Food fuels your body, and when you are trying to conceive it becomes even more important to get the right foods. There are many causes of infertility, but planning a fertility diet will give you the best chance of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy. Here are 7 ways to improve your diet that can help boost your fertility.
1) Get Your Vitamins and Minerals
Ideally, you should start taking a pregnancy multivitamin weeks before trying to conceive to give your body time to build up your vitamin levels. Men’s fertility can also benefit from a multivitamin designed for them. During pregnancy, you’ll need at least:
- 400 mcg of folate acid
- 250 mg of calcium
- 30 mg of iron
- 150 mcg of iodine
- 2 mg of vitamin B6
- Plenty of omega 3 fatty acids
While a multivitamin is an important supplement for your fertility diet, don’t rely a pill to provide all your vitamins and minerals. You’ll still need to eat nutritious, vitamin-rich foods and spend some (safe) time in the sun to help your vitamin D levels.
2) Avoid Trans Fats.
Artificial trans fats are made using an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils and makes them more solid. Trans fats can clog arteries and increase insulin resistance. High insulin levels disturb your hormones and can affect ovulation.
Unhealthy fats are found in processed and packaged foods, like snack foods, some French fries, commercial baked goods and animal products. Not all fat is bad when eaten in moderation – omega 3 fatty acids and the fats found in dairy products can actually support fertility.
3) Eat Full Fat Dairy Products.
Dairy is a great source of protein and calcium, but many people choose skim and low-fat options. While that’s normally a good choice, a study conducted by Harvard doctors showed that women who consumed a lot of low fat dairy products lowered their ability to conceive, whereas those who stuck to full fat had higher chances. At least for the duration of your pregnancy, consider sticking to full-fat options when it comes to milk, yoghurt and other dairy products.
4) Choose Complex Carbs
Another factor relating to insulin sensitivity is the type and quantity of carbohydrates you eat. Refined carbs are found in processed and sugary foods and are digested quickly, which causes a spike in your blood sugar and a quick release of insulin into your body to bring your blood sugar back to normal. Complex carbs like wholegrains, legumes, fruits and vegetables are digested slowly, which gives your body time to respond.
High insulin output and the resulting insulin resistance that occurs over time are both linked with infertility and can prevent or delay ovulation.
5) Reduce Your Meat Consumption.
Both men and women should look at reducing how much meat they consume when planning their fertility diet. In men, eating processed meats appears to reduce the chances of conception. While protein is important for fertility, women who want to get pregnant should get as much of their protein from plants rather than animal products as possible. Some good plant sources of protein include legumes, nuts and seeds.
6) Watch Your Drinks
While a moderate amount of alcohol and beverages with caffeine haven’t been linked to decreased fertility, it’s a good idea to start phasing them out to prepare for pregnancy. Drink lots of water and stay away from sugary drinks like soda. Aside from supporting general health, being well hydrated can help produce cervical mucus, which is essential for conception.
7) Get Healthy
A healthy weight, in addition to your fertility diet, will help you conceive. Overweight women can see an improvement in their ovulation by losing just 5-10% of their body weight. Women who are underweight can also experience problems with fertility. Being at a healthy weight also helps support a healthy pregnancy. Try to make simple, sustainable choices that lead you towards your goal – daily gentle exercise and good food choices that are served in reasonable portion sizes.
By making the right food choices, you’re supporting your own body to improve your chances of conceiving. Getting these habits in place before pregnancy makes it easier to have a healthy lifestyle to support you and baby when you do become pregnant.
Tammy Singh is a freelance writer who is currently based in Australia. Her passion is for writing high-quality, informative content. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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