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  • 7 Foods To Help Improve Your Chances Of Conceiving (It's Not All Fruits And Veggies!)

    Taking care of your health should start even before you get pregnant.
    by Kate Borbon .
7 Foods To Help Improve Your Chances Of Conceiving (It's Not All Fruits And Veggies!)
PHOTO BY iStock
  • We’ve said a lot about taking care of your health when you’re carrying a baby, but preparing your body begins when you have decided you may want a baby in the future. Looking over your body involves regular exercise and taking vitamins, but perhaps the most essential way is to observe a nutritious diet.

    7 foods that increase fertility

    A healthy and balanced diet can help you guarantee your physical health, especially if you are planning on getting pregnant. That said, these foods do not guarantee you will become pregnant, but they may help improve your chances of conceiving. Consider including these seven types of foods that increase fertility to your diet.

    Brown rice, quinoa, and other whole grains

    Whole grains like quinoa and brown rice are helpful for those who want to get pregnant because they help keep blood sugar levels stable. “Bad” carbohydrates like cakes, white bread, and white rice are quickly digested and turned into sugar, so it can trigger the pancreas to release insulin into the bloodstream.

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    Whole grains take longer to digest because of their high fiber and protein content, which means they have a more gradual effect on blood sugar and insulin, Parents notes.

    “Too much fluctuation in blood sugar and insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance and even diabetes, which can be problematic for fertility, pregnancy, and beyond,” prenatal and postnatal health coach Carolyn Tallents writes in an article for Motherly.

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    Coldwater fish and other sources of protein

    Parents advises women who want to get pregnant to look for good sources of protein. Some options you can try are chicken, pork, and beef that are trimmed of fat and consumed in moderation. You will need the iron and zinc in these meats.

    Fish is also an excellent source of protein, specifically salmon, canned light tuna, and sardines, which contain a lot of DHA and omega-3 fatty acids. These aid in developing a baby’s nervous system in the womb and can help reduce a woman’s risk of giving birth prematurely.

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    Nutritionist Sarah Krieger, R.D. tells Parents that women can eat these types of fish a few times a week but advises them to avoid varieties like king mackerel and swordfish.

    Lentils and beans

    According to Verywell Family, lentils and beans are packed with polyamine spermidine, which helps sperm fertilize the egg. These are also a good source of fiber and folate, an important nutrient for conception and the healthy development of an embryo. You can add lentils and beans in different kinds of foods, so it’s easy to include them in your regular diet.

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    Full-fat dairy products

    A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that a high intake of low-fat dairy can increase the risk of ovulatory fertility compared to high-fat dairy. Whole-fat or full-fat dairy products like milk and yogurt have protein, calcium, and vitamin D, which can be helpful in regulating menstrual cycles and balancing sex hormones, thus improving fertility. 

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    Fresh fruits and vegetables

    It’s always good to include fruits and vegetables in your diet, but it’s all the more important if you’re trying to conceive. You can try dark and leafy greens like spinach as these are full of iron, which supports ovulation and healthy egg development. Vegetables rich in folate support brain, heart, and neural tube development and aids in avoiding pregnancy complications.

    Another type of veggie you can include in your diet is asparagus, which has folate, vitamins A, C, and K, and thiamin, all nutrients that are vital for fertility. This veggie has zinc and selenium as well, which can help boost male fertility.

    Fruits are other types of foods that increase fertility. You can go for colorful fruits like blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, which have high levels of fiber, folate, and vitamin C, as well as antioxidants that boost fertility in men and women.

    Integrative nutritionist Alisa Vitti also tells Parents that watermelon provides the body with a rich supply of glutathione that helps in improving egg quality.

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    Oysters

    Tallents says that while it is not advisable for women to eat raw oysters during their pregnancies, these can help women while they are still trying to conceive. That is because oysters are rich in iron, which naturally boosts fertility in men and women. According to Verywell Family, a serving of six raw oysters also gives you zinc, selenium, and vitamin B12.

    Eggs

    Eggs are another kind of foods that increase fertility. Verywell Family says that eggs are a good source of B-vitamins, which help minimize the risk of birth defects and relieve some common pregnancy symptoms (specifically vitamins B6, B9, and B12, according to the American Pregnancy Association). B vitamins also boost natural health and energy during pregnancy.

    When preparing to get pregnant (and be a mother), it's just as important to ready yourself mentally. Click here to learn more.

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