A healthy diet is just as important, if not more important, while you are trying to get pregnant as it is once you find out that you are pregnant. Here are some ideas of what to eat to help you conceive...
Sometimes getting pregnant does not happen as quickly as we would like, or it is not as easy as we hoped for. Speaking from experience, nothing is more disappointing and frustrating then trying to get pregnant. For our most recent baby, it took us over a year and one miscarriage, and just when we were about to give up hope we found out that we were pregnant. I believe that it was the food choices I made those last couple of months that helped increase our chances at conception.
Believe it or not there are certain foods that increase your chances of getting pregnant. So if you are doing all of the other recommended things like positioning and timing, why not alter your diet a little.
A healthy diet is just as important, if not more important, while you are trying to get pregnant as it is once you find out that you are pregnant. The foods you chose to consume directly impact your fertility, this goes for potential mom and potential dad. So as a couple you need to make a conscious effort to watch what you are eating.
Several servings of fruits and veggies a day is important. You should also make sure that you are getting whole grains and calcium rich foods each and every day. Don’t think that if you miss today you can make up for it tomorrow. Vitamins like E, C, Folic Acid and Zinc are key nutrients for healthy sperm. For women, you need to be getting at least 400 micrograms of folic acid a day. Folic acid helps support proper neural tube growth and it also decreases the risk of strokes, heart attacks, cancer and diabetes.
[widget id="text-464846004"]text-464846004[/widget]Your diet should also be rich in leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits. Don’t worry about getting to much because folic acid is water soluble and the water will flush out any excess. Being water soluble also means that a lot of it can be lost when it is cooked. So try to eat fresh or frozen dark leafy greens and if you are cooking them steam them or cook them in a little bit of water.
If you are worried that you are not taking enough of these in through your food you may want to consider a nutritional supplement, at least while you are trying to conceive. When I say a supplement, I don’t mean a multivitamin. Doctors have been recommending that women who are trying to conceive start prenatal vitamins before they are pregnant. Fortunately you don’t need a prescription for them; there are a number of good over the counter vitamins. I chose to use and all natural prenatal vitamins. You can also get individual supplements such as folic acid over the counter. I want to stress though that supplements cannot replace a healthy diet. It is always better to get your nutrients from whole raw foods then pills in a jar.
Foods to avoid or severely limit include caffeine, try to keep to three cups of or less so that it doesn’t affect your fertility. And while fish is overall considered healthy, while you are trying to conceive eliminate fish that is high in mercury such as shark, swordfish, mackerel and tilefish. Processed meats, such as packaged meats should be consumed in very small amounts and raw and smoked meats should be avoided completely.
Just a quick reminder of the above recommendations:
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
- Eat complex carbohydrates – whole grains like brown rice, oats, whole meal bread
- Buy organic foods where possible
- Eat phytoestrogens, including beans such as lentils, chickpeas and Soya products
- Eat oily foods, including fish, nuts, seeds and oils
- Reduce your intake of saturated fat from dairy products, etc.
- Drink enough fluids
- Increase your intake of fiber
- Avoid additives, preservatives and chemicals such as artificial sweeteners
- Reduce your intake of caffeine
- Reduce alcohol
- Avoid sugar on its own and hidden in foods
Following the above dietary recommendations will not cure infertility, but if you are able to conceive it will help increase the likelihood of your conceiving.
Jennifer Shakeel is a writer and former nurse with over 12 years medical experience. As a mother of two incredible children with one on the way, I am here to share with you what I have learned about parenting and the joys and changes that take place during pregnancy. Together we can laugh and cry and rejoice in the fact that we are moms!
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