What we eat can affect our chances of getting pregnant, but the full picture isn’t very clear because it’s hard to separate diet from other factors. Diet and healthy eating have been proven to be linked to fertility health in both women and men. In addition, there are substances that can interfere with fertility. The best foods for getting pregnant are the same as those for general well-being: whole grains, healthy fats, and protein.
The best advice for women is to —
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Choose fiber-rich whole grain foods like brown bread, brown rice instead of white processed foods.
Eat more fruits and vegetables, including lentils and beans.
Avoid foods high in “bad” saturated fats, such as fried foods, pastries, cookies, pies, and cakes. Eat more “good” unsaturated fats, such as nuts, fatty fish and seeds.
Avoid sugary foods (confectionery, cookies, cakes) and drinks (soft drinks).
Eat at least five servings of different fruits and vegetables each day (three vegetables if possible).
Achieving the ideal BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 and staying active also helps with fertility.
Iron deficiency anemia is treated with iron supplement tablets. And also, green leafy vegetables, cereals and bread with iron supplement (enriched), meat and organ meats, legumes (beans, peas and lentils) can be advised.
If you don’t get your period or your period only comes occasionally, you may not be ovulating (releasing an egg from your ovary). It is a cause of infertility. Eating a serving of whole dairy products (like milk or yogurt) daily has been shown to help with this. It may be linked to the higher levels of estrogen in high-fat dairy products compared to low-fat products.
All women should take folic acid tablets before getting pregnant to increase the level of folic acid in their body to provide maximum protection for the baby against neural tube defects such as spina bifida. It’s almost impossible to get enough folic acid from the diet to provide maximum protection. Most women should take 400 mcg of folic acid daily for two months before trying to have a baby and continue until 12 weeks pregnant. Folic acid can be obtained naturally through dark green leafy vegetables (i.e. spinach), citrus fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains, fortified breads and cereals.
Zinc deficiencies affect both male and female fertility. Maintaining the recommended dietary intake of zinc (15 mg per day) can help keep your reproductive system working properly.
It is recommended that women consume at least 1000 mg (three 8 oz glasses of skim milk) of calcium per day if they plan to become pregnant.
For men –
Men can improve their chances of pregnancy by dieting because sperm quality is affected by diet. Meals high in processed meat (like bacon and sausage), alcohol, caffeine, red meat, saturated fat are linked to poor semen quality. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish are linked to better sperm quality. Eating one serving of nuts a day has been shown to help sperm motility (ability to swim).
A word of warning –
If you are planning to have a baby, it is advisable not to take herbal or homeopathic products. Do not take any supplements containing vitamin A, such as liver or fish oil. High doses of vitamin A can affect the baby’s development in the womb.
The diet before pregnancy will affect the development of the baby in the womb and its health in the future. If the diet is high in saturated fat and sugar before and during pregnancy, children will be more likely to have high blood pressure and gain weight later in life.