Fertility Diet: What To Eat When Trying To Get Pregnant
If youre trying to get pregnant, you may be looking to increase your nutrition through the foods you are eating. Research has suggested that diets high in things like unsaturated fat, whole grains, vegetables, and fish are associated with improved fertility-and of course, they can also help you get off to a healthy start in pregnancy.
Eating as if youre already pregnant can actually help prime your body for conception, says Sarah Krieger, R.D., a nutritionist based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Heres how to deliciously dine your way to eating the following fertility-friendly foods.
Its Best To Limit Caffeine To No More Than One Or Two 6
What can you eat to help you have a healthy pregnancy?
Its common for women to look for information about how to be as healthy as possible before pregnancy. This includes what foods are best to eat and which foods to avoid. For example, you may wonder how the foods you eat can affect a chronic health condition or your fertility.
The foods you eat provide nutrients that are important to help you be healthy before and during pregnancy. Nutrients are parts of food, like vitamins and minerals that help your body stay healthy.
Eat a balanced diet including:
- Products made from whole grains including corn tortillas, oatmeal, brown rice, bread, pasta, and cereals
- Fruit of all types, including raw, frozen, or canned without added sugar, and juice that is 100% fruit juice
- Vegetables of all colors, including raw, frozen, or low sodium canned and 100% vegetable juice
- Lean protein from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, peas, peanut butter, soybeans and tofu
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy, including milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Healthy fats from avocados, nuts, seeds, vegetable oil, and olive oil
The U.S. Department of Agricultures choosemyplate.gov website can help you plan healthy meals before and during pregnancy.
Avoid touching your mouth with your hands after cleaning the litter box or gardening, and make sure that the meat that you eat is cooked properly.
How much folic acid do you need before getting pregnant?
Should you watch how much sugar you eat?
Caffeine is found in:
Folic Acid And Folate
This B vitamin is one of the most important nutrients you can get before pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that all women of reproductive age should consume 400 micrograms daily to help prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida and anencephaly.Trusted SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionFolic Acid RecommendationsSee All Sources
To cover your bases, you should make sure your prenatal vitamin contains 400 to 600 mcg of folate or folic acid . You can also find folate and folic acid in foods like:
- Leafy green vegetables. Spinach, broccoli, bok choy, Swiss chard and kale are all good options. Sauté them in olive oil, and eat as a side dish or add them to soups, salads, casseroles and omelets.
- Fortified cereals. Look for breakfast cereals that contain 100 percent of the recommended daily value.
- Oranges and strawberries. These are so yummy, they’re easy to incorporate into your diet!
- Beans and nuts. Rich in fiber, eating beans and nuts can also help keep you regular.
Folate-rich recipes to try:
If your stores are low when you’re pregnant, your body will take the calcium from your bones and give it to the developing baby, which might raise your risk of osteoporosis in the future. Try to get about 1,500 milligrams of calcium each day from sources like:
Calcium-rich recipes to try:
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How To Find Your Fertile Window When Youre Trying To Conceive
When picking foods that increase fertility, opt for plant protein . They come with healthy fats and are relatively low in calories, which can be helpful for weight loss if that has been recommended for you as a pre-conception step.
A 2022 study in Nutrients found that the risk of ovulatory disorders is cut in half when 5% of your total calorie intake is derived from plant proteins. The Harvard Public Health study also found that infertility was 39% more likely in women with the highest intake of animal protein. Beans are super sources, as are nuts, seeds, and other legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas.
What Is The Fertility Diet
At Verywell, we believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a healthy lifestyle. Successful eating plans need to be individualized and take the whole person into consideration. Prior to starting a new diet plan, consult with your health care provider or a registered dietitian, especially if you have an underlying health condition.
The fertility diet is designed to help you get pregnant by making several changes to your diet and level of activity. These changes emphasize consuming certain foods believed to boost fertility, such as plant protein and full-fat dairy products.
Various clinicians, including the co-authors of the book, The Fertility Diet, theorized that diet and exercise also could influence fertility. And the diet is rooted in science. The Harvard Medical School researchers who developed it examined data from a large, long-term study involving more than 100,0000 women1 to learn what those women ate and how often they got pregnant.
Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, and his co-author, Jorge Chavarro, MD, ScD, looked at which dietary and exercise factors appeared to be most important to fertility. The strategies in their book are aimed specifically at ovulatory infertility, which is the type of infertility you have if your ovaries arent producing mature eggs during each menstrual cycle.
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How Pcos Reduces Fertility
PCOS infertility is caused by inflammation and poor insulin regulation. These are the primary drivers of all PCOS symptoms . Studies show that these factors are largely a result of imbalances in the gut microbiome .
If your PCOS symptoms are out of control, then your fertility is reduced in several ways:
- Unmanaged PCOS impairs ovulation and reduces egg quality .
- Implantation is also affected .
- The risk of miscarriage is about 40-60% higher for PCOS women .
This might seem like bad news. But there are many ways to increase the chances of getting pregnant with PCOS.
Choose Whole Foods Over Processed Options
To harness the power of whole foods in action, consider eating more foods from the Mediterranean lifestyle. Typical foods eaten in the Mediterranean include whole grains and vegetables with less processed meat, which may protect against ovulatory dysfunction. Research such as a study in Advanced Nutrition has shown a relationship between the Mediterranean diet and fertility health.
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Best Diet To Get Pregnant At 40
What to eat if you want to get pregnant. I started this conversation last week, but I felt like we needed to continue it because this is one of the most commonly asked questions that I get, especially for those women who are over 40, really want to do everything in their power to try to get pregnant now and as fast as possible. So what is the best fertility diet? What are the foods that I should be avoiding if I want to get pregnant now, or as soon as possible? I want to talk about this and so much more in this video, and I have a feeling that youre not going to like everything that I have to say. So lets get into it right now.
Hi, my name is Dr. Marc Sklar, also known as The Fertility Expert, and Ive been working with couples for over 19 years through my online coaching programs and right here in San Diego at both of my clinics. And diet is such a common question, which is why were diving deeper into it today, and why Im always talking about it because I want to make sure youre doing everything that you can to get pregnant.
And I want to be clear. This is a temporary phase because whatever you find there is also what you want to clear out. We need to do that in a short period of time, hopefully, and then move on to a different process, which means changing your diet.
Foods To Eat To Increase Fertility
Can eating certain foods really boost your fertility? The answer is yes. Its important to remember that there is no magic diet that will result in pregnancy, but food and lifestyle choices do have a significant impact on the reproductive health of both women and men. The foods you eat, along with other factors like lifestyle and stress levels, can boost fertility through their impact on your gut, blood flow, hormone levels and overall health.
Laurel Fertility Care offers a holistic approach that includes many natural adjustments like diet and lifestyle changes before moving on to advanced treatment. Here are 10 foods to incorporate into your diet to boost your fertility.
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Whats The First Step A Fertility Specialist Will Take If Someone Cant Conceive
Typically, a fertility specialist will begin by assessing your complete medical history. Theyll also want to review any prior fertility testing or treatment that youve received.
As an initial step, youll also establish what your goals are for seeking fertility care. For example, some people wish to be as proactive as possible, while others hope to avoid medical intervention. Other goals may include genetic testing on embryos or fertility preservation.
Foods That Make You Fertile
Looking for ways to jump-start your conception quest? Check out the foods you should choose or lose for optimum fertility.
Theres no shortage of old wives tales touting the fertility benefits of certain foods and the baby-busting potential of others. And if youre thinking about starting a baby making campaign , youre probably wondering which are fertility factand which, fertility fiction. The truth is, you can get pregnant no matter what you eat and no matter what you dont eat. But there is some fascinating, if preliminary, research showing that your fertility may be what you eat and that filling your belly with certain foods may just help you fill your belly with a baby faster. The scientific jurys still debating the food-fertility connection , but in the meantime its definitely interesting food for thought. And speaking of food, take the following list with a grain of salt . Fill up on those foods that have fertility promise , and avoid as best you can foods researchers have speculated may decrease your chances of conceiving. Bottom line : eat a nutritious, balanced prepregnancy diet, and youre likely fueling your fertility. Make a diet of junk food and fast food, and youre probably not doing your fertility a favor.
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What To Eat While Pregnant
Foods play a huge role in your body and can affect a babys health. These foods must be taken while pregnant, and they can be an important part of a healthy diet. To help you avoid health problems that may harm the baby, eat these foods while pregnant. And of course, dont forget about the foods you should be eating while trying to get pregnant. Youll want to eat a lot of nutrient-dense foods such as leafy greens, garlic, ginger, and eggs. These foods are rich in nutrients that will help to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Green vegetables and dark leafy vegetables are full of nutrients that the body needs to ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Many of these foods also contain the amino acid L-carnitine, which is essential for energy production.
What Is A Fertility Diet
There are some dietary recommendations that could enhance your chances of getting pregnant and maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Its important to note, however, that there isnt a special diet that will magically get you pregnant. There are fertility-friendly foods that contain fertility promoting nutrients , but thats about as close as you can get to achieving a fertility diet.
The main reason fertility diets are recommended is to encourage clean and balanced eating, which improves your overall health. Dr. Audrey Gaskins details all the ways your environment and diet can impact your fertility in this article, but heres the short and sweet summary:
- Try to incorporate two servings of whole grains into your diet everyday.
- Ensure your diet is full of fruits and vegetables.
- Try to consume low-mercury, omega rich foods multiple times a week.
Along with the list of foods you should eat are some foods you should try to avoid. These include:
- Fast food and highly processed food
- High mercury seafood
- Excess caffeinethe research is mixed, but we do know that moderate caffeine consumption is safe just be weary before making another cup of coffee.
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Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy Diet
ACOG. 2021. Nutrition during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
MedlinePlus. Undated. Pregnancy and nutrition.
Foods To Avoid While Trying To Conceive
Steer clear of fad diets while trying to get pregnant, as some of these diets can deplete your body of essential nutrients. Also try to minimize your consumption of:
Research finds that abstaining from alcohol completely while trying to conceive isn’t totally necessary. But binge-drinking, which the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines as consuming 4 or more drinks for women or 5 or more drinks for men in just a few hours, will likely affect your chances of getting pregnant.
Alcohol can harm a developing fetus, and since you may not know exactly when you ovulate or conceive, you may want to play it safe and cut out alcohol completely. It’s a good excuse to enjoy some delicious and classic “virgin” drinks!
Consuming high amounts of trans fats, found in many processed, fried and fast foods, is linked to infertility in women and to lower sperm counts and less than ideal sperm formation and lower sperm counts in men. Trans fats may also have a negative impact on the duration of pregnancy, resulting in preterm labor and birth.
Studies have found that eating higher amounts of refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and white rice can lower your likelihood of getting pregnant. These foods also generally shortchange your body, because the refining process strips grains of key nutrients such as fiber, some B vitamins, and iron.
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Trans Fats And Partially Hydrogenated Oils
Eating foods high in trans fats may constitute a risk factor for infertility in both males and females, according to a 2019 review. Trans fats turn a liquid oil into a solid at room temperature, which Bohnengel says is great for keeping food shelf-stable, but terrible for your fertility and even worse for your heart health. Trans fat is in fried foods, margarine, spreads, cookies, crackers, shortening, salad dressing, frozen foods, cookies, and chips. Partially hydrogenated oils are a tricky way of getting trans fats into a product while still being able to claim zero trans fats, says Bohnengel. Typical foods where you might find this on the ingredients list include some peanut butter, crackers, and pre-packaged pastries like Twinkies.
The Bottom Line About Fertility Diets
Whether you jump all into our recommended fertility diet or simply use this page as a guide to understanding more about what youre eating, we hope it helps your fertility journey. Food is indeed a controversial topic, but our experience and research alike have shown that there are both many foods that have been shown to help support fertility and that there are many foods you should avoid when trying to get pregnant!
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Tips For What To Eat To Help You Get Pregnant
Medically reviewed by Abbey Sharp, Registered Dietitian , BASc.
I share the top 15 tips for what to eat to help you get pregnant faster, and dive into the evidence on the best fertility foods.
If you missed it last week, I was discussing some of the myths and facts around fertility foods and answering the question can foods help you get pregnant. I also shared my personal struggle with infertility and my IVF journey to getting the baby I am a mere few months from meeting.
Today I wanted to dive more into some of the long-term evidence-based strategies when it comes to what to eat to help you get pregnant. To do that, I chatted with my colleagues Elizabeth Shaw and Sara Haas who have an amazing new cookbook called the Fertility Foods Cookbook that goes into incredible detail about everything you want to eat to meet baby. Between their fave fertility foods and my own research, Ive compiled a list of the best foods to eat to get pregnant.