What to eat to help conceive
Can you eat your way to pregnancy? Establishing good eating habits now will make it easier to maintain a sensible diet when you are pregnant.
Eating for two
Follow these steps for a healthier, more fertile you...
Choose fibre-rich slowly digested carbohydrates such as whole fruits, whole grains and vegetables
- Drink whole milk rather than skim milk or aim for a daily serve of full-fat yoghurt
- Get extra plant-based iron from whole-grain cereals, spinach, beans, pumpkin and tomatoes
- Reduce your coffee intake and alcohol intake to one a day each and skip sugary soft-drinks.
- Drink lots of water.
- Increasing foods rich in the mineral zinc may improve sperm health for men so eat plenty of oysters, lean red meat, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, liver and eggs.
- Avoid trans fats or hydrogenated oils, which do not break down in your body making it slightly toxic. They can be found in some margarines, products like muffins and cakes that can be found on supermarket shelves that shouldn't have long shelf lives but due to these modified fats, they do.
- Avoid foods that have been deep fried, like pastry, chips, crisps, doughnuts. Even good oils such as olive oil can become rancid at very high temperatures as little as 4.5 grams of rancid fats a day is thought to raise testosterone levels in women, reducing fertility.
- Men wanting to conceive should eat foods rich in selenium. Selenium is a mineral which improves the motility of sperm cells it helps make up the physical structure of the sperm 'tails'. A deficiency in selenium can cause defective swimmers. Good food sources include: Brazil nuts (the nut cannot be formed unless there is adequate quantity of selenium present in the soil), seafood, oysters, whole grains, sesame seeds, wheat germ and wheat bran.
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First published in Mother and Baby magazine. Subscribe here