It is a well-known fact that what we eat affects our bodies. And if you are considering taking a big step and trying to conceive, good nutrition is vital for a healthy body and reproductive system. In fact, studies have shown that eating a nutritious diet and making positive lifestyle changes can help boost fertility and prepare your body for pregnancy. Healthy eating sets the stage for a healthy pregnancy and forms the foundation of a healthy eating strategy for motherhood and beyond. That’s a winning combination no matter how you look at it. It ensures you remain healthy and deliver a healthy baby too!

To learn more TC46 connected with Dr Apurva Satish Amarnath, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Bangalore. Here she shares 8 points on how a healthy diet can affect and improve one’s fertility. 

1. A fertility diet is important for women who are trying to conceive

We know that diet and lifestyle impact our bodies. A fertility diet is basically a diet that is healthy for a woman who is trying to conceive, and a nutritious diet enhances fertility. For healthy ovulation, one needs a balanced and nutritious diet. Therefore, we must include vitamins, antioxidants and folic acid (folate). Folic acid is important for the egg and DNA replication even before ovulation takes place. However, it is advisable to avoid packaged and processed food that is loaded with chemicals and sugar. Foods that are healthy for your body are healthy for your eggs and in turn, are healthy for your uterus.

2. Fertility diets are important for both men and women

When it comes down to fertility, both women and men need to be cautious of their lifestyles. Men also need to be aware of their intake of food and their diet. What they eat impacts their sperm quality, quantity, and mobility of sperm. Infertility impacts men as much as it impacts women and they need to take care of their lifestyle if the couple is trying to conceive. A wholesome and healthy diet will have a direct impact on sperm quantity and quality and will enhance fertility.

3. Foods for women who are trying to get pregnant

  • Green leafy vegetables are really rich in antioxidants and high in folic acid
  • Pineapples boost reproductive hormones and can, in turn, help one get pregnant
  • Cabbage is great as its contents help a woman regulate oestrogen
  • Oranges are known to be rich in vitamin C and it helps the egg to be released and thus boosts fertility and increases the chances of one conceiving
  • Potatoes increase the chances of a healthy ovum which enhances fertility
  • Bananas are rich in B6 and that helps one in the healthy regulation of menstrual cycles which leads to regular and healthy ovulation
  • Broccoli is rich in vitamin C and even helps in healthy ovulation

4. Foods for men who are planning and trying for a child

  • Foods rich in antioxidants are good for men. Vegetables like broccoli, avocados, cabbage, beetroot, and many are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help men to enhance the quantity and quality of sperm
  • Bananas are a healthy fruit and are a meal in themselves. It can make the quantity and quality of the perm better
  • Foods rich in zinc can be a great way to enhance the reproductive health of a male
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are also known to be part of a healthy fertility diet
  • Dark chocolate can increase sperm health

5. Foods to avoid by both men and women when trying to get pregnant

  • All processed and packaged foods (including soft drinks, sodas) must be eliminated as they have high levels of salts and have loads of chemicals. High levels of insulin can have an effect a direct impact on fertility
  • Alcohol must be eliminated from your lifestyle with immediate effect. Alcohol has been known to reduce implantation rates and has an impact on ovulation
  • Any food that has been wrapped in plastic must be avoided. The BPA present in plastics combine with the food and this BPS is known to have an impact on our hormones 

6. Supplements should be taken to improve fertility

  • Folic acid tablets
  • Vitamin E can be said to be an ‘anti-ageing vitamin that supplements and enhances the egg quality
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (Can be in the form of an oil or pill). It can boost egg quality
  • Zinc tablets

7. One should start taking fertility supplements and change your diet at least 3 months prior to conceiving

  1. Once you are sure you want to conceive you must start preparing for it. Three months before conception you should get a thorough check-up done for both you and your partner so that all other medical ailments and problems are eliminated. 
  2. Two months before your pregnancy or conception you should start taking a high intake of green vegetables and a healthy diet with a high intake of water. Along with good food, you should also start taking supplements that your doctor has suggested. 
  3. One month before your conception you must put a full stop to smoking habits and intake of alcohol.

8. A post-pregnancy diet for mothers helps the baby as well

Pregnancy is a 9-month journey and diet plays an important role in the well-being of the mother as well as the unborn child. The nutrients in the food have a direct impact on the health and weight of the baby. A pregnancy diet, in general, is healthy and nutritious, which may not bring one any harm once they are pregnant. Therefore, women can continue with the same diet through their pregnancy journey as it is healthy and wholesome.

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