If you and your spouse have been trying to conceive without any success, the two of you might want to consider making changes in your diet as certain foods have been found to improve your chances of conceiving.
Consider adding these foods to your diet now not only to boost your fertility, but also to prepare your body for pregnancy.
1) High Quality Proteins
Studies have shown that you stand a greater chance of achieving conception if you eat a diet that is higher in proteins and lower in carbohydrates. The higher protein content allows for the absorption of essential amino acids which are important in improving the quality of the eggs in your ovaries. For IVF patients, your chances of getting pregnant are doubled if you eat more proteins.
While whole eggs, egg whites and white meat poultry are recommended for their high protein content, experts from the Harvard School of Public Health recommend that you should consume more of plant proteins than animal proteins. This is because in their study, they have found that women who consume more animal proteins have a 39 percent higher chance of infertility. If you want to get pregnant, eat more of beans, tofu, lentils and nuts.
2) Fruits and Vegetables
When trying to conceive, you should eat more fruits and vegetables than you regularly consume. This is because there are substances in veggies and fruits that will boost your fertility. One such substance is glutathione which is found in asparagus, watermelon and other raw fruits and veggies. Glutathione is effective in improving egg quality. Kale and other leafy green veggies contain phytonutrients that boost oestrogen metabolism.
Men should also increase their intake of fruits and vegetables, particularly leafy greens, carrots, and tomatoes, because they contain antioxidants which improve sperm development.
3) Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic acid)
Most women know about how important this B vitamin is in preventing neural tube and other birth defects in babies. But it is just as vital to consume this vitamin before getting pregnant. In women, consuming this vitamin six times a week or more showed a 40 percent decreased risk of ovulation failure (a condition wherein it is difficult for the ovaries to produce eggs).
The natural form of the vitamin, folate, can be obtained from vegetables and citrus fruits. You can also consume the vitamin in its synthetic form, folic acid, as a supplement or in fortified whole grains and cereals.
Whether you like it or not, you stand a better chance of conceiving if you consume good healthy fats. This is because eating a no-fat or low-fat diet upsets the balance of sex hormones in the body, which will inhibit ovulation. If you are concerned about possible weight gain during pregnancy, doctors advise that you alternate your consumption of skim milk with a serving of whole milk. For example, if today, you are drinking skim milk, the following day you should be consuming whole milk. If you’re not much of a whole milk drinker, you can switch it with one serving of ice cream.
You should also increase your intake of monounsaturated fats like olive oil. These fats lower inflammation reactions in the body and increase sensitivity to insulin. Inflammation and low insulin sensitivity has been known to have a detrimental effect on ovulation and fertility.
5) Omega 3-Fatty Acids
While omega 3-fatty acids are recommended during pregnancy to assist in the brain development of the baby, many experts say that taking these nutrients while trying to conceive will help to restore sex hormone balance and, thus, improve your fertility.
Fish has long been touted as the best source of omega 3-fatty acids but you should avoid swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel because of their mercury content. The best fish you should eat is wild salmon.
You can also look for other sources aside from fish as a supplement such as flax seeds and chia seeds that are also rich in omega 3-fatty acids.