A fertility diet can play a major role in boosting your chances of pregnancy. Everything you eat affects your entire body – from your blood to your hormones and your body tissues. A study by the American Pregnancy Association, a nonprofit organization that promotes reproductive wellness, said that your body needs at least 3 months for dietary changes to be effective.
So, if you are planning to get pregnant, you need to change to a fertility diet and make it baby-friendly at least 3 months before trying to conceive.
Below are a few fertility diet tips you should follow:
Studies have shown a link between drinking alcohol and difficulty in getting pregnant. In a study of 430 couples conducted by Danish researchers, they discovered the couples’ ability to conceive was lowered as their consumption of alcohol was increased. Women who have 10 drinks or more a week have much lower chances of conceiving than women who have 5 drinks or less in a week.
If you suffer from irregular menstrual cycles, you should stop drinking alcohol altogether. Alcohol may worsen your already irregular cycle and so will make it much harder for you to predict when you are ovulating – the time when you are most likely to get pregnant.
Experts consider that moderate caffeine consumption of one cup of coffee a day is a safe dosage. High levels of caffeine in the body are dangerous because caffeine constricts the blood vessels and reduces the blood volume flowing to your uterus. If you have difficulty getting pregnant or have had in vitro fertilization (IVF) you should stop taking caffeine altogether. Since it reduces the blood flow to your uterus, it reduces the oxygen supply to the womb and it also makes it harder for fertilized eggs to embed into the uterine lining.
Your body needs energy from carbohydrates if it is to support a baby in your womb. But don’t just eat any kind of carbohydrate. Refined carbohydrates, found in white bread, white rice and pasta, have lost many of the key nutrients during the refining process when up to 17 kinds of nutrients, including iron, B vitamins and antioxidants, are removed. Instead, opt for wheat bread, brown rice and whole grains.
These have not undergone any form of refinement and so contain most of the nutrients that you need for your body. In a fertility diet, as advised by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s newly improved Food Pyramid, you should have about 6 ounces of organic unrefined carbohydrates servings in a day.
Vegetables and fruit are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals as well as with a wealth of antioxidants and phytochemicals. They are also rich in fiber and so improve bowel movement.
One of the main benefits of eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables before and during pregnancy, or at any other time is the cleansing effect they have on the body, freeing it, in particular of destructive free radicals.
Free radicals are detached molecules in the body that destroy other cells. They are thought to be caused by the pollutants from sunlight, smog, and fast foods that make their way into our bodies. Free radicals have a huge effect on the quality of egg cells, on sperm count and motility and on the reproductive system in general.
You do not have to go to an expensive medical clinic to detoxify your body of these pollutants. Six or more servings of fresh fruit and vegetables can help you to cleanse yourself of free radicals and other pollutants. It is best to buy brightly colored vegetables and fruits, such as green vegetables, red peppers and blueberries. The more vibrant the color, the more nutrients the fruit or vegetable has.
A fertility diet has a huge impact on health and fertility. To help you follow a healthy diet good for baby-making, we have a general rule that can be perfect for your present diet. First, think of variety. Then opt for fresh fruit and vegetables over processed ones. Increase your daily servings to 6 or more. Have fruit or a carrot instead of junk food as a snack. When possible buy organic fruit and vegetables. They may be more expensive but they have no pesticides or man-made fertilizer content.
Iva Keene is co-founder and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She has been a qualified, accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 13 years, holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Science and a Masters degree in Reproductive Medicine. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva's articles, videos, guides and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments and integrative reproductive health.