When you are trying to conceive, many factors can affect your chances of success. Tracking your ovulation is just part of the process. Women who maintain a regular exercise routine and who eat a healthy diet have been shown to be more successful in their attempts to get pregnant, and to improve their chances of getting pregnant after battling infertility. Some foods have been shown to have more impact than others on increasing a woman’s chances of conceiving. Here are some of the tops foods and tips for diet to increase your fertility, according to experts and studies:
Drink a Lot of Water
You know you’re supposed to do this anyway. But drinking a lot of water when you are trying to get pregnant can help your body to stay hydrated and functioning optimally. Water can also help flush out impurities and regulate your hormones.
Eat Whole Grains
Cut out processed foods like bread, pasta, and white rice in favor of whole grains such as oats, barley, and brown rice. Doing so will help regulate your metabolism and your body’s insulin response. Both will positively impact your hormones, which can help boost your fertility. Whole grains are also rich in B vitamins (including folic acid), zinc, and iron, which can increase fertility.
Eat a Lot of Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are nutritional powerhouses that are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, including iron and folic acid. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage contain phytonutrients that can help reduce estrogen to help establish hormonal balance. Vegetables high in beta carotene such as carrots and sweet potatoes can also help promote hormonal balance.
Reduce Meat Consumption
Most conventionally raised meat includes added hormones and antibiotics that can negatively impact health and can contribute to hormonal imbalance. Women who are having trouble conceiving are often advised to get more of their protein from plant sources, such as beans and nuts. However, women should avoid over-consumption of soy-based products such as tofu, because these products contain phytoestrogens that may negatively impact hormonal balance.
Eat Healthy Fats
Trans-fats – often found in baked goods, fried foods, margarine and other processed foods – can have a negative impact on fertility and should be eliminated or significantly reduced. Eating unsaturated fats and fats rich in Omega 3 fatty acids – such as walnuts and salmon – can actually help improve your fertility.
Cut Out Caffeine
Caffeine has been shown to impair fertility in both men and women, as well as to have negative effects on an unborn child in utero, including the risk of miscarriage, preterm labor, and low birth weight. If you can’t cut caffeine out of your diet completely, reduce it to less than 200 mg per day (about 1 or 2 small cups of coffee). Cut out sources like sodas for healthier options like green tea.
Get Regular Exercise
Moderate exercise of about 30 minutes per day has been shown to significantly increase a woman’s odds of conceiving. Exercise helps to regulate ovulation, insulin production, and hormonal balance, all of which are directly tied to fertility. Furthermore, overweight women who lost 5 to 10 percent of their body weight through healthy diet and exercise were shown to improve their odds of conception.
A healthy pre-pregnancy diet is much like any healthy diet: It is full of fiber, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy sources of fat. However, when trying to conceive, it is also important to stress intake of folic acid and other B vitamins, iron, and zinc. Taking a quality multivitamin can help supplement these nutrients, but a healthy diet should be their primary source.