But try buying some organic liver. If you don’t like the taste then you can pre-cook it and shred it into other meals, like spaghetti sauce or curries. It blends in well and you won’t notice the flavour (chicken liver is milder than beef liver).
Don’t be too worried about eating liver. It’s an organ that clears toxins from the body, but the toxin residues don’t remain in the liver afterwards. It’s safe to eat and best to choose organic if you can.
Regularly eating these foods will prepare you for pregnancy. There are plenty of reputable supplements too, just make sure it’s in the D3 form. And when there’s sun, let your skin work its magic and make it for you.