Most of us know that there is a critical connection between the quality of diet we eat and the ability to conceive a child.
Diet plays a very important factor both in conception as well as the development of the fetus as soon as you are pregnant. Understanding the relationship between the two can help you make smart choices in order to optimize your chances of conceiving a child.
There are other factors which affect your chances of getting pregnant. If you are overweight, losing even about 5 to 10 % of your body weight can regulate your ovulation and boost your chances of conceiving. So the smartest thing to do would be to eat a diet rich in nutrients and follow a healthy exercise regimen.
Your body digests bad carbs like white rice, cookies, cakes and white bread very quickly and converts them into blood sugar. This causes a spike in your blood sugar levels which in turn causes the pancreas to release insulin in your blood stream to drive down the sugar spike. High insulin levels have shown to hamper ovulation.
Good carbs (those containing fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains) are digested more slowly and have a gradual effect on your blood sugar and insulin.
Consume 2 or more servings of full fat milk per day along with other dairy products like yogurt and cheese to boost your chances of getting pregnant. Low fat dairy products have shown to have the opposite effect on fertility. But beware of unpasteurized dairy products and soft cheeses which are known to cause listeria, a condition which causes early miscarriage- possibly before you even know you’re pregnant.
Proteins are the building blocks of the body. Plant protein sources like peas, soy, beans and nuts are known to boost fertility. Vegetable proteins are usually lower in fat and calories than steak or fried chicken. So, including them in your meal plans is both good for you and a great way to maintain a healthy weight.
Healthy oils such as Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that helps increase insulin sensitivity and decrease inflammation in the body (inflammation interferes with ovulation, conception, and early development of the embryo). Use it for cooking in place of butter and refined oils.
Fish and fish oil are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve fertility by helping to regulate hormones in the body, promote ovulation and improve overall health of the uterus by improving the uterine lining development. But beware of fish that have high levels of mercury as they can hinder fertility. Choose fish which have lower levels of mercury.
When it comes to fertility and diet, men don’t get a pass. Doctors recommend that fathers-to-be take a daily multivitamin that contains zinc and selenium for at least three months before conception. Studies suggest these minerals aid in healthy sperm development. Meat, poultry and seafood are all excellent sources of zinc and selenium as well.
To reduce your baby’s risk of developing a neural tube defect, experts recommend that you take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid a day, beginning at least a month before you start trying to get pregnant. Folic acid can be found in some fortified breakfast cereals, lentils, dry beans, avocado, nuts, dark green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits.
Keep your weight in the “fertility zone:” a BMI of 18.5 to 24. Being too thin (a body mass index of less than 18.5) or overweight (a BMI of 25 or more) can affect your fertility and your baby’s health.
30 mins to 60 mins of exercise a day can keep you healthy and boost your chances of getting pregnant. But do not over exercise which can have the exact opposite effect on your fertility.
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