Trying to get pregnant can be stressful and challenging on all parties involved. One of the ways you can improve your chances of conceiving is to make sure you are getting your proper nutrition. If you are trying to have a baby there are foods that can help or hurt you during the process. Knowing which foods to eat increases your chances for fertility and is one of the keys to making the process of conceiving easier for you.
Here is a quick guide to determining what you should keep in and out of your pantry to help promote your fertility:
Increase your protein intake.
Protein is essential if you are trying to conceive and women who consume animal protein had the best success at getting pregnant. According to a study conducted by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health, 39% of women who became pregnant had the highest intake of animal protein.
Grab a scoop of ice cream.
Yes, you read the header right. Ice cream made the list of foods that help boost fertility and we’re not talking about the low-fat version! A Nurses Health Study from the Harvard School of Public Health found one or two daily servings of whole milk or whole dairy products protects you against ovulatory infertility. Skim and low-fat milk had the opposite effect. The theory behind this may be that when the fat from ice cream is removed, it changes the balance of the sex hormones which ends up hindering ovulation. In other words, go ahead and indulge in eating ice cream. But, don’t get too crazy! If you are eating ice cream to help you with conceiving, you will need to balance out these extra calories in other aspects of your diet.
Eat plenty of greens.
Remember when mom always encouraged you to eat your greens to stay healthy? She was on to something. If you are trying to conceive, make sure you are eating plenty of leafy greens. Some great greens include broccoli, arugula, spinach and romaine. Greens are high in folate, which is vitamin B. According to studies, this intake of folate improves your chances of ovulation. Don’t forget to have your partner eat his greens as well. Not only will this help to increase the healthiness of his sperm but it also reduces miscarriages and genetic issues with the baby.
Snack on pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin seeds are a healthy snack that also helps promote fertility. They are high in non-heme iron. This iron is found in specific plant food and iron-fortified foods. This is why pumpkin seeds work so well. Often it is suggested that women take an iron supplement as it helps to keep you healthy as you conceive. This iron also helps you to improve your chances of having a healthier pregnancy and baby. Pumpkin seeds have a similar effect on your iron levels. An excellent way to make the seeds tasty is to toast pumpkin seeds in the oven for a crunchy snack. Other foods which are rich in non-heme iron include prunes, raisins, figs, peanut butter, beans and oatmeal. Add these into your mix of foods to help your fertility as well.
Eat whole wheat bread instead of white bread.
Complex carbs are harder to digest versus refined carbs. Ingesting carbs can help to stabilize insulin levels in the blood if you are eating the right type of carbs. But, if insulin levels are out of whack, this can cause disruption to the reproductive hormones. In a study, when the women had high levels of blood sugar, they were only half as likely to get pregnant. To increase your chances of conceiving, choose dark bread over light ones, brown rice versus white rice and whole wheat pasta choices. They are easier to digest and will keep your insulin levels more stable.
Avoid trans fats.
Trans fat is not your friend when you are trying to conceive. Here’s why: When you eat too many trans fats, it interferes with your body’s ability to balance your insulin levels. It also makes your ovulation periods inconsistent and irregular making it harder to get pregnant. Trans fat is found in baked goods, processed foods and fried foods. One way to help with regulating your insulin levels and inflammation throughout your body is to incorporate monounsaturated fats instead. An alternative you can use when cooking is olive oil. This way you won’t sacrifice taste and the quality of your food.
A healthy seafood option.
Adding fish, like salmon, to your diet can help your reproductive hormones as well. Salmon is a fish which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It is also lower in mercury versus other fish. You can prepare salmon by broiling, pan searing it or baking it and adding healthy glazes to it for taste.
Making these subtle changes to your diet will prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy as well as a healthy baby.