Infertility is a common problem for couples trying to get pregnant – In fact, 15% of couples struggle with fertility issues. While you cannot control every aspect of your fertility, you can increase your chances of conceiving by maintaining a healthy diet and taking fertility supplements. Eating a diet that is full of vitamins and minerals is especially important if you are trying to get pregnant after 35 when your fertility levels begin falling. Nutritious foods help you maintain healthy body weight and be in the best health for reproduction.
Diets rich in calcium, iron, and folate help support conception and fetal development throughout your pregnancy. Superfoods such as berries and Brussel sprouts are high in antioxidants and fiber needed to improve your health. If you are looking to improve your egg health before getting pregnant, going through egg freezing, or a cycle of IVF, changing your diet may help. Learn which superfoods have the biggest impact on your health and incorporate more of them into your meals.
Superfoods That Keep Your Body Healthy & Strong
All types of berries are low in calories and contain high amounts of antioxidants and fiber. Fiber helps you feel full and satisfied after a meal and keeps your bowels moving regularly. Antioxidant-rich berries help lower inflammation in your body and reduce your risk of developing cancer and other chronic diseases. Frozen berries are just as nutritious as fresh ones and are a great option when the fruit is out of season in your area.
Dark, Leafy Greens
Spinach, kale, collard greens, and swiss chard are full of fiber, calcium, and vitamins A and C. They also contain phytochemicals that are important for cell growth and replacement. Leafy greens also contain high amounts of iron, which is an important mineral for producing red blood cells. Low levels of iron can cause anemia, which can leave you feeling fatigued. You will need to increase your iron intake during pregnancy to help produce enough blood supply to support your baby.
Whole grains include any grain with all three layers of the grain intact. The inner germ layer of whole grains contains protein along with vitamins and minerals. The middle endosperm layer contains mostly carbohydrates, and the outer bran layer provides fiber, antioxidants, and other minerals. Whole grains include wheat, corn, oats, quinoa, and rice. They come in rolled, cracked, and sprouted varieties. Whole grains are full of B vitamins, including folate. They are also high in fiber and have more protein than refined grains. Whole grains contain plant phytonutrients like sterols, proven through science to regulate glucose and lipid levels.
Whole eggs are high in protein, vitamins D, B, and choline. Choline is an essential nutrient during your pregnancy. Research shows that choline is needed for normal fetal production of stem cells and proper spine and brain development. Low levels of choline during pregnancy can increase the risk of the neural tube and other birth defects. Eggs are also a good source of protein for your diet.
Wild seafood and omega-3 rich fish are excellent sources of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Great types of fish to incorporate into your diet include salmon, trout, sardines, and tuna. They contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Salmon has some of the highest levels of omega-3s compared to other types of fish and contains vitamins A, B6, B12, and D. It also has beneficial calcium, potassium, and magnesium levels. If you are trying to become pregnant, you may want to avoid tuna and other fish with higher mercury levels, which can impact your fertility and negatively affect the baby’s health.
Avocados are full of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which help you feel full and satisfied in between meals. They are also a good source of vitamins B6, folate, C, E, and K. Avocados contain high amounts of magnesium and potassium. The plant sterols in avocados help your body maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and their carotenoid compounds may even prevent some types of cancer. Avocados are beneficial for pregnancy because of their high levels of folate. Folate, also known as folic acid, helps form a baby’s neural tube and is needed to prevent birth defects. A single avocado contains up to 160 mcg of folate, which is almost one-third of the 600 mcg pregnant women need to consume daily.
Beans, soybeans, peas, and lentils are legumes with high amounts of iron, folic acid, and fiber. They are also a great source of plant-based protein and can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Legumes are low in fat, and their high fiber content helps regulate your digestive system. You can easily add legumes into any of your meals to pump up your protein and fiber levels or use them in your dishes as a meat alternative. Legumes are an excellent food for fertility as well. The iron and folic acid they contain are essential nutrients for women who want to become pregnant and are commonly found in preconception vitamins. The nutrients help prevent birth defects and are important for the baby’s development during pregnancy.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are other excellent sources of plant-based protein. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and pecans contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that can help you keep unwanted weight off and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds are also rich in heart-healthy fats and contain numerous vitamins and minerals needed to maintain your health. Flax seeds contain high amounts of omega-3 fats, while pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc and iron. It’s easy to add extra nutrients to your diet by snacking on some nuts or seeds during the day. Just be mindful that some nuts are calorie-dense, and you do not want to have too large of a portion.
Adding Supplements to Your Diet
It’s hard to get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs, no matter how healthy your eating habits are. Your diet and health are even more critical when you are trying to conceive. Consider adding quality supplements to your diet to improve your cellular health and increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Fertility supplements for women are especially important to improve your chances of getting pregnant after 40. Supplements with DHEA, folate, and iron can help improve the health of your eggs and ovaries. Researchers have even developed fertility supplements for men. For example, ubiquinol, a more bioavailable form of CoQ10, can support men’s sperm health and may increase a man’s sperm count or motility. Adding fertility supplements to a nutritionally dense diet may help improve your fertility.
Having completed my Bachelor’s degree in medicine and currently pursuing a house job at a well-reputed hospital in California, I decided to utilize my spare time in sharing knowledge with others through my blog. Apart from my time spent in the medical field, I love to read fiction novels and go on long drives.