Are you trying to get pregnant? For many couples, having a baby is a big decision. Even after they get married, the couple puts off any plans to get pregnant because they want to make sure they are ready to bring new life into this world. This is a life changing moment. Sometimes it takes years before they decide to make the transition from couple to parents.
Unfortunately, some couples realize that having a baby isn’t as easy as having sex. While the biological function of copulation is to conceive human life, it isn’t as simple as a sperm fertilizing an egg. External and internal factors exist that could affect your ability to get pregnant.
The saying “You are what you eat” holds some truth when you are trying to get pregnant. Food is your body’s primary source of calories from the 3 macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Food also provides much-needed vitamins and minerals. However, food is not created equal. Some can pose threats to your health as well as your ability to get pregnant.
There are also foods that can increase fertility. One of the most important things to do when trying to get pregnant is to get your nutrition in order. While eating healthy will not guarantee pregnancy, it will definitely improve fertility.
We briefly touched on the quality of food that you should eat when you are trying to get pregnant. This should have been part of the list of changes you need to make to your current lifestyle, but we feel it deserves its own section.
Avoid eating foods that have been highly-processed with artificial or synthetic ingredients; excessive amounts of sugars and salt, pesticides, chemicals, and food colouring.
Here is a list of the worst processed foods you should avoid:
Eating processed foods have been shown to have a detrimental effect on a woman’s ability to have a child. Always choose unprocessed, naturally-produced or organically-grown fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat. These are foods that naturally boost your fertility.
Again, getting pregnant is not a one-woman show. This is a team effort. Even the husband should totally avoid eating processed food.
Now let’s move on to the meat and potatoes of the article. Here is a list of foods that increase fertility and improve your chances of getting pregnant.
Milk is rich in calcium and there are brands that are fortified with vitamin D. Calcium keeps your bones strong. Vitamin D improves the absorption of calcium and is good for heart health.
Other than milk, good sources of dairy are:
Yes, even an occasional serving of ice cream will improve fertility! Here’s even better news, you can go for the full-fat variety!
According to a study published in The Nurses’ Health Study, 2 servings of full-fat ice cream per day can reduce the risk of ovulatory infertility. Low fat or skim milk does the opposite.
Doctors theorize that removing fat from dairy causes drastic changes in the balance of sex hormones which will, in turn hinder ovulation.
Lean animal protein especially organic or grass-fed beef is high in iron which is an important mineral to support a pregnancy. Studies have shown that women who eat a higher amount of lean animal protein have higher fertility rates than women who avoid meat altogether.
Again, opt for animal sources that have been grown using safe farming or organic procedures. Avoid buying commercially available meat products that have been corn fed or injected with growth hormones.
Unlike dairy where full-fat is preferred, when it comes to meat, stay lean. Choose lean pork tenderloin over bacon. When eating chicken, remove the skin and choose white meat over dark meat.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) such as Omega-3 fatty acids are natural fertility boosters. They support your efforts to get pregnant by improving blood flow to your reproductive area and by balancing out your hormones.
Which types of fatty fish should you eat?
Complex carbohydrates do not rapidly increase the amount of insulin in your blood, unlike simple carbohydrates. These insulin spikes affect the balance of hormones in your body which can affect ovulation.
What are the best sources of complex carbohydrates? Choose grains, fruits, and vegetables that are high in fiber:
What about the ice cream? As mentioned, ice cream has fat which slows down the release of insulin from the pancreas.
Research conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that nurses who were actively trying to get pregnant were able to successfully conceive by including a generous amount of beans in their diet.
Beans are one of the best fertility boosting foods. Here is a list of some of the types of beans you should include in your diet:
Leafy Greens are a wonderful source of folate, a B vitamin that has been studied to improve ovulation. Make sure your husband also eats a healthy amount of leafy greens.
Studies have shown that men who eat leafy greens on a regular basis have healthier sperm and have a lower probability of producing sperm with abnormal qualities.
Here are the best types of leafy greens to include in your salad:
Pumpkin seeds are rich in non-heme iron which researchers found to have the ability to support pregnancy efforts.
One such study showed that women who took a non-heme iron supplement were 40% less likely to have trouble getting pregnant compared to those who did not take the supplement.
As we mentioned, the decision to have a baby is a life- changing moment. This does not only apply to the wife. Even the husband has to institute changes to his lifestyle. After all, the woman cannot get pregnant by herself. This is a team effort. The husband’s lifestyle can affect the quality and motility of his sperm.
Thus, before we even discuss the best foods to eat when you’re trying to get pregnant, let’s touch on the lifestyle changes that are needed to support your efforts to bear a child.
Regular exercise helps regulate glucose levels and improves blood circulation. These 2 conditions strengthen your body’s internal systems and its capability to support life. Exercise is one of the most important things to do when trying to get pregnant.
If coffee is part of your daily routine, you should switch to decaf. However, keep in mind that decaf still contains some amount of caffeine. Your best option is to avoid caffeine altogether.
Getting pregnant may not be as easy as the stork delivering the baby to your home. It does take some effort and sacrifice on both husband and wife. However, by combining exercise with a healthy diet and lifestyle, you could be on the way to becoming parents.