Eating healthy should be a priority for everyone, but for women trying to get pregnant, this is the thing to work on. If you and your partner have decided you’re ready to have a baby, it’s never too late to give yourself a boost with what you eat.
There are certain foods that can improve your ability to get pregnant. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been trying to conceive for a while or just begun recently – we bring you a list of 5 things you should add to your diet to make sure you’re on the right track to become a parent!
This is the number one recommended supplement pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant should consume either through diet or supplements and prenatal vitamins. Foods rich in folic acid are whole grains, citrus fruits, lentils, avocado, beans and nuts. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects (serious birth defects of the spinal cord) and the brain (anencephalie).
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that women abiding by the recommended daily dose of folic acid at least a month before conceiving reduce the baby’s risk of neural tube defects by up to 70 %.
Fruits and vegetables
Your mom always told you to eat your greens, right? Well, this is high time to start listening to her. Not only are fruits and vegetables great source of folic acid, but they also contain vitamins, antioxidants, fibre and other nutrients keeping you healthy. You should aim to eat 2 cups of fruits and 3 cups of vegetables every day, include plenty of leafy greens. Your vegetables are best taken fresh, but frozen and canned are good as well!
Whole eggs and egg whites are great sources of high-quality proteins, as well as poultry and fish, especially salmon rich in omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re a vegetarian, beans and legumes are healthy protein choices rich in iron. If you’re a fan of soy, look for whole soy products over processed versions.
Eating whole grains as well as refined grains is a great way to help boost folic acid levels and also get your daily dose of fiber to help with your digestion. The USDA recommends a daily intake of six ounces of total grains per day and that at least half should be whole grains.
Dairy products are essential to prepare your body for pregnancy because of the calcium and protein. We’re going to go against dietitians in this one and say that you should get some full-fat products into your diet when pregnant, not only low-fat dairy. It’s not a recommendation to eat ice-cream all day, because you should aim to maintain a healthy weight, but if you’re feeling like ice cream once in a while, don’t feel bad for digging in!
And remember, it’s not only on you. Both you and your partner should be eating healthy foods with variety of options – it’s you working on the baby together and that means eating together as well.
What foods did you have to exclude from your diet when trying to conceive? Tell us in the comments!