Scientists have deduced that the chances of conception can be increased by eating a big breakfast. This must come as good news for women trying to conceive. Even if you are not so sure about it, a link between fertility and food is one thing you cannot deny that scientists have given clear evidences. This is why the balance of diet is important for conception. Let us see what to eat to get pregnant and what to avoid for it.
What to Eat to Get Pregnant
Why it is important: Folic acid can help in reducing the risk of neural-tube birth defects in babies like spina bifida and has also been proven to lower the chances of diabetes, heart attacks, cancer and strokes of baby.
Consuming foods that are rich in folic acid such as citrus fruits, vegetables, fortified whole grain and cereals and taking prenatal vitamin or a supplement are some ways of increasing your folic acid intake. At least 400-600 mg of folic acid must be taken in daily before pregnancy and around 800 mg while expecting if you want to minimize the risk of birth defects and ensure a healthy baby.
Why it is important: A lower carbohydrate, higher protein diet is found to increase rate of pregnancy. Consuming a diet of 40% or less carbohydrate and 25% or more protein doubled the rate of pregnancy in IVF patients and improved egg quality in comparison to those who consumed a lower protein, higher carbohydrate diet.
White meat poultry, egg whites, whole eggs, fishes like salmon that also contain omega-3 fatty acids are rich in protein and therefore are among the foods to eat to get pregnant. For vegetarians, legumes and beans are good source to get protein and can also offer iron which also an essential nutrient.
Fruits and Vegetables
Why it is important: Fruits and vegetables help in decreasing inflammation in the body and offer a great amount of antioxidants and essential nutrients.
Consuming at least 3 cups of fruits per day and 3 cups of colorful vegetables is essential for maintaining good reproductive health.
Why it is important: Dairy products are a good answer to the question what to eat to get pregnant as they are a good source of both protein and calcium, which are both important for mom and baby.
Try to have at least three portions of dairy products a day with one of the portions being a glass of semi-skimmed milk or a cup of yogurt.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Why it is important: If you want to know what to eat when trying to get pregnant, then foods containing omega-3 fatty acids is one answer as they can provide the healthy fats necessary for regulation of hormone functions. Besides being ideal for increasing the chances of conception, omega-3s are essential for the brain development of the baby during pregnancy as well.
Try to have at least 1,000 to 2,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day which equates to about 2 tbsp. of walnuts, 2 tbsp of chia seeds or flaxseeds or 2-3 ounces of fish. Chia and flax seeds can be put in salads, yogurt or smoothies. You can create a trail mix with flax seeds, whole grain cereal and dried fruit as well. Cooking with chia or flaxseed oil or drizzling it on your salads is another way of increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
Here are top 10 best foods to get pregnant that you can refer to. Or you can see the video below to learn fertility foods and why they help.
What Should Be Totally Avoided in the Diet for Pregnancy?
Eating too much red meat can increase the levels of ammonia in your body which interferes with the implantation of eggs in the uterus. Consumption of red meat can also be detrimental for men as it affects sperm activity by increasing acidity.
Insulin resistance is produced by eating too much refined sugar. This can cause or aggravate PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) which is a condition that affects ovulation and is among the leading causes of female infertility.
Even though drinking alcohol does not absolutely kill your chances of conception, consuming more than seven drinks a week can have a significant effect on the fertility success of women above 30 according to a Danish research.
Consumption of caffeine is related to infertility according to some studies. However, experts say that there isn’t enough proof available to suggest that caffeine does in fact cause infertility. Generally, it is safe to drink around two 8-ouces cups of coffee on a weekly basis when trying to get pregnant, but don’t consume more than that.
Certain Types of Fish
Even though fish is healthy, some of them contain mercury which is not so good for the unborn babies. Since mercury can accumulate in the body and remain there for over a year, it is best to not eat fishes like tilefish, king mackerel, swordfish and shark which are rich in mercury when trying to get pregnant. You can consume fish like salmon and canned light tuna twice a week as they contain low levels of mercury.