How Eating the Right Food Might Help you to Conceive
By Dr. Kate Dudek
Our diet has a direct impact on how healthy we are, and, eating well will keep us looking and feeling better. Improved heart health, a lower risk of developing dementia and brighter looking skin are just some of the perks of adopting a well-balanced diet.
Whilst eating healthily is always to be encouraged, a woman’s diet prior to, and during, pregnancy is extra important. Eating more of the right things will ensure optimum health not just for her, but also for her baby.
Most of us know the foods that are bad for us; those that are processed, contain high sugar content, or excess saturated fats. But, of those foods that are good for us, will any actually help to boost fertility?
The short answer is yes! Sea food, poultry, whole grains, fruit and vegetables have all been shown to improve fertility. The long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseeds, chia and walnuts all increase your likelihood of conceiving. Vegetables, which are high in fibre and full of good carbohydrates, function well as fertility enhancers in their own right, but those containing high levels of folate are even better. Folic acid improves fertility, reduces the risk of miscarriage, and prevents neural tube defects in the developing baby. Such are its beneficial properties, it is frequently prescribed as a supplement for women aiming to become pregnant.
The great news, however, is that by eating a diet rich in dark, leafy greens, you can naturally increase your folate levels, getting all the same benefits that supplements provide. Foods such as spinach, peas, broccoli and brussel sprouts are excellent sources of folate. They also contain vitamin A and other essential nutrients.
So, to improve your chances of conceiving, first of all look at your diet because simple changes and additions can make for a much healthier lifestyle and pregnancy.
Gaskins, A J, and J E Chavarro. “Diet and Fertility: a Review.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 218, no. 4, Apr. 2018, pp. 379–389., doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2017.08.010
Wilson, R D., et al, “Pre-Conception Folic Acid and Multivitamin Supplementation for the Primary and Secondary Prevention of Neural Tube Defects and Other Folic Acid-Sensitive Congenital Anomalies.” Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, vol. 37, no. 6, pp. 534–552.
US Department of health and human services, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/