The dense nutrient content of avocado make it prime for the promotion of fertility in both men and women.
Avocados are rich in dietary fiber, potassium, sodium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K1, folate, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, choline, lutein/zeaxanthin (common carotenoids), phytosterols, monounsaturated fatty acids (healthy fats!), polyunsaturated fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus and iron [1,2].
B vitamins and folate, commonly part of a prenatal vitamin, are essential for rapid cell proliferation. Women with inadequate folate intake are at risk for anemia and an increased risk of having a child with a neural tube birth defect such as spina bifida . B6 is associated with an increase in mid-luteal phase progesterone levels, which in a small study, showed to improve fertility .
While vitamin A is essential for reproduction, it can act as a teratogen and cause malformation of an embryo. It is recommended that women trying to get pregnant receive vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, making avocados ideal for this purpose .
Choline and riboflavin have been shown to help in brain development and to prevent complications during pregnancy . A deficiency in choline has also been associated with endometriosis related infertility .
Low carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, have been correlated with low sperm quality and hence, male infertility . Iron is essential for hemoglobin to carry oxygen to the reproductive organs. It is also utilized in the development of bone and cartilage [3,8]. The vitamin C in an avocado enhances absorption of the iron .
Fiber is essential for proper hormone metabolism. In animal models, fiber has been shown to help in the maturity of an egg and in the survival of an embryo .
Vitamin E improves infertility in men by inhibiting free-radical-induced damage to spermatozoa . It can also prevent oxidative damage in women which can affect the female reproductive system .
Typically, the serving size of an avocado is half the fruit or approximately 68 grams. However, the nutritional recommendation is a fifth of one .
|Nutrient||Amount in ½ an avocado ||Daily Dietary Recommendation
for Women Trying to Conceive
|Vitamin A||43µg||770µg |
|Vitamin C||6.0µg||85µg |
|Vitamin E||1.3mg||15mg |
|Vitamin K||14µg||90mg |
|Vitamin B6||0.2mg||1.9mg |
|Manganese||0.06mg ||2mg |
|Iron||0.6mg ||27mg |
Warning: There has been evidence of cross reactions of avocados in people with a latex allergy . If you have a latex allergy, discuss this with your physician before partaking.
- “Avocado.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, Feb. 2013. Web. 5 April 2015. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com.libproxy.bridgeport.edu/nd/Search.aspx?cs=CEPDA&s=ND&pt=100&id=890&fs=ND&searchid=44523986
- ML Dreher, AJ Davenport. “Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects.” Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 53.7 (2013 May): Pages 738–750.
- MK Barger. “Maternal Nutrition and Perinatal Outcomes.” Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health 55.6 (November-December 2010): pages 502–511.
- “Choline.” Mischarge Research. Google Sites, n.d. Web. 5 April 2015. https://sites.google.com/site/miscarriageresearch/vitamins-and-miscarriage/choline
- M Szczepańska & et. al. “Polymorphic variants of folate and choline metabolism genes and the risk of endometriosis-associated infertility.” European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 157.1 (July 2011): Pages 67–72.
- BM Serena & et al. “Differences in blood and semen oxidative status in fertile and infertile men, and their relationship with sperm quality.” Reproductive BioMedicine Online 25.3 (Sept 2012): Pages 300–306
- E M Ferguson, J Slevin, M G Hunter, S A Edwards & C J Ashworth. “Beneficial effects of a high fibre diet on oocyte maturity and embryo survival in gilts.” The Journal of the Society for Reproduction & Fertility 133 (February 1, 2007): Pages 433-439
- “Pregnancy nutrients you need to help your baby grow.” BabyCenter. Baby Center LLC, n.d. Web. 5 April 2015.
- Gaby, A R. Nutritional Medicine. Concord, NH: Fritz Perlberg Publishing, 2011. Print.
- Hudson, T. Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008. Print.
- “Daily Dietary Reference Intakes During Pregnancy.” Perinatology.com. Focus Information Technology, 2010. Web. 5 April 2015. http://perinatology.com/Reference/RDApregnancy.htm
- “Manganese in Avocado Calculator”. Dietandfitnesstoday.com. Bodyventures, nd. Web. 6 Sept 2016
- “Basic report: 09037, Avocados, raw, all commercial varieties”. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. USDA, 2016. Web. 6 Sept 2016.