Motherhood is one of the pivotal and most desirable moments in any woman’s life. Probably, it has been a while you and your partner have been talking about having a baby, but it’s not happening. Irrespective of whether you are planning to get pregnant in the near future or some months down the line; you need to prepare your body for pregnancy by getting your diet on track.
Your food and lifestyle has a great influence on your reproductive system. In fact, the food you ate in the past also makes a difference; but that is beyond your control. To be on the safer side, it is advised to make changes to your diet well in advance. Not that you would get pregnant if you consume a salmon salad but all these changes have an effect on your ability to conceive.
We list some foods that maintain the hormonal balance in such a way that it boosts your fertility. Including them in your diet will make way for a healthy mother and a healthy baby:
- Proteins and folic acid: Go for meals that are rich in proteins. Though it is good to go for animal proteins but do not underestimate the importance of plant proteins. As per a research study at the Harvard School of Public Health, women who consumed more of animal protein were 39% more likely to have infertility problems. Beans, lentils, tofu, edamame, and nuts are plentiful sources of plant protein.
Folic acid should form an important part of your diet as it ensures a sound pregnancy and reduces the risk of birth defects. Before pregnancy, you must consume about 400-600 mg of folic acid while you should increase your consumption to 800 mg during pregnancy. Foods rich in folates include fortified whole grains, fortified cereals, vegetables, and citrus fruits. Many vegetables such as spinach, romaine, arugula, broccoli, and other dark leafy greens have very high proportions of folate, thus eating a lot of leafy greens are a good idea. Not only, these are recommended for women, but also men who get rich doses of folate produce healthier sperm.
- Whole milk products: Dairy products are rich sources of calcium and protein. Whole milk and whole milk products are richer sources of healthy fats and calcium as compared to skimmed milk. So you can trade in skimmed milk or low fat products for whole milk or a cup of full fat yoghurt.
- Omega-3 fats: Omega-3 fats are known for a plethora of benefits and not only protect you, but are essential for the health of your baby as well. These oils protect your baby from brain injuries. Also at a time like this, your hormones are active and fluctuating, which is likely to cause anxiety or depression. Omega-3 fatty oils keep this sudden surge of emotions in control. Flax seeds, olive oil, cod-liver oil and almonds are some rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. If you are a non-vegetarian then wild fish such as salmon, shrimp, tilapia and catfish have good amounts of omega-3 fats and you can consume them quite a few times a week.
- Prenatal vitamins: If you are taking a balanced diet then it caters to all your nutritional requirements; however, prenatal vitamins take care of other essential nutrients that you might be missing on. There are different kinds of multi-vitamin supplements available, but it’s better to consult your doctor before you decide on a particular one.
- Fruits and vegetables: No matter how well you take care of yourself, there is no substitute for fruits and green leafy vegetables. These are powerhouses of essential nutrients and antioxidants and are must-eat super foods. Among fruits, citrus fruits, pomegranates, bananas and pineapples should certainly form a major chunk of your diet while cabbage, broccoli and potatoes are the vegetables you should be consuming. All of these supplements your body with nutrients such as iron, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B thus ensuring that you have a healthy body to care of the pregnancy process.
What to avoid?
Other than making the above necessary additions, it is important to avoid a few things when you are trying to conceive. Smoking, consuming caffeine, drinking, neglecting exercise/extreme exercise, BPA exposure are some of the things you should steer clear from. Drinks which contain high-sugar content are also responsible for fertility problems. Most of these foods interfere with the normal functioning of your reproductive system or deplete you of essential nutrients such as calcium so it’s a good idea to avoid them altogether.
Including the above mentioned super foods in your diet becomes quite easy if you can do it from the convenience of your home. At Ocado, you can shop all what you want and with the regular offers on products you can avail guaranteed savings. These foods are anyway economical but making some extra savings doesn’t harm anyone. So eat a well-balanced diet and enjoy the beautiful feeling.