The Fertility Diet: What to Eat When You’re Trying to Conceive
In the end, conception comes down to getting the timing right. However, nutrition can also play a vital role in fertility. To enhance fertility and prepare for a healthy pregnancy, women must choose foods that support a healthy weight and create a nourishing environment in which a baby can flourish. Research backs this up. According to a Nurses’ Health study, women who failed to follow a healthy diet were six times more likely to encounter infertility than women who did. By following a fertility-driven diet, you can increase your odds of conceiving while giving your child the best start in life.
You already know the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables while pregnant, but did you also know that they can increase your odds of fertility? Lycopene (a powerful antioxidant, folate (a water-soluble B-vitamin), and vitamin C are often found in fresh fruits and vegetables and have been associated with increased fertility. Both men and women should ingest these nutrients to increase their likeliness of conceiving.
Choose ‘Good’ Carbs
Carbohydrates are an essential part of a balanced diet, but not all carbs are good. Most simple carbohydrates are considered ‘bad’ as they provide little real value to the body. Simple carbs include items like candy, soda, white rice and bread, potatoes, and pastries. Good carbs, or complex carbs, break down slowly, producing a more even amount of energy. Complex carbohydrates include items like legumes and whole grains.
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder in the world. Low iron levels can interfere with fertility and with the development of the placenta and baby after conception. Women looking to get pregnant should have iron stores of 40 to 70 ug/L. Those with low iron levels may require a low-dose iron supplement to boost fertility.
Avoid Trans Fats
Trans fats are polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats that have been altered via the chemical process of hydrogenation of oils to become semi-solid. These unhealthy fats can be found in many cooking oils, baked goods, fast foods, and commercially-processed foods like margarine, crackers, dressings, and even breakfast cereals. Trans fats have been linked to the alteration of reproductive hormonal pathways, which can cause a range of fertility problems.
Eating healthy amounts of protein from a range of sources is a crucial part of a healthy fertility diet. Women require a minimum of 46 grams of protein daily, while men need just 52 grams. Protein is needed to sustain and build muscle tissue and aid in the production of enzymes, antibodies, and hormones for healthy immune function. Choosing protein-rich foods verses high carb foods can help balance insulin levels, which in turn encourages balanced hormone levels. When your hormones are in check, your odds of fertility increase dramatically.
Whether you’re aiming to conceive for the first time or have been trying to get pregnant for a while, altering your diet can have amazing results on your fertility odds. By following a healthy diet regimen while maintaining a safe and active lifestyle, you can create a winning combination that brings you one step closer to motherhood.