If you’re planning to become pregnant
Researchers believe that what you eat can affect your ability to get pregnant. Holly Greener, a nutritionist, lifestyle expert and mother of two says, keeping yourself healthy by eating food that are good for you during pregnancy is very beneficial, because consuming nutrients affects everything from energy levels to hormones.
Achieving the right weight is especially important as well. According to the National Infertility Association, about 30% of infertility cases diagnosed are due to being overweight. Excess weight and being underweight can also lead to infertility, which is one of the main causes of hormonal imbalance.
If you are trying to conceive, adding these 9 food varieties to your diet can increase your fertility:
I) Vegetable protein:
Protein is an important part of a healthy diet, but the USDA says that many Americans rely too much on animal protein, such as chicken and beef, for their daily protein.
Experts at Harvard School of Public Health have found that substituting plant proteins such as vegetables, legumes, nuts, tofu, or dairy products instead of a serving of meat can increase fertility.
Harvard University researchers surveyed about 19,000 nurses trying to conceive and found that women who consumed animal protein more frequently were 39% more likely to develop infertility. But women who consume more plant protein are less likely to have problems getting pregnant.
“Make sure you have plenty of lean protein, including plant-based sources like beans and lentils, in your diet,” says Dr. Rebecca Scritchfield, a Washington, DC-based dietitian and health specialist.
II) Whole milk products:
“High-fat dairy products”. The results of the researchers ‘study of participants in the Nurses’ Health Survey showed that women who consumed at least one serving of whole milk or dairy products, such as yogurt or full-fat cheese, were less likely to have ovarian infertility. Low-fat or low-fat dairy products have the opposite effect on pregnancy (negatively affect).
Experts aren’t sure why, but they believe that getting rid of milk fat can upset the balance of sex hormones and prevent ovulation. Harvard University researchers recommend women trying to conceive eat a high-fat meal of yogurt daily, drink a cup of whole milk, or replace low-fat or skimmed milk and dairy products with high-fat ones.
However, these studies do not recommend excessive ice cream consumption, as maintaining a normal weight is important for pregnancy.
III) Iron-rich food for a healthy pregnancy:
It is very important to have a stock of iron before pregnancy. Menstruation is one of the main causes of iron deficiency. In addition, women often lose their iron stores during pregnancy in order to supply the baby, which may put the mother at risk of developing anemia that results from the destruction and abnormal drop in red blood cells.
According to Dr. Rebecca Scritchfield, a report on secondary studies on nurses’ health indicates that fertility can be increased by consuming iron-rich food, especially from plant sources like beans, lentils, spinach and fortified cereals. Other non-plant sources of iron also include beef, poultry, and other meats. If you don’t eat enough iron-rich food, talk to your doctor about taking an iron-containing multivitamin. It’s also a good idea to have a blood test to diagnose anemia before and during pregnancy.
Scritchfield adds that you can supplement iron-rich food by adding lemon peel to fried spinach or chopped peppers to bean soup, since they contain vitamin C and improve the body’s ability to absorb iron.
IV) Grain products:
Although it is often said that you should eat whole grains, if you are planning to become pregnant, you should know that including some refined grains in your diet can help increase your folate levels (which is essential at this point).
In order to reduce neural tube defects in infants, in 1998 the Food and Drug Administration mandated food manufacturers to fortify all cereal products fortified (or refined) with folic acid. Dr. Rebecca believes that folic acid is a type of B vitamin that helps the body build new, healthy cells.
If a mother accumulates enough folic acid in her body at least one month before or during pregnancy, it will help prevent major defects in the fetus’s brain and spine.
The USDA recommends that healthy adults consume about 180 grams of whole grains per day, of which at least half is 90 grams of whole grains. In addition to wholegrain products, you can get folate from food like beef liver, cooked spinach, cowpeas (black-eyed peas), and fortified breakfast cereals.
V) Herbal tea:
Research varies on how caffeine affects fertility. Although many experts recommend low to moderate consumption of caffeine, about 300 mg per day, is harmless and has no negative effect on fertility, others believe this amount is too high.
A recent study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology found that a daily intake of 100 mg of caffeine was associated with up to 14% of miscarriages and up to 19% of stillbirths (stillbirths is when a pregnant woman loses her baby after she reaches 20 weeks old). The American Pregnancy Association says caffeine can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium and iron, and the association recommends that pregnant women stop consuming it.
Whether you are trying to cut back on caffeine, or just want to cut back on your daily intake of it, know that herbal teas are naturally decaffeinated and can be a good alternative to decaffeinated decaf. Also know that ginger, lemon to citrus, lavender, coconut, and caramel are endless streaks of delicious tea flavors.
VI) The importance of eating fruits for pregnancy:
Colorful fruits and vegetables
Red, orange, yellow, green; Mix different colors for a varied and healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables in different colors contain nutrients and special plant compounds that work together to keep you healthy.
These phytochemicals contain antioxidants (such as flavonoids and carotenoids) that produce color (for the fruit) and keep you healthy, while increasing fertility.
Dr. Holly Granger, a nutritionist and lifestyle specialist, says: “Focus on colorful foods, which are seasonal, that is, those that belong to the season in which you live, because every food contains most of the nutrients in its season.” Colorful fruits and vegetables like pumpkin, pomegranate, kale, and bell peppers contain antioxidants and work like natural vitamins containing valuable nutrients.
Including these snacks in your diet is easy, for example adding more vegetables to scrambled eggs or pasta sauce, or adding some fruit to your smoothie and craving vegetables for a snack.
VII) Olive oil:
Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that helps increase insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation can interfere with ovulation, fertilization, and early fetal development.
In addition to adding olive oil to your diet before pregnancy, you should also consider reducing your consumption of trans fats, which are found in many cooked, fried and processed foods. Trans fats reduce the body’s ability to respond to insulin, making women more likely to have irregular ovulation.
“Studies at Harvard have shown that fertility is better in women who eat less trans fats, sugar, refined carbohydrates and low-fat dairy products,” said Dr. Rebecca Scritchfield. It is advisable to replace them with vegetable fats such as olive oil, whole grains, and high-fat dairy products.
VIII) Wild fish:
Wild fish such as salmon, shrimp (from Alaska and Canada), tilapia, and catfish are low in mercury and high in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can help regulate reproductive hormones and increase blood flow to the genitals. Nutritionists recommend wild fish and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids for those trying to conceive.
Dr. Susan B. Dobart, author of the book “You’re healthy, your child‘s healthy”, that your child’s health is linked and depends on your health and well-being. She also recommends eating wild fish several times a week to provide you with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
If you want to get pregnant, avoid high-mercury fish such as sharks, swordfish, herring, and ticks from the Gulf of Mexico because the US Environmental Protection Agency warns against them.
IX) Prenatal vitamins:
In addition to focusing on improving your diet and proper nutrition, taking nutritional supplements will help you make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need every day. Dr. Rebecca Scritchfield believes it is important to provide the body with nutrients before pregnancy . Despite all efforts, we do not always get all the nutrients we need through our diet.
For all of your basic needs, look for complete vitamins that provide folate (400 micrograms) and DHA (200 to 300 mg). It is important to take these supplements before, during, and after pregnancy.
Start taking pregnancy vitamins about three months before deciding to conceive to make sure your body has adequate reserves for pregnancy.
Susan B. Dobart also suggests that you adjust your vitamin D supplement according to the amount in your blood (see your doctor).