Women who are planning to conceive hear a lot about eating healthy and using nutrition to encourage pregnancy. Enhancing your chances of making a baby involves not only knowing which foods can increase fertility but also knowing when to eat them. Some experts pinpoint four different phases of your monthly cycle as optimum times to focus on certain foods.


Women in their childbearing years should get enough iron in their food, and menstruation is a good reminder of this nutrient’s importance. Foods rich in iron or protein or both include meat, beans, fish, leafy green vegetables and seeds. Remember that Vitamin C will assist your body in absorbing iron from whole grains, beans and fortified cereals. Foods that are loaded with Vitamin C include citrus, broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes, and kiwi.

Follicular Phase

Estrogen levels spike during the follicular phase as your body concentrates on developing a dominant follicle.  This phase of your monthly cycle calls for cruciferous vegetables to help metabolize estrogen. Broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower are in order. Now also is the time your body needs foods such as nuts, seeds, green vegetables, legumes, eggs and fish to support follicle development.

The fluid of the follicle that serves as home to your egg should be chock full of Vitamin E, which can be found in olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds. Sprinkle some on your leafy green veggies.


B vitamins are needed to support the egg’s release and implantation as you near ovulation. Experts say they know that zinc helps produce progesterone, and they think Vitamin C may also aid in progesterone production.  Progesterone is necessary to sustain a pregnancy. Zinc additionally promotes cell division.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids from fish and fish oil supplements are critical during ovulation to thin out your blood and promote blood flow to the uterus. Essential fatty acids also support the release of the egg by opening the follicle.

Eat fish or fish oil supplements, leafy greens, whole grains, eggs, legumes and meat. Drink plenty of water, which develops follicles and transports hormones.

Luteal Phase

The goal during the luteal phase is to encourage cell growth and prevent early miscarriage. You need beta-carotene, which you can find in yellow and orange foods as well as in leafy greens. Carrots, cantaloupe and sweet potatoes will help control your hormones. Pineapple contains not only beta-carotene but also bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties that mildly support implantation of the egg.

Read More: What to Eat to Conceive