Foods That Can Help You Conceive
Whether you’re trying to conceive within the next few months or even the next few years, it’s of utmost importance to get your diet on track to prepare your body for pregnancy. Making drastic changes to your diet is never easy, but taking baby steps towards the ideal diet is very important. Here are our picks for the most beneficial foods that can help you get pregnant!
What to Eat When Trying to Get Pregnant
Folic acid is responsible for promoting a healthier pregnancy and minimizing the risk of birth defects. Folic acid is found in certain fortified cereals and whole grains.
You can take a folic acid supplement or prenatal vitamin to increase your folic acid intake. Recommended intake of folic acid is 400-600 mg daily before pregnancy and about 800 mg after you get pregnant.
Fruit and vegetables provide a host of essential nutrients and antioxidants and help decrease inflammation in the body, all of which are important if you want to get pregnant.
Spinach, romaine, rocket, broccoli, and other leafy greens are especially important. They are high in a certain B vitamin called folate, which is known to improve ovulation. Folate is essentially the food based nutrient that folic acid is derived from.
Make sure your partner is sharing your salad also. Men who get higher doses of folate in their diets generally produce healthier sperm.
High quality proteins in your diet are important for your fertility. The best quality proteins contain essential amino acids. Wild Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to regulate reproductive hormones and increase blood flow to the reproductive organs. Salmon is lower in mercury than other fatty fish.
Note for avid fish eaters; steer clear of shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish when trying to get pregnant.
Research conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health observed around 19,000 women who were actively trying to get pregnant. They found that infertility was 39 percent more likely in women with a high intake of animal-based protein. But women who ate a lot of plant protein were substantially less likely to have trouble trying with conception.
Throw chickpeas into a salad, or make a vegetarian chili. Don’t like beans? Lentils, tofu and nuts are good plant-based proteins as well.
Dairy products are essential for the calcium and protein they provide. Studies have found that one or two servings of whole (full-fat) milk products (like ice-cream!) can protect against certain types of ovulatory infertility.
It is recommended that you swap one low-fat milk item a day with a full-fat option.
Pumpkin seeds are high in non-heme iron, the type of iron found in certain plant based foods and iron-fortified foods.
One study found that women who regularly took an iron supplement, which is non-heme iron were 40 percent less likely to have trouble getting pregnant than those who didn’t take iron.
Toast your pumpkin seeds in the oven for a crunchy and baby-boosting snack.
Complex carbs take longer than refined ones to digest, helping to keep blood sugar and insulin at a stable level. Increased insulin levels can disrupt reproductive hormones.
When trying to get pregnant, always choose brown bread over white, brown rice over white rice and whole wheat pasta over white pasta.
Replace all hydrogenated oils in your diet with a monounsaturated fat like olive oil. Olive oil helps decrease inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation interferes with ovulation, conception and early development of the embryo.
Food for Thought
For many mothers-to-be, pregnancy prompts a sudden change in eating and drinking habits. Habits are often hard to break, so make it easier on yourself by implementing the necessary changes now. You will have enough to be thinking about once you get pregnant.
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Written by Matthew Hennessy