Can foods high in omega-3s increase fertility?

omega-3s and fertility

Consuming foods high in omega-3s is good for increased fertility, both for men and women! Flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are the best plant-based dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3s for male fertility

Unfortunately, most people fail to consume adequate amounts of omega-3s through food.

On the contrary, the Western-type diet is particularly rich in omega-6s. This high ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s may cause chronic inflammation, and disease!

Furthermore, high intake of omega-3s can increase male fertility, improve testicular function, semen mobility, semen quality, and sperm concentration.[1,2]

Omega-3 supplements and foods containing omega-3s are beneficial, particularly for infertile men.

Additionally, men should consume foods with selenium, zinc, and vitamin B12 regularly. These compounds are also beneficial for increased male fertility.

Are omega-3s good for increased fertility in women?

Daily dietary intake of omega-3s is vital for female fertility. For instance, omega-3s improve oocyte and embryo quality.[3] Above all, omega-3s have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, protecting the vulnerable oocytes.

Furthermore, high serum levels of omega-3s have been linked to higher chances of successful birth, among women undergoing ART (Assisted Reproduction).

Additionally, the administration of omega-3s may be beneficial before IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) treatment, improving clinical pregnancy and live birth rates![4]

Hence, a daily consumption of foods containing omega-3s, throughout lifespan, is good for women who want to get pregnant.

Most noteworthy, a diet rich in omega-3s may prolong reproductive function and improve oocyte quality.[5]

On the contrary, high consumption of omega-6s seems to be bad for female fertility. A high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio may cause poor oocyte quality, and decreased female fertility!

Also, omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy lowers the risk of premature birth, increases the length of pregnancy and birth weight. Additionally, omega-3s may be beneficial for the child’s brain development.[6]

Furthermore, high levels of serum omega-3s might decrease the risk of postpartum depression!

Therefore, women should increase the daily consumption of omega-3s. Food supplements based on fish oil are pretty popular. But, you shouldn’t depend on them. They may contain high levels of environmental toxicants, making them dangerous for pregnant women.[7]

Besides omega-3s, there are many other compounds beneficial for female fertility, such as vitamin C & D, iron, and melatonin. More here.

How much omega-3s do I need a day?

The recommended daily dosage of omega-3s is about 1.6g for men and 1.1g for women.[8] Moreover, women in pregnancy need about 1.4g of omega-3s a day.

Do I need omega-3 supplements to get pregnant?

Certainly, you can take enough omega-3s from food. You should consult your health care provider, before taking omega-3 supplements, though.

Prefer omega-3 supplements with EPA and DHA. These types of omega-3s are found in fish oil and algae. Most noteworthy, they’re easily absorbable by the body. It can use them directly. On the contrary, the body has to convert omega-3s from plant-based sources to EPA & DHA.

Prefer omega-3 supplements from algae. They’re suitable for vegans. Moreover, omega-3 supplements from algae don’t have contaminants, as algae are grown in tanks, away from the pollution of the ocean.

You can find all the omega-3 supplements from algae on Amazon.

The FDA recommends a daily dosage of EPA & DHA from supplements up to 3g a day.

Foods high in omega-3s

Foods particularly high in omega-3s are flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, and canola oil.

Flaxseeds are the richest plant-based food in omega-3s. A tbsp of whole flaxseeds contains 2.3g of omega-3s!

See the whole list of common foods containing high amounts of omega-3s here.