The saying “you are what you eat” is never truer than during the time you are trying to conceive by improving your diet. Actually, changing your diet shouldn’t be something that you do after birth but before this magical moment as well. It is your responsibility to enable your baby to have the best possible start by dieting right now when it matters the most. Countless scientific studies have shown that there is a strong link between dieting and fertility, both for men and women. That is why sticking to a proper diet ensures you give birth to a healthy baby. We say “proper,” but what does this term exactly imply? As you might have guessed, your diet needs to be diverse and here is a list of the food groups that will increase your chances of getting pregnant the most.
The daily dose of nutrients
It should not come as a surprise that the key to fertility coincides with the key to leading a healthy lifestyle. Basically, your diet needs to be balanced when it comes to daily nutrient intake. Don’t eat a single food type, but try to diversify your diet as much as possible. This means eating vegetables, whole grains, fruit, as well as food rich in calcium on a daily basis. You might not like this type of food but in reality, you should intake cheese, yogurt or milk every single day. Remember, you are no longer eating for yourself, but for your unborn baby as well. Who knows, maybe he or she will enjoy a glass of hot milk in the morning.
The right period(s)
Apart from stocking your body with enough minerals and vitamins to get pregnant, there is one more reason to intake enough nutrients on a daily basis. Your diet can have a direct impact on your periods, so an imbalanced diet can mess up your ovulation cycle, influencing their regularity. If you lose track of the period you’re ovulating, it will be harder to know when to put in extra work to get pregnant. Finally, if you allow yourself to become underweight or obese on the other side, your reproductive health might get so endangered that you stop ovulating altogether.
You’re not alone in this
The effort to become pregnant is not a one-man job, pun intended. You can regulate your diet all you want, but if your partner doesn’t change his, it is highly unlikely you two will ever have a baby together. A man’s diet should also include vitamins and nutrients, like zinc and vitamins C and E, alongside folic acid. All of these are responsible for the generation of a healthy sperm count that will do its thing when it reaches your ovary. Ladies, it is nice to have emotional support from your partner but when it comes to getting pregnant, the gentleman will have to up his dietary game if you ever want to become the mother of his children.
It is always hard to speak of “superfoods” when it comes to getting pregnant but admittedly, there are certain foods that are better than others. One such food is fish which contains low-fat protein rich in omega-3 fatty acids. However, his pregnancy superfood does not come without a hitch. Namely, fish feed on what they can find in rivers, lakes, and oceans and the sad truth is that our waterways are highly polluted. This means that toxic substances such as a lead or mercury can be found inside raw fish, so you need to take great care that the fish you consume is well-cooked and properly thermally processed. Like with other food types, you should eat different varieties of fish at least twice a week. The two fish species that contain the least amount of toxins are in general salmon and canned tuna.
The power of whey protein
We mentioned that fish is rich in protein but not all protein is the same quality. Essentially, protein is the building block of our muscles and it is responsible for maintaining a strong immune system. Furthermore, protein is responsible for weight loss because it helps balance levels of insulin, acting as an ideal replacement for high carb foods such as crisps and sweet pastry. The best way to supplement our diet is through whey protein that is top-quality, sources from free-range cows that graze the finest grass high up in the mountains of New Zealand or Switzerland, for examples. Such wpc protein powder is usually beaten into a powder that can be made into a “fertility smoothie” alongside fruit, milk or water.
Use olive oil for salad dressings
If you wish to impede the inflammatory processes inside your body, then olive oil is the right way to go. It’s a monounsaturated fat that increases insulin sensitivity, at the same time helping the embryo develop early, aiding ovulation and increasing the chances of conception. The best thing about olive oil is the way it is used, as obviously, you are not going to consume it on its own but rather as a dressing for salads. When used like this, I can be combined with balsamic vinegar or it can be used in cooking to supplant butter and cooking oils made from corn or palm tree.
Having mentioned salads, we should point out that leafy greens, such as broccoli, spinach, arugula or romaine are all rich high in folate, a subtype of vitamin B that can prolong and improve the quality of your ovulation. Green salad is not a pregnancy superfood on its own but it can serve as a great addition to your pregnancy-aiming diet. Once you conceive, a green diet will help you stay protected against miscarriage or genetic problems with the baby. Finally, the impact of leafy greens is as beneficial for the future mum, as it is good for the future dad, as the aforementioned vitamin B is used to combat infertility in men.
Fit without meat
If fish and whey protein are foods that you need to increase the intake of, then processed meat is definitely a food that you should as less as possible. This becomes even more important after you get pregnant, as smoked or raw meat doesn’t go well with pregnancy. The thing is that meat is full of bacteria like Listeria that you cannot risk developing because they pose a real risk for the child you carry inside. Even hot-dogs and deli meats are not recommendable to consume during pregnancy, even if they are whole cut.
Have a snack, have a baby
If you thought that pumpkin seeds are food more appropriate for the stands of a football stadium than getting pregnant, you were wrong. These snacks are loaded with iron that is an ideal supplement for the diet of pregnant women since it increases the chances of getting pregnant by as much as 40%. If you cook fish and if you add olive oil to salads, pumpkin seed can be eaten any way you like. Although eating it raw preserves the most nutrients inside it, toasting pumpkin seeds on the stove or in the oven add crunchiness to their taste, making you crave for more of this baby-boosting snack.
What to avoid
All of the dietary changes we have listed above are going to be annulled if you stuck to bad habits and vices. It might seem too obvious but we are forced to state it loud and clear: don’t drink alcohol and give up smoking if you are trying to get pregnant. Some people might argue that a glass of wine a day could not hurt but even a drop of alcohol significantly decreases your chances of conceiving. Furthermore, if you intoxicate yourself while pregnant, the chances of a miscarriage increase tremendously!
Smoking is not much different, as tobacco is all but a “leafy green.” Nearly all mums to be quit smoking but they often forget that even second-hand smoking could hurt their child, so support from her friends and family is vital. Do we even have to say that the partner should give up smoking and drinking as well to show support?
Finally, you should seriously decrease the intake of coffee. This hot beverage might get you going in the morning, but the level of caffeine it contains is in no way good for the baby. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should stop drinking coffee completely like you are going to do with alcohol and cigarettes but that you should significantly cut the number of cups you drink. Try to last an entire day without an espresso! As you have seen from the most food types we listed above, getting pregnant is a joint effort in dietary terms. Both the man and the woman should alter their diets to include more greenery, fish, olive oil, that almighty whey protein, and in general nutritious food that will account for a balanced diet. The last thing you need while trying to conceive is a deficiency of a vitamin or a mineral. Additionally, keep track of your weight and stop smoking and drinking alcohol!