Try These 10 Super Foods to Improve Your Chances of Pregnancy
It’s no secret that a healthy diet works wonders towards improving fertility.
29 April 2015
On one hand, there are hoards of scientific studies that reveal the benefits of a healthy preconception diet.
On the other, your doctor tells you to abstain from certain foods (read fertility spoilers) when you’re trying to conceive.
This only goes to prove that along with keeping a tab of your fertile days, you must also eat right to ensure that the good news comes knocking at your doors soon.
Here is a list of top ten superfoods that will not only help enhance your chances of getting pregnant, but will also enhance your expected baby’s health and overall development.
If there’s any veggie that deserves the prime spot in your daily salad intake, it’s ought to be broccoli! Broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrients that are highly beneficial if you are trying to conceive.
It is rich in folic acid that women need right from preconception, throughout pregnancy. Folic acid helps prevent the risk of neural tube defects in the unborn fetus.
Broccoli is packed with Vitamin C that increases the level of progesterone, which thereby regulates the period cycle and thickens the uterus lining. It is also rich in calcium that is an excellent fertility booster too! The folic acid in broccoli also helps improve the sperm count in men, so make sure that both you and your partner share that bowl of broccoli salad.
2. Red Cabbage
Though green cabbage provides a variety of exhaustive health benefits like improved digestion and cardiovascular health, expectant mothers must include red cabbage in their preconception diet!
Red cabbage gets its color comes from the high concentration of polyphenols called anthocyanin, which have anti-inflammatory properties. This compound helps prevent fertility complications like endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, poor egg quality and even the risk of miscarriages.
Red cabbage also contains Di-Indole Methane (DIM). DIM is a phytonutrient that helps prevent fibroids, which are one of the biggest causes of infertility.
This fruit is totally worth going bananas over if you’re trying to have a baby.
Bananas are rich in vitamin B6 that boosts reproductive health and regulates levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones. Excessive estrogen and insufficient progesterone can cause a delay in pregnancy.
The presence of ample vitamin B6 rich foods in your preconception diet can lower the chances of miscarriage during your first few weeks of pregnancy. Bananas also contain bromelain, a protein that helps increase male libido.
4. Dairy Products
Dairy products like whole milk, cheese, and cottage cheese are a rich source of calcium.
Apart from boosting your bone health, calcium is also extremely beneficial in enhancing your fertility. It helps sperms thrive by balancing the alkalinity of your reproductive tract. A calcium rich diet also reduces your risk of developing osteoporosis.
Include at least one serving of milk and one portion of dairy foods in your daily preconception diet.
5. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, a mineral that helps produce mature eggs for fertilization, regulates estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, and reduces the size of uterine fibroids that can hamper fertility.
Zinc is also highly beneficial for sperm activation. According to a study conducted by Penn State, a deficiency of dietary zinc before conception can hamper fetal development. Other zinc rich foods include oats, baked beans, and chicken.
Yams may not feature in your list of favorite veggies, but if you’re trying to conceive, they should! Yams contain phytoestrogens and dioscin (natural progesterone) which help maintain optimum estrogen-progesterone balance.
Among many causes of infertility among women, endometriosis and fibroids are a result of estrogen dominance in the body. That’s where yams work their magic!
This wonder fruit makes a great addition to your preconception diet! Avocados contain folic acid, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and antioxidant vitamin E that help boost both, male and female fertility.
According to a study, women who eat high amounts of unsaturated fat rich foods while undergoing IVF therapy have three times higher conception rates. Vitamin E contained in avocados reduces the risk of DNA damage to the sperm and makes it more fertile.
Whether you like them poached, fried or boiled, make sure to include eggs as a part of your daily breakfast! Eggs are a great source of vitamin D, proteins, vitamin B12, choline and Vitamin E. The fat-soluble vitamin D improves production of estrogen and regulates cell growth.
A deficiency of vitamin D can also trigger PCOS. According to a study published in Fertility and Sterility, vitamin E helps increase the thickness of the endometrium in women with thin uterine.
It enhances sperm mobility and reduces the risk of miscarriage, too. Eggs also contain choline that prevents neural tube defects in the fetus and contributes to its brain development.
9. Fatty Fish
Fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and herring are packed with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Monounsaturated fats improve blood flow to the reproductive organs and help in the production of sex hormones, the imbalance of which can lead to delayed fertility. These fatty acids also reduce inflammation that could contribute to infertility.
Make sure to avoid fish that is high in mercury as it can have adverse impacts on the brain development of the unborn child. Some high-mercury fish include tilefish, king mackerel ans shark.
10. Lean Meat
If you are a meat lover, make sure to stock your pantry with lean meats like chicken, turkey and lean beef. Lean meat is a rich source of proteins that contribute to the baby’s healthy birth weight. It is also high in iron that helps reduce the risk of ovulatory infertility and iron deficiency in the unborn fetus.
If you are a vegetarian, make sure to get your iron intake from alternative sources like lentils and green leafy vegetables. You must also take iron supplements in consultation with your doctor.
In addition to including the foods mentioned above in your diet, you must ensure to stay away from fertility busters like alcohol, smoking, and caffeine.
Keep yourself well hydrated and enjoy a stress-free lifestyle. If you have been avoiding working out all along, it’s time to finally get the fitness ball rolling! Being overweight or underweight can also result in delayed fertility.
Always remember, successful conception is a combined effort of both you and your partner. Ensure that your man is following a healthy way of life just how you are!