According to Ayurveda, infertility occurs when a person’s reproductive tissue or Shukra dhatu remains bereft of nutrition.
The Ayurvedic diet for infertility focuses on developing healthy reproductive tissue (Shukra dahtu). It is said that if the dietetics is not observed, even medicines are not useful.1
Dietary management for infertility involves strict compliance and adherence to Ojas, the essence of all the bodily tissue. Ojas is considered a sub product of Shukra Dhatu (Upadhatu). So, Ojas nurturing foods should be taken and substances which diminish Ojas should be avoided. This is important to regulate ovulation and enhance fertilization.2
Ojas Building Foods
Milk, ghee, nuts, sesame seeds, dates, pumpkin seeds, honey, saffron and avocados.3
Whole foods provide all nutrients for the health of the body in addition to fiber. This influences hormonal levels. Fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, protein from plant sources like beans, and peas, sweet, juicy fruits such as mangoes, peaches, plums, and pears, asparagus, broccoli, beans, spinach, pumpkin, tomatoes and beets boost iron and promote fertility.
Dried fruits and nuts such as dates, figs, raisins, almonds and walnuts.
Spices such as carom seed (ajwain) powder, cumin (purifies the uterus in women and the genitourinary tract in men), turmeric (improves the interaction between hormones and targeted tissues), and black cumin boost fertility.
Root vegetables, grains, arugula, watercress, onions, garlic, chives improve circulation and nourish the blood.4
Jaggery and black sesame seeds both are rich in iron. Black sesame seeds are rich in vitamin E. The phyto-chemicals in the seeds modulate hormones causing positive changes in the female body.5
Black split gram pulses (urad dal) cooked with turmeric, coriander, cumin and fennel or banana cooked in ghee, cinnamon and cardamom builds semen (Shukra dhatu).
Coriander, curry leaves, neem, holy basil (Tulasi), Indian gooseberry (Amla) and aloe vera also increase immunity.
The body should be well-hydrated by drinking warm water and digestive teas.
Cooking and eating vegetables such as colocasia with old-garlic improves progesterone and fertility chances in women. Cooking the tuber in raw sugar as a porridge is good for men.6
Avoid processed carbohydrates, excess starch, antibiotic and hormone-laden meat, milk and canned products.7
Avoid foods high in trans-fats such as cakes, cookies, and fried fast foods. These block arteries, threaten fertility and harm the heart and blood vessels.
Avoid foods containing preservatives and other chemicals like artificial sweeteners. These include soft drinks, chewing gum, jellies, baked goods, candy, fruit juice, and ice cream.
Avoid Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG) often found in cheap take-out Chinese food.
Avoid potato chips, frozen dinners, cold cuts, gravies, ranch dressing, salty snacks, artificial flavorings and colorings.
Excess alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, soda, smoking, red meat, refined carbohydrates such as pasta, white bread and rice, increase and exacerbate female infertility.
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Being both overweight and underweight can impair a woman’s odds of getting pregnant. If you are underweight, your reproductive system will shut down because of the body’s inability to maintain a pregnancy. On the other hand, being overweight or obese reduces a woman’s chances of getting pregnant.
Switch to an Ayurvedic diet which helps you maintain a proportionate weight and increase your chances of fertility. Eat small, regular and well-balanced meals to build overall health.
It is vital to include a wide range of foods in the diet to ensure the body is getting all the nutrients it needs to aid conception. Ayurveda recommends trying new vegetables and fruits as often as possible, breaking the monotony by not eating the same thing every day.8
According to Ayurveda, the menstrual cycle is an indication of the state of the health of the female. It can be affected by many factors, which are responsible for creating an imbalance of the doshas.
The doshas control the activities of the body. They are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Imbalanced doshas should be pacified by following the correct type of diet.
Vata Diet For Infertility
If you have a Vata imbalance, choose well-cooked food that is moist, warm and heavy. Have milk and ghee together with spices that ignite the digestive fire to nourish reproductive tissue (Shukra dhatu). Click here to learn more about a Vata balancing diet.
Pitta Diet For Infertility
If you have a Pitta imbalance favor a primarily cool and nourishing diet. Have milk and ghee at room temperature with cooling spices that nourish reproductive tissue (Shukra dhatu) and support cervical mucus. Click here to learn more about a Pitta balancing diet.
Kapha Diet For Infertility
If you have a Kapha imbalance, favor a primarily warm and light diet. Eat-in moderation. Click here to learn more about a Kapha balancing diet.
1 cup dry split black gram (Urad dal)
5 slit green chillies or dry chilli flakes
1 Tbsp chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut meat
salt to taste
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seed
2 chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp cow’s ghee
1 medium sized onion, sliced
1. Wash and soak the dal in water for 30 minutes.
2. Grind the grated coconut with a little water to a smooth paste in a blender. Set aside.
3. Saute the sliced onions until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
4. Cook the dal with just sufficient water until soft.
5. Add the chillies, turmeric powder, tomatoes and salt. Cook for 3 minutes.
6. When the tomatoes are cooked, add the coconut paste. Mix thoroughly. Cook for another minute and then remove from heat.
8. Heat the ghee in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds crackle add the cumin seeds. Saute for a few seconds longer over a low flame. Pour the mixture over the dal.
10. Serve hot garnished with the onions and the chopped coriander leaves.
In Ayurveda, fertility manifests at the deepest level of health. Reproductive fluids like semen (Shukra dhatu) are the end product of tissue formation (Dhatu parinaama). It is considered the essence of all dhatus. A healthy diet is the important factor responsible for fertility. The Ayurvedic diet is designed to boost your fertility naturally and help you get pregnant without any invasive infertility treatments.
Please consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before trying the remedies mentioned in this article.
1 Sher KS, Mayberry JF. Female fertility, obstetric and gynecological history in coeliac disease. A case control study. Digestion. 1994;55(4):Pages: 243-246.
2 Pasquali R, Patton L, Gambineri A, Obesity and infertility Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obse 2007 Dec;14(6):482-7.
3 Sushruta Samhita-KL Bhishagratna Translator (Chaukhamba Orientalia, Varanasi, India, 1991), Pages 3-23 (I), 45-49 (II).
4 Francine Grodstein, Marlene B. Goldmanet al Relation of Female Infertility to Consumption of Caffeinated Beverages American Journal of Epidemiology Volume 137, No. 12: Pages: 1353-1360.
5 Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Walter C. Willett, M.D., and Patrick J. Skerrett, The Fertility Diet, (McGraw Hill Professional, November 2007): Pages 33-36.
6 Jonathan L. Tilly and Richard N. Kolesnick, Sphingolipids, apoptosis, cancer treatments and the ovary: investigating a crime against female fertility Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids Volume 1585, Issues 2-3, (30th December 2002): Pages 135-138.
7 C Augood, K Duckitt and AA TempletonSmoking and female infertility: a systematic review and meta-analysis Human Reproduction, Volume 13, Pages: 1532-1539.
8 Jonathan L. Tilly and Richard N. Kolesnick, Sphingolipids, apoptosis, cancer treatments and the ovary: investigating a crime against female fertility Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids Volume 1585, Issues 2-3, (30th December 2002): Pages 135-138. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12531546
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