Nutrition and fertility [Myths and truths]

There are many myths about foods that can boost sexual desire, as well as improve fertility or even increase the chances of having twins or even choosing the sex of the baby. At Creafam we have always said that when it comes to reproductive health #KnowledgeIsSuccess and eating well or poorly can definitely improve or worsen your fertility and that of your partner.

That is why in this video the Nutritionist Marisol Navarrete, Mtra. in Clinical Nutrition and Breastfeeding Consultant at Creafam, she explains to us which information is false beliefs or contains half-truths and which have strong scientific foundations and actually work.

Schedule online and receive a discount on your first consultation.

BMI or healthy weight

Before diving into all the foods and nutrients, I would like to make it clear that a healthy weight is the first step to having excellent sexual health. A very useful tool to calculate if you are at an adequate weight is the body mass index. The values of a normal BMI are between 18.5 and 24.9, being outside the ideal index does not automatically mean that you are infertile but it could make it very difficult to achieve a pregnancy, then I invite you to go to

Our questionnaire will quickly help you calculate your body mass index and in case you need to improve your fat percentage and have an adequate weight, we will be happy to see you for a consultation… And now, let’s continue with the myths and truths.

Foods to choose the sex and have a boy or a girl

A very popular belief for choosing the sex of the baby is called the Shettles method, named after Dr. Landrum Shettles, who observed that half of the sperm had a large, round head, while the other half were small and pointed and this The difference is explained by the fact that the “X” chromosome of female sperm is about 30 times larger than the “Y” chromosomes of male sperm. Other authors of their time also determined that female sperm were slower but very resistant and male sperm were faster but weak.

Following Shettles’ method, if a couple wants to have a girl, they would have to consume foods that raise the acidity of their bodies and make the cervical mucosa denser so that only the most resistant sperm reach the egg. Then they would have to eat foods rich in calcium and magnesium such as milk and derivatives, fruits such as strawberries, oranges, tangerines, pineapple and vegetables rich in magnesium and not canned. And avoid foods rich in sodium such as canned foods, sausages and greatly moderate salt consumption. And if a child prefers foods that lower acidity and reduce the density of the mucosa, then in addition to drinking a lot of water, you should consume foods rich in sodium and potassium such as bananas, fresh fruit, legumes, olives, bread, sausages, coffee. , tea or carbonated drinks.

But this belief is a myth, and focusing on eating only acidic foods or only alkaline foods can cause you to unbalance your diet or include foods that are unhealthy and that, far from helping you choose the sex of your baby, will lower your chances of achieving a pregnancy. .

Dr. Shettles’ original study was published in 1961 and did not include any type of genetic evidence, he simply observed that there seemed to be many more small sperm and since in the world 51 boys are born for every 49 girls it was assumed that the Small sperm were masculine and large ones were feminine. At the time of Dr. Shettles, the technique of injecting a sperm directly into the egg did not yet exist, so it was impossible to determine if his theory was true, but since 1990, studies have been carried out with genetic diagnosis, third-dimensional microscopes and injections of direct sperm into the egg and have determined that there is no relationship between the size of the sperm and its sex, in fact it has been concluded that just as there are sperm with deformations of 2 tails or 2 heads or with a body that is too small or too large… Those larger, rounder sperm look like that because they have excess fluid in the head, it’s a fairly common deformation and that’s all.

If you are really interested in choosing the sex of your future baby, I recommend watching our video on methods for choosing the sex.

Folate or folic acid

This is a nutrient that causes a lot of confusion and is a myth and reality at the same time, folic acid, if it is an essential nutrient to prevent congenital defects, however, we receive many patients who suffer from infertility and tell us that they already They did studies and prescribed folic acid to improve their fertility and they still couldn’t get pregnant.

And no… Folic acid is not a fertility treatment, folic acid helps prevent the baby from having congenital defects or neuronal development problems and that is why it is recommended to start taking it from the moment you are looking for a pregnancy and throughout the entire period. first trimester. So yes, it is essential that you take it for the benefit of you and your baby, but it is not a fertility treatment.

Vitamin D to improve fertility

Many of us know that vitamin D is essential for having healthy bones and teeth since it improves the absorption of calcium in the body, however, there is a theory that consuming exorbitant amounts of vitamin D can improve fertility… This myth is true, If you can, please take a look at the video by Dr. Valdés and biologist Luis Machorro on how to improve fertility, but you have to be careful if you plan to take supplements, you must first go to a consultation to find out what dose of vitamin D you need, since the Excess of this vitamin causes toxicity and therefore damage to health. There are few sources of vitamin D, the main foods rich in this vitamin are salmon, herrings and sardines, as well as cod liver oil and some fortified foods such as cow’s milk and cereals.

We can also synthesize this vitamin with exposure to the sun. People with darker skin may need a little more time in the sun, but in general going out at midday for about 15 minutes a day is more than enough to obtain up to 10,000 units of this vitamin. vitamin.

Aphrodisiac foods

This is another section that can fall into the category of half-truths, because we have all heard it said that chocolate, oysters, spicy food and exotic foods or foods from distant lands can improve sexual desire, but so far there is no a study that confirms the existence of foods that improve sexual desire… However, what is true is that certain foods can make sweat or seminal fluids, vaginal fluids, semen or the genital area have a more flavor and aroma. pleasant and in general that could be considered an improvement in sexual desire.

We must take into account the foods that we include the most in our diet, if we consume a lot of onions, garlic, dairy products and meats we will obtain a bitter result, on the contrary if we consume a lot of fruits such as watermelon, peach, orange, pineapple we could obtain something more acidic. It should be noted that it is not about eating a whole pineapple and waiting half an hour to see what happens, it is rather a matter of having good daily habits, exercising, being rigorous in hygiene and eating a balanced diet are the best strategy.


Yes it’s correct! Garlic may affect your breath, but it can improve fertility… Why? Because they are rich in antioxidants and amino acids, including cysteine, which, as Dr. Valdés explains in the video I mentioned above, is essential to synthesize liposomal glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant that exists.

Among other benefits, antioxidants help regulate cell proliferation and have been shown to reduce inflammation of the endometrium and it is one of the most used supplements for patients with polycystic ovary. Thus reducing the risk of infertility.

Yucca to have twins

Since October 2018, the World Twin Festival has been celebrated in Igbo-Ora, the self-proclaimed capital of twins in the southwest of Nigeria, and in some hospitals in the area it is recorded that up to 5 out of every 100 births are twins or even triplets. , while the world average is 1 per 100… that is, 5 times more twins are born in Igbo-Ora than in the rest of the world.

To explain this phenomenon there are 2 main theories, one is that there is a common ancestor with a genetic anomaly who has a greater chance of having twins, which is unlikely, and the other theory is that the diet of women in the area increases their chances. to release multiple eggs and this, at least in theory, is very possible. The women’s diet consists almost entirely of amala, a flour prepared from cassava, which is a tuber similar to sweet potatoes, and they also consume a soup called ilasa that contains vegetables and okra leaves, as well. known as okra.

The truth is that there are no studies that support that okra has benefits for fertility, however, cassava does have properties that make it act as an antiestrogen, that is, it can trick the body into believing that there is a deficiency of estrogen and then it is produced a little more naturally, now… Do not be fooled by the miracle drugs and false supplements that abound on the internet arguing that Yucca powder or concentrate can improve fertility, various studies have shown that it is necessary to consume Yucca naturally daily for several months to see a slight increase in estrogen levels and this small increase does not guarantee greater fertility.

We must consider that Igbo-Ora women have been consuming cassava daily all their lives and yet, only 5% of them have had twins. So Yuca to have twins has solid foundations, but it is still not 100% proven.


Previously I told you that oysters do not really stimulate sexual desire, however, eating oysters can drastically improve fertility and this is because the oysters contain 10 times more Zinc than red meat, chicken, fish, beans and other foods.

Zinc has several properties that improve sperm quality and the sperm count is higher and helps the eggs mature properly. However, it is not about eating 2 oysters today and having sexual relations tomorrow, take into account that men produce sperm constantly, but the sperm expelled today took around 90 days to grow and fully mature.

However, not all of us eat oysters daily, but there are other foods rich in Zinc (Beef and liver, shellfish, fortified cereals, beans and legumes) and if we detect that there is a severe Zinc deficiency we can recommend supplement options.

Does eating more fat increase fertility?

Yes, it is true, but of quality, consuming more fats can improve fertility, but make no mistake, there are fats for fats. A high consumption of trans fats is associated with higher rates of infertility, which is why both men and women should avoid their consumption. However, the ovaries do need fat to produce estrogen and without estrogen there are no healthy eggs, so I recommend increasing your consumption of healthy fats rich in omega 3, which can be found in salmon, fish, olive oil and nuts.

Eatting royal jelly to get pregnant

Royal jelly is known as a superfood for fertility, it is similar to bee honey, but with the difference that this is a honey exclusively made to feed the queen of the bee colony, and as the queen bee puts around of 2 thousand eggs every day it is logical to think that it is an ideal food for those who want to improve their chances of conceiving, but in reality, beyond being a food rich in vitamins there is no additional benefit in royal jelly, so it would be It is much better to take prenatal vitamins, which in themselves are already focused on giving the mother the nutrients that her baby may need.

“Remember that at the end of the day having healthy habits is the best strategy to have good sexual health and if you have been trying to get pregnant for a while and have not yet been successful, I invite you to come to Creafam, together we can fulfill your dream”

RDN. Marisol Navarrete
RDN. Marisol Navarrete
Clinical nutrition and lactation
View profile