Fertility-friendly Vegan Meal Plan

Many people assume that eating vegan while trying to conceive can make it even more challenging, or will not provide sufficient nutrients for the mom-to-be. A quick online search will show that if you are trying to conceive, the best foods to eat are animal proteins, particularly beef, and full-fat dairy products. This common belief comes from the idea that these are the only foods that are rich in the nutrients needed for increased health and fertility. But one study shows that fertility in both women and men is supported by a diet that is powered by plant-based foods.

The study found that a woman’s diet could negatively affect ovulation when carbohydrates were replaced with animal protein. But when carbohydrates were replaced with vegetable protein and monounsaturated fats were chosen over trans fats, ovulation showed a “protective effect.” For men, consuming lower amounts of proteins and fats along with higher amounts of carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables showed an improvement in fertility and semen quality.

Benefitting both men and women’s fertility, we have chosen nine vegan recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Feel free to explore the different meals, add your favorite side dish, or change out an ingredient for something else more satisfying as you prepare your body for pregnancy.

Fertility-friendly Vegan Breakfast Recipes

Sweet Potato & Cinnamon Breakfast Bread
from
Top with Cinnamon

Why we love this:

Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C, B, and B6, all of which help promote a calm nervous system and support metabolic processes. Ovulation can be affected when you’re stressed, and vitamin-rich root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes or yams, can be a great way to start your digestion in the morning. Whole wheat grains also contain vitamin E and selenium, which both help to create healthy and energetic sperm bodies.

Sweet Potato & Cinnamon Breakfast Bread from Top with Cinnamon

Image credit: Top with Cinnamon

Blueberry Chia Overnight Oats
from
Jar of Lemons

Why we love this:

Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are rich in antioxidants, which protect the body from free radicals and unstable molecules that damage cell structure. They are also hydrating, delicious, and can increase sperm count and motility. Nuts and chia seeds offer a good dose of protein as well as vitamin E and zinc, which are essential nutrients for maintaining both men and women’s fertility.

Blueberry Chia Overnight Oats from Jar of Lemons

Image credit: Jar of Lemons

Sun Dried Tomato, Mushroom & Spinach Tofu Quiche
from
Oh She Glows

Why we love this:

Spinach is packed with iron and antioxidants as well as folic acid, a mineral essential for new cell production and is a recommended supplement during pregnancy. Combined with soy tofu, this is a savory, protein-rich breakfast that is filling and great for multiple meals throughout the week. But while soy is often a go-to food for vegans and vegetarians, be sure to avoid conventional soy which contains phytoestrogen that can throw off your estrogen balance. Try using only organic soy or fermented tofu, and avoid products artificially fortified with Vitamin D.

Image Credit: Oh She Glows

Image Credit: Oh She Glows

Fertility-friendly Vegan Lunch Recipes

Quick & Easy Avocado Toast
from
The Glowing Fridge

Why we love this:

Avocados are a gift from the gods, perfectly meal-sized and packed with healthy oils and fats. Top your whole-grain toast with this favorite fruit, hemp seeds and sliced cucumbers for a lunch that is full of fiber. Drinking lots of water and eating foods that naturally contain high amounts of H20 helps to keep women’s cervical fluid and men’s sperm ejaculate hydrated and energized. Lemon juice also helps maintain a healthy pH level in the body creating a friendly environment for sperm.

Quick and Easy Avocado Toast

Image Credit: The Glowing Fridge

Lemon Tahini–Smothered Broccolini 
with Crunchy Seeds
from
Clean Eating Magazine

Why we love this:

Broccoli (and it’s sister, broccolini) is a good source of protein and folate, a B-vitamin that decreases oxidative stress in the body, aiding in proper brain function, as well as mental and emotional health. Maintaining your whole mind-body is essential while you are trying to get pregnant. This recipe is not only easy and time-saving, it’s also really tasty and nutritious when you add the Lemon Tahini and sunflower seeds for some good, nutty-flavored fats and protein.

Lemon Tahini Smothered Broccolini

Image Credit: Clean Eating Magazine

Lentil-Walnut Green Taco Wraps with Cashew Sour Cream
from
Oh She Glows

Why we love this:

Lentils are a nutrient-dense food, packed with about 18 grams of protein and about 75% of your daily folate intake per cooked cup, helping to balance hormone levels and your nervous system’s anti-stress response. Lentils also contain the mineral phosphorus, which is needed to build strong bones, create energy, and support muscle contractions, nerve conduction, and normal heart rhythm, all of which help stabilize and support your body while you are trying to conceive.

Lentil Walnut Green Taco Wraps

Image Credit: Oh She Glows

Fertility-friendly Vegan Dinner Recipes

Cauliflower Mushroom Risotto
from
Paleo Gluten Free Eats

Why we love this:

Choline, often found in egg yolk and beef liver, is an essential nutrient that supports fetal and infant brain development. It plays a critical role in reducing harmful gene effects that could result in birth defects, ranging from neural tube defects to premature birth and low birth weight. Cauliflower is the highest choline-containing veggie and it’s also extremely versatile in the kitchen. Add some dark leafy greens, like kale or swiss chard, to this recipe to fuel up on folate and B6 vitamins, which regulate blood sugar and balance hormones.

Cauliflower Mushroom Risotto

Image Credit: Paleo Gluten Free Eats

Quinoa Coconut Curry
from
Minimalist Baker

Why we love this:

Quinoa is a superfood, packed with plant-based proteins, folic acid, fiber and zinc. It’s also a gluten-free, complex carbohydrate, which means that it will take your body longer to digest than simple carbohydrates so you can absorb more of the nutrients. This simple recipe combines a variety of vegetables with the quinoa in a flavorful coconut broth for a meal that is satisfying and highly nutritious. Make this recipe even more fertility-boosting by using full-fat coconut milk or cream.

Quinoa Coconut Curry

Image Credit: Minimalist Baker

Black Bean Loaf with Creamy Avocado Verde Sauce
from
Ambitious Kitchen

Why we love this:

Flaxseeds are high in Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, helping to balance hormones and boost fertility. When flax seeds are finely ground before consuming, the body can digest them more easily and their benefits increase. With black beans, oats, and vegetables this protein-rich recipe is packed with nutrients and healthy fats.

 

Plant-based protein is great for women who are trying to conceive, and the hefty amounts of fruits and vegetables in a vegan diet ensure that you’re getting all kinds of key nutrients. If you find that you’re not getting enough of certain vitamins, talk to your doctor about which types of supplements make sense for you. Bon appetit!

Black Bean Loaf Creamy Avocado

Image Credit: Ambitious Kitchen