20 best African Fertility Foods for men and women

20 African Fertility foods for men and women

Have you and your partner been trying for a baby without any results? Know that you’re not alone and that infertility is more common than you think.

Infertility is defined as trying to get pregnant (with frequent intercourse) for at least a year with no success. Researchers say that it affects about one in every six couples [1].

Male infertility cases are usually due to low sperm count, poor motility, and low testosterone levels. Sperm count is considered low when there are < 15 million cells per milliliter of semen.

While female infertility can be caused by ovulation issues, blockage in the fallopian tube, or irregularities in the menstrual cycle.

To improve your chances of conceiving, it is important that you and your partner eat foods rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and adopt healthy lifestyle changes.

Learn about 20 nutritious African fertility foods that have been in use to boost fertility, increase sperm count, and regulate male and female hormones.

20 African Fertility Foods

These foods are healthy, available, cheap, and easy to prepare. They include:

1. Tiger nut

African fertile foods

Tiger nuts also called earth almonds are incredibly healthy. They originated from Egypt and have spread across Africa and Europe.

Several animal studies indicate that tiger nuts may improve sexual performance, testosterone, and sperm count but there is no human research yet. [2]

They also contain antioxidants like quercetin, zinc, vitamin E, and vitamin C.

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You can combine tiger nuts, coconut milk, and dates to make a drink (“kunu aya”) or add them to your baked goods.

2. Dates

Dates (Phoenix dactylifera) is a sweet fruit that is rich in natural sugars.

They are rich in antioxidants and are known to improve semen quality, boost sperm count, increase libido, and regulate male hormones. [3]

One study found that date extract could regulate fertilization, implantation, and early embryonic development through an antioxidant mechanism. [4]

You can snack on them or add them to your baked goods.

3. Banana

Bananas are rich in B- vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium. They are heart-healthy and give you lots of energy. 

They also contain enzymes that regulate sex hormones, cheer your mood, and boost libido.

4. Plantain 

Just like bananas, green plantains (unripe) are important African fertility foods. 

They are rich in potassium, magnesium, and resistant starch – a type of fiber that promotes good digestive health.

In African medicine, they are used to increase sperm count and testosterone levels. 

One animal study found that a moderate intake of plantain improved semen quality. However, more human research is needed  [5]

You can prepare plantain porridge with ginger, garlic, and salmon.

5. Avocado

Avocado is an incredibly healthy fruit rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. The tree is also called a “testicular tree” due to its unique shape.

It is rich in monosaturated fats that ensure healthy egg development and boost semen quality.

6. Gorontula (Snot Apple)

Gorontula (Azanza garckeana) also called African chewing gum is a superfruit native to Africa. It is rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

In traditional African medicine, the fruit is said to be effective against infertility and low libido in both men and women.

One study also found that goruntula can be used to treat a variety of diseases. [6]

7. Tomato

Tomatoes are great African fertility foods. 

They are rich in vitamin C and lycopene – two important antioxidants that protect the sperm and eggs by fighting off free radicals.

8. Garden Egg

Garden egg also called eggplant is rich in nutrients and vitamins.

In ancient African medicine, the fruit and leaves have been in use to treat infertility and improve libido in both men and women.

One animal study indicated that garden egg fruit extract could help improve sperm count and motility. However, more human studies are needed. [7]

You can snack on them, bake them, or make a stir-fry with veggies.

9. Leafy Green Vegetables

Dark leafy greens such as pumpkin leaves (ugu), spinach, jute (ewedu), lettuce, and broccoli are high in vitamin C and folate.

Folate also called folic acid is a B-vitamin that enhances ovulation, sperm production, and prevents neural tube defects in newborns. 

You can add vegetables to your soup or take folic acid supplements.

10. Garlic

Garlic contains a rare compound called allicin that helps blood circulation to all the parts of the body including the testes and ovaries.

It is also rich in antioxidants that enhance sperm production and prevents damage to your organs.

You can add garlic to rice, stews, soups, porridge, or take them as supplements. 

11. Oysters

Oysters are said to increase libido but they are also great sources of zinc – an essential mineral needed for the production of good quality eggs and quality sperm.

12. Salmon

Salmon, especially the wild-caught ones are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and vitamin D.

Vitamin D and Selenium are essential for healthy sperm and fertility in both men and women.

However, you need to be careful about mercury levels in fish when you are trying to conceive and during pregnancy. Invest in wild-caught salmon or shrimps rather than farm-raised.

13. Beef Liver

Cow’s liver is incredibly nutrient-dense. It is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin B12, and iron. 

The rich iron and vitamin B12 content of livers help prevent miscarriage and anemia during pregnancy. 

You can make a stir-fry of liver and onions or simply add them to your soups.

14. Eggs

Eggs contain almost all the essential nutrients and vitamins needed for fertility in both men and women.

They are a good source of lean protein, choline, iron, calcium, B-vitamins, and zinc. All these nutrients aid conception, fertility, and pregnancy.

You can eat them fried, scrambled, poached, or even boiled. They are extremely versatile.

15. Walnuts

Walnuts are great sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

One study in 59 young men found that consuming a walnut-rich diet improved sperm vitality, motility, and morphology in 12 weeks. [8]

16. Beans

Cooked bean varieties like cowpeas, pigeon peas, bambara nut, lentils, chickpeas, etc. are a great source of folic acid, iron, and other nutrients.

Folic acid (folate) is needed to produce healthy sperm and prevent baby malformations. 

Deficiency of folic acid and iron in the body can lead to chromosomal abnormalities in both sperm and baby, hence it is important to consume beans regularly.

Also read: 6 proven reasons why your diet needs Bambara nut.

17. Maca root

Maca root is rich in fiber, iron, and vitamin C.

It increases fertility in men and women by increasing energy, boosting the immune system, and providing vital minerals and nutrients.

One study found that in 4 months, maca increased sperm volume, count, and motility in 9 healthy men. [9]

You can add maca root powder to your smoothies, baked goods, or take it as a supplement.

18. Yam

Yams are a great example of African fertility food. They are incredibly healthy and rich in essential nutrients and vitamins.

Yams contain natural phytoestrogens that help promote fertility in women with fibroids and endometriosis.

You can boil, fry, roast, or even prepare porridge.

19. Akamu (Ogi)

 

baby food recipes for 6 to 12 months old
Millet cereal

Akamu is an African cereal that is made with millet, sorghum, and maize. 

It is incredibly healthy food and gives you the energy to boost sexual performance. 

It is rich in protein, carbohydrates, B-vitamins, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and other important nutrients that promote conception and pregnancy.

Also read: Exciting health benefits of Akamu (ogi) for you and your baby.

20. Dark Chocolate/Cocoa

And finally, the good stuff.

Cocoa used in making chocolate is incredibly healthy and great for fertility. It is full of antioxidants called flavonoids that help to protect sperm cells and eggs from free radicals.

Chocolate also contains arginine, an amino acid that promotes blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. Arginine also helps to increase sperm volume and motility.

Related: 10 proven Herbs for low Sperm Count and poor Motility.

Foods to Avoid

  • Junk foods: Fatty, Fried, and sugary foods can impair fertility. Try and replace highly processed junk foods like pizza with beans or veggies.
  • High-mercury fish: Mercury has been linked with infertility in both women and men. Examples of high mercury fish include; swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, marlin, bigeye tuna, orange roughy, and shark. You can replace them with salmon, shrimps, or catfish.
  • Alcohol: It is a good idea to limit alcohol consumption to one serving a day when trying to conceive. Because too much alcohol can decrease sperm count.

The bottom line

Adding these wonderful African fertility foods to your daily diet will help you conceive, boost your fertility, and improve your sexual performance.

Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, getting plenty of sleep, and fitting exercise into your routine will also help you achieve your fertility goals and give you the baby of your dreams. Enjoy!

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