Diet and Fertility: How Your Dinner Plate Can Help You Conceive
When we think about conception, most of us are more likely to think about bed time than dinner time. Still, studies have consistently shown that a healthy diet can help our chances of conception. Some foods are known to have nutritional properties which aid in conception.
Before concerning ourselves with specific foods which can help us conceive, it’s important to point out that the main goal of our diets should simply be to eat healthy. It’s also important to exercise. Obesity is one of the leading causes of infertility in the United States, and is a problem most of us know how to solve (the willpower to actually take the steps to solve it is another matter entirely).
While your diet isn’t the only factor (or even the main one) in whether or not you are able to conceive, here are some healthy eating habits which have been shown to help your chances of having a baby:
- Cut empty calories. Drop foods like white bread and pasta that give you little or no nutritional value for the calories you take in.
- Keep caffeine and alcohol to moderate levels. It’s best not to drink alcohol at all when you are trying to conceive. Caffeine is OK in moderate doses, though it’s better to get it through tea or coffee rather than soda (which studies have shown decrease fertility). Tea has actually been shown to increase fertility.
- Eat more protein, fewer carbs. This has become standard diet advice for trying to lose weight, but it also helps with fertility.
- Replace junk food with healthy snacks. Eat fresh veggies like carrots and celery instead of chips.
- Consider going organic. It is believed that hormones in many processed foods (and even in meat) may have a negative impact on fertility.
- Talk with a nutritionist or fertility specialist before supplementing. Supplements, including herbal supplements, can aid fertility. It’s important to get the right ones for your body and diet, though. One recent study suggests flaxseed is an excellent addition to your diet when trying to conceive. Others suggest chia seeds or Omega-3. Consult a nutritionist for specific information regarding what supplements are appropriate for you.
What changes in diet have you made since you started trying to conceive?