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Causes of Infertility

Avoid These Foods if You Are Trying to Conceive

By: Sheryl Lyon

The path to conception should be a great deal of fun but that is often not the case for many couples who have failed to conceive and are not sure why.

Whether you are just starting your journey to conception or have received the incredibly frustrating diagnosis of unexplained infertility, it is a wise step to evaluate your diet for the impact it can have on your fertility.

Generally speaking, eating for nutrition is a much smarter way to eat than following the latest fad diet. When you are trying to conceive however, you need to examine another piece of the puzzle.

Certain foods, even nutritious ones, can have such a negative impact on your delicate reproductive system that if you are serious about conceiving, you might consider leaving them off your plate for the time being, if not for good.

Modern commercial meat and dairy farmers give their animals a phenomenal amount of hormones in order to produce more milk, eggs, or simply to grow faster and larger. These hormones and chemicals remain in the flesh and products of the animals that you consume.

Virtually any animal product that you buy in a grocery store today is loaded with hormones. Some of these hormones are estrogen mimics and wreak havoc on both men’s and women’s reproductive systems by posing as estrogen so your own estrogen is not used properly.

In addition to infertility causing hormones, most commercial animal products contain damaging pesticides that were used in making their feed.Avoiding unnatural hormones and chemicals is vital if you want to conceive so you have a couple of solutions if you eat animal products.

First, you can give up animal products entirely if you want to begin to eat hormone and pesticide free. It is a logical and perfectly healthy step if you do not have much time to waste in your path to conception.

The second, and probably easier alternative, is to go organic. Buy organic grass fed beef, free range organic chicken and eggs, and organic milk and cheese. These products are all available online if you have trouble finding them in your local grocery store. You will be eating the food you are used to while giving up the dangerous, fertility robbing extras.

In the great media campaign over the last few years, we have all been led to believe that soy is a miracle health food. Unfortunately while soy does have some nutritional benefits when eaten in its natural state or as a small amount of tofu, most processed soy products sold today are very dangerous on many levels, including extensive damage to your reproductive system.

Thousands of studies have linked soy to infertility, decreased sex drive, and extensive damage to both male and female reproductive systems. Like the estrogen mimics in meat, the phytoestrogens in soy are to blame for this damage.

In addition to disrupting both the male and female reproductive system, soy has been implicated in a great deal of endocrine related problems for young boys and girls exposed to soy while in utero or as infants.

Due to the dangers to your child, you should never eat soy while pregnant or breastfeeding anyway so unless you munch a few edamame occasionally, soy should be the first food item to go for a couple trying to conceive.

Fresh produce is one of the best things that anyone, of any age, or any lifestyle can eat. Unfortunately, commercial farms have doused our produce in chemicals and pesticides that while dangerous for anyone, are particularly dangerous to a delicate sperm and egg or a developing fetus.

Certain pesticides and herbicides can impair reproductive organ function, reduce implantation in the uterus, contribute to or cause endometriosis, or cause poor semen quality.

If you are trying to conceive and wish to avoiding these chemicals you should only buy organic produce, both so you are able to conceive in the first place and for the health of your unborn child.

If you do not have access to organic produce then at the very least scrub all your produce before eating. If you want to play it extra safe then you should thoroughly peel all produce prior to eating.

Make a special point to choose organic or avoid items from the following list created by the Environmental Working Group which lists the twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables in order of toxicity.

  • Strawberries
  • Bell peppers
  • Spinach
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Cantaloupe(Mexican)
  • Celery
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Green beans
  • Grapes(Chile)
  • Cucumbers.

It is not difficult to eliminate some detrimental items in your diet to increase your odds of conception. Simply go organic, skip the soy, and then focus on bringing the fun back to conception.

Sheryl Lyon

About the author

Founder of A Much Better Way

Sheryl Lyon – who has written posts on A Much Better Way.


27 Responses to “Avoid These Foods if You Are Trying to Conceive”

  1. good to know!
    thanks for sharing it, Im just looking for solid fact about it. :)

    Posted by barbie | September 5, 2009, 10:05 am
  2. I totally agree. The thing is for most people it’s hard to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables – especially salads – as they take a long time to prepare. The easiest way is for me to prepare “blended salads” also known as “green smoothies” – which means blending your favorite fruits with green leafy veggies, plus some water.

    Posted by Joanna | March 29, 2010, 9:02 am
  3. I’ll definately take a look more into this. I am definately not pregnant, nor do I plan to be, but it is good to get an idea of how your body works and what is best for it during this time period. I’ll also be sure to make a mental note of what to ask my doctor when I am ready to have a baby.

    Posted by vitamin b | June 10, 2010, 2:22 pm
  4. Hi I have a quick question. Has anyone used the natural fertility herb FertilPlus and gotten pregnant from it?

    Posted by Louise | July 22, 2010, 2:19 pm
  5. Ive been trying to get pregant for 6 months and i thought it would happen quickly as im still quite young. i do eat alot of fruit but now ive read this i will be going organic

    Posted by sami | February 5, 2011, 12:10 pm
  6. exactly what are you supposed to eat if you cant eat any meat dairy or eggs, soy or produce. I mean you are supposed to be healthy, and in iowa we dont have ORGANIC stores close by to where i live. it is more of a chore to travel than to eat right. . .

    Posted by natasha holtzclaw | February 22, 2011, 4:44 pm
  7. Right that’s it, i’m ordering all organic next week and leaving the soya milk on the shelve. You can’t beat natural.

    Posted by Rachel | March 4, 2011, 10:45 am
  8. Thank you for this lesson its so nice to know some things like this. But what do you mean by Soy?

    Posted by Prisca | March 13, 2011, 5:36 am
  9. Thanks for a nice advice. But what about mercury??? As I know it shouldn’t to taken by anyone who wants to have baby.

    Posted by lee | April 1, 2011, 1:00 am
  10. what you said about going organic is very true. thanks for your great information. how do i know organic chicken, are they the tiny old layers(hard chicken) what if i remove the chicken skin before cooking it and grilling my beef before using it to cook,will it be good to eat irrespective of organic or no organic. please advice

    Posted by maryann | April 27, 2011, 11:58 am
  11. my partner has travelled and would be back in six months, can I be taking folic acid from now till the time he come back? I want to et pregnant.

    Posted by Emily | July 11, 2011, 3:12 pm
  12. This is kind of a ridiculous list…I’ve come across many of these “what not to eat” lists before and if you add them all up then you may as well not eat anything. The fact of the matter is that Organic foods often are much dirtier than there non-organic counterparts and you can end up with food poisoning very easily. A diet rich in good fats is very important to the repro-system, so cutting out all fat is bad! Furthermore, the absolute worst things you can eat – is white bread – or anything made from it, and sugar, which is toxic to the system. Balance out your system with good fats (and include the occasional cheese, ice cream and milk) and don’t bypass the veggie isle just because it’s not organic. You can supplement by growing your own garden and eat from that.
    Lots of women are getting pregnant with no problems eating junk, so I say keep a very healthy diet that has your favorite items in moderation. Get real exercise (but don’t overdo it) Get a Fertility Yoga DVD and get some acupuncture. You will get a lot farther this way – – and stay away from the white bread!!!!

    Posted by Laura | July 27, 2011, 6:11 am
  13. Is there actually anything you can eat while trying to conceive? Is there actually anything left you can do while TTC? Seems a bit scare mongers to me. Women have been having babies for centuries while eating animal products. I am however, vegetarian and do drink soy milk in my tea and will continue to I Would rather that than be overloaded with hormones from milk. Ladies my advice: Get bang at it with your fella as much as possible and it will happen lol

    Posted by Joanna | September 2, 2011, 5:52 am
  14. I am totally agree with what Laura’s comment. The place where I grew up doesn’t have any organic fruits or veggies and if they do, it’s probably more expensive and todays economy you try to buy stuff that can us monies. These fruits and vegetables listed here are what mostly people eating (including me)and they’re healthy and even consieve naturally

    Posted by chris | September 3, 2011, 2:16 pm
  15. just wondering is organic soy milk ok do have while trying for a baby

    Posted by mel | September 27, 2011, 6:45 pm
  16. Very thoughtful warnings. If at all possible, buying produce at farmers’ markets eliminates most concerns about quality and chemicals. Willing to agree with you to some extent about soy, especially the processed versions…best to have edamame and tofu and tempeh, the purest versions of soy…

    Posted by Michael | September 29, 2011, 1:20 pm
  17. Hi
    I am a celiac so I can not eat wheat gluten
    Gluten or yeast most of what I can eat contains
    Soy so I don’t have a choice :sad:

    Posted by Elaine | January 13, 2012, 11:00 am
  18. I can’t have dairy milk because it makes me feel sick, so I have recently turned to soy milk…

    How do rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk etc. compare as far as fertility goes?

    Posted by Rosanne | May 15, 2012, 10:34 pm
    • Sheryl Lyon

      I would stay far, far away from soy milk but you are probably ok with the others. Consider making your own almond milk or look for organic versions that are unprocessed as possible. Coconut milk is extremely healthy overall.

      Posted by AMBW | May 28, 2012, 4:41 pm
  19. Trying to get pregnant,I have myometeria fibroid of 4cm in my uterus.have been trying to concieve for over 2yrs now,pls what can I do to get pregnant .I’m 32yrs old.thnks

    Posted by fatty | November 24, 2012, 5:03 pm
  20. I also agree with Laura. There seems to be a very thin line b/w good nutritional habit for a general well-being and nutrition particularly for conception. The list of “do not eat” above appear to be mostly the same kinds of food listed by other Authors in order to achieve a balanced diet. I have not been able to concieve again after my only child 17 years ago, even though, I have adhered to healthy eating habits as much as I can. I wish there’s something more one can do.

    Posted by Fildausi | November 25, 2012, 6:00 pm
  21. thanks to all of you who wrote this article i have been eating the wrong things.Please what if i consume fat free milk and just egg white from eggs does it still harm?.

    Posted by vivienne | December 19, 2012, 3:44 pm
  22. Hi, I just wanted to add a dissenting (or slightly different anyway) voice. I will be starting to try to conceive in the next little while. I have not enough blood according to my traditional chinese medicine doctor. She said the best thing to do to improve my period etc and chance of conceiving is to eat meat, and that a lot of vegetarians have fertility issues. So, agree with you about the organic meat but disagree about the no meat thing. I’m not happy to start eating meat again, but think I may do so for the next little while at least. Thanks for the article.

    Posted by Erin | December 11, 2013, 12:26 am
  23. My partner and I have been trying for a baby for over two years now, We were going to a fertility clinic for about 5 months before somebody told us to contact this spell caster who is so powerful, We contacted him at this email; , for him to help us, then we told him our problem, he told us that she we either conceive in January 2013 or February 2013,but after two years of trying we were at a point where we were willing to try anything. And I’m glad we came to Dr.BABA Because he predictions put us at ease, and I honestly believe him, and his gods really helped us as well, I am thankful for all he has done. contact him via email: ; if you are trying to get a baby or want your lover back. he has powers to do it, he has done mine.

    Posted by valentine robert | May 6, 2014, 4:26 am


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