Did you know that one in eight couples have difficulty conceiving? The number one cause of infertility is lack of ovulation, which, unbeknownst to many couples, can be remedied by a healthy diet. Although diet alone cannot cure infertility, studies have shown that certain foods can increase or decrease fertility. A healthy, fertility-supporting diet can help you get pregnant, prevent miscarriages and maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Here are the top 10 foods to boost your fertility:
1. Complex carbohydrates
Choose to eat complex carbs containing fiber like whole wheat, fruits and veggies. These foods are digested slowly and raise your blood sugar gradually. Limit your intake of processed carbohydrates found in baked goods and sweets, because these type of carbs contribute to insulin production. Insulin levels can inhibit ovulation and disrupt your menstrual cycle. Complex carbs do not cause a spike in insulin levels and therefore, do not disrupt ovulation.
2. Raw dairy
To increase fertility, you will want to aim for whole or raw dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese. Raw milk is high in natural enzymes and fatty acids used to conceive. Before consuming raw products, check the product source to make sure it is safe and sanitary. You should switch to pasteurized dairy products after conceiving to prevent any infection during pregnancy. The high amount of calcium in dairy products will make your bones and frame strong to carry a potential baby. Furthermore, dairy can benefit your reproductive system by amplifying your estrogen and progesterone hormones.
Folic acid is key when it comes to conceiving. This acid prevents neural tube defects that affect the development of the brain and spine growth during the first month of conception. Spinach and kale are two good examples of leafy greens loaded with vitamins A, C and K.
Antioxidants protect the body from cell damage, especially the reproductive organs. Many fruits, specifically berries are filled with antioxidants. Other fruits are also full of vitamins and minerals that benefit your overall health. So, the next time you are craving something sweet, grab an apple before that Snickers bar.
Eggs are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals that are essential for pregnancy. Your baby is going to be using a fair amount of nutrients as it grows, especially protein.
Nuts are good sources of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids that will benefit your overall health and your reproductive system. They also make for a perfect snack during the day.
7. Lean meats
Lean chicken, turkey and beef are excellent sources of high-quality protein and iron. Monitor your protein intake, because excessive protein can decrease fertility. Try to stick to fat-trimmed meats for necessary and healthy benefits.
8. Colorful veggies
Brightly colored vegetables like red peppers, carrots and broccoli all have different vitamins and minerals that will prepare your body to feed a baby. It's a common myth that yams may contain an ovulation-stimulating substance. Science cannot confirm nor deny that this is true, so stocking up on yams is worth a try. Your baby can even taste during the later stages of pregnancy. If you introduce vegetables to them in the womb, you may avoid the picky eater stage.
Fatty fish like salmon and oysters can boost your fertility because of their high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 and other healthy fats increase blood flow throughout your body and reproductive organs. The zinc found shellfish is also crucial when conceiving, because zinc deficiency can affect your menstruation cycle and slow egg production.
10) Beans and lentils
Iron helps your body maintain adequate oxygen in your blood, which is essential for your baby. Luckily for you, beans are full of iron. Beans and lentils are a great source of protein at a inexpensive cost.
Now that you know the top ten foods to help you conceive your child, find a daily multivitamin high in iron and folic acid. You can also improve or maintain your fertility by avoiding caffeine and alcohol.
Kristina Tieken is a staff writer for FamilyShare, public relations specialist with a love for the fine arts, food and exercise. She enjoys watching movies and spending time with her husband and family.