When it comes to planning for a baby, do not forget to prepare your body for the incoming changes. As a matter of fact, Wynn and Wynn (1995) have shown that paying attention to improving your eating habits has a significant and positive effect on your baby. Eating a fertility diet is not only for couples who have issues with contraception, but is also perfect for those who want to conceive because a fertility diet minimizes the risk of disability for your baby as well as increases your chance of birthing a baby of satisfactory weight. So without further ado, let us take a look on the dietary changes you can make to ready your body for conception.
For at least a month before pregnancy, you need to supplement your diet with 400mcg of folic acid. As a matter of fact, women of child bearing age are urged to supplement their diet with folic acid because it reduces the risk of your baby from getting neural tube defects like spina bifida (Laurence, et al. 1981). Further, folic acid also lowers the risk for your baby from having diabetes, cancer, strokes, and heart attacks as he or she grows older.
If you want to incorporate folic acid into your diet, there are plenty of foods rich in folate. Folate is the bioavailable form of folic acid. According to Global Healing Center, these are the foods rich in folate: squash, carrots, celery, corn, beets, cauliflower, seeds and nuts, Brussels sprouts, okra, avocado, lentils, peas, beans, citrus fruits, broccoli, asparagus, and dark leafy vegetables.
A lot of scientific studies have pointed out that dietary iodine deficiency is more common than people think (Moreno-Reyes. 2013) and is quite dangerous to both mother and baby. Iodine deficiency can negatively affect the child’s metabolism that leads to irreversible mental damage or impairments to the baby’s cognitive function and motor skills (Ghirri et al. 2014). As for the mother, iodine deficiency can influence seizures and eclampsia (Kharb. 2013).
So, if you are planning to get pregnant sometime soon, then better supplement your diet with iodine. Here is a list of iodine rich food: raw and organic cheese; organic strawberries; organic navy beans; organic yogurt; cranberries; and sea vegetables.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids (FA) are important for the eye and brain development of your baby (Birch. 1990). Also, having an optimal amount of Omega-3 FAs also provides protection against pregnancy related issues like depression, preeclampsia, and preterm birth.
Omega-3 Fatty acids are found in both plant based and marine based sources. Oily fish are very rich in omega-3 FAs and examples are salmon and sardines. However, you must also be aware about mercury contamination of fish so try to steer clear of fresh or frozen grouper, marlin, Spanish mackerel, orange roughy, shark, tuna steaks, king mackerel, tilefish, swordfish, and canned tuna because of its high mercury content according to the US FDA.
All in all, when you want to get pregnant it is highly advised that you try to maintain a healthy weight, becoming too skinny is not favorable as well as being too overweight. And don’t forget to consume more healthy food like organic and fresh fruits and veggies, while also incorporating the right amount of lean proteins and healthy fats into your diet.
You can get more fertility tips from Fertility Solutions nurse manager Denise Donati in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUJ5E4SxOW8
And if you are interested in learning whether supplements or super foods are best for fertility, you might enjoy this post: http://www.fssc.com.au/supplements-or-super-foods-for-fertility/.
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