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Optimise egg health prior to conception
Your egg will contribute to half of your babies' genetic material. It is important to minimise oxidative stress and optimise nutrition to ensure a great quality egg is fertilised three months prior to conception/egg harvesting if you undergo fertility treatment, i.e., ovulation induction, ICSI or IVF.

Here are a few tips that will help you produce healthy eggs

Decrease Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs)
AGEs are toxic end-products that increase oxidative stress, resulting in damaged cells and poorer quality eggs. AGEs may increase due to the following reasons.

  1. Advanced maternal age
  2. Increased circulating glucose due to a poor diet
  3. Consuming foods that have been cooked at high heats (e.g., grilling, barbecuing).

Unfortunately, these factors decrease your chances of successfully falling pregnant.

What to do: Be mindful not to overcook food. Boil, steam, poach instead; include low GI whole grains in your daily diet, e.g., brown rice, quinoa, barley.


Antioxidants are most abundant in naturally bright coloured fresh fruit and veggies. They reduce oxidative stress and therefore protect your eggs against damage.

What to do: Stock up on two fresh fruits per day and three portions of bright coloured veggies.

Omega 3

An Omega 3-rich diet may preserve egg quality/ quantity into advanced maternal age. Omega 3 rich foods also help to decrease inflammation.

What to do: Include omega three rich fish 2X per week, e.g., mackerel, Herring, Sardines, Salmon, or pilchards.


Zinc plays a profound role in the maturation process of your eggs.

What to do:  Include zinc-rich foods in your diet, e.g., oysters, lean red meat 2 X per week, legumes, and unsalted nuts.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

CoQ10 in the correct supplemental dose and form decreases oxidative stress to help preserve egg quality in older women above 35 years who want to conceive.

What to do: talk to your Fertility Trained Dietician to get the right dose for you.

Folic acid

It is important to start taking folic acid in supplemental form when planning to conceive to decrease the risk of neural tube defects. Your Fertility Trained Dietician can help you identify your risk profile to calculate your required dose and which form you will need the supplement to benefit you and your baby most.

Optimise sperm health prior to conception

In the last 40 years, sperm counts in many regions of the world (including Africa) decreased between 50-60%, irrespective of fertility health.

Male infertility affects between 9-15,8 % of males. This number is probably much higher due to shortcomings in the research we have available.

Lifestyle factors including smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, drugs, obesity, stress, environmental exposures, and inflammation have all been identified as factors negatively impacting male fertility.

The following nutrients support healthy sperm:


Zinc boosts testosterone levels and plays an important role in cell division. It is one of the most important nutrients for healthy sperm as it matures sperm and gives them endurance. Adequate dietary intake prevents chromosomal- / and genetic abnormalities and boosts the quantity of your sperm, i.e., the more sperm, the better the chances of successful fertilisation.

Your Fertility Trained Dietician will be able to analyse your diet to check for zinc adequacy and advice accordingly.


Folate is crucial for healthy sperm that can endure. It is possible to meet requirements with diet. Oral supplantation is not needed in most men.

Omega 3

Stock up on this one! It makes sperm strong swimmers with great tails, and it also makes the sperm's head enzyme-rich to penetrate and fertilise the egg successfully.

Rich sources of omega 3 include Salmon, Mackerel, Herring, Sardines, Pilchards, ground flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds.

Are supplements needed?
Your Fertility Trained Dietician can help you determine whether your diet is adequate. If not, it is possible to make dietary changes to optimise sperm health WITHOUT supplements. However, should you have poor sperm health, the right supplements in the right dose will be beneficial for you.

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