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Diet plan when trying to get pregnant

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Make these changes to your diet to improve your fertility and ovulation function. According to a study of diet and fertility from Harvard Medical School, unlike other factors that you cannot control—such as age and genetics—eating certain foods and avoiding others is something you can do yourself to help improve your ovulatory function. Petersburg, Florida. Here's how to deliciously dine your way to a happy, healthy pregnancy by following a conception diet.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Pre-Pregnancy Nutrition Lacking Among Women - UPMC HealthBeat

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Nutrition & Fitness Before & During Pregnancy

The Prepregnancy Diet

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So far, there isn't any conclusive evidence that specific foods can make you more fertile, but your diet does matter. You can optimize your body for conception by maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle, eating good-for-you foods, and minimizing the junky stuff. Practicing smart eating habits now can also help you have a healthy pregnancy once you conceive. Here are some suggestions for how and what to eat in order to set the stage for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Think of produce as Mother Nature's multivitamin.

For example, foods like spinach, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and fortified breads and cereals are high in the B vitamin folate. Folate is a natural form of folic acid , an essential nutrient in prenatal vitamins, which you should take if you're trying to conceive. Eating foods rich in folate during preconception and pregnancy can help prevent neural-tube birth defects such as spina bifida.

You can lose a lot of this vitamin in cooking water, so steam or cook vegetables in a small amount of water to preserve the folate. In general, choose fruits and vegetables in a range of colors to get the most nutritional bang for your buck. Eating a produce "rainbow" gives you a wider variety of nutrients. Seafood is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids; and, according to some scientists, these essential fats may have a positive effect on fertility. Research suggests that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help regulate ovulation, improve egg quality, and even delay aging of the ovaries.

On the other hand, you've probably also heard that some types of fish contain contaminants such as mercury. In high doses, heavy metals like this are harmful to a baby's developing brain and nervous system. The good news is that not all fish contain a lot of mercury. The U. Food and Drug Administration FDA says that women trying to conceive can safely eat up to 12 ounces roughly two or three servings a week of fish, including canned light tuna, salmon, shrimp, cod, tilapia, and catfish.

However, the FDA advises limiting some fish, including white albacore tuna, and completely avoiding swordfish, marlin, orange roughy, tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, king mackerel, bigeye tuna, and shark, because these have the highest mercury levels.

There's some scientific proof that eating oysters can boost fertility. Oysters are packed with zinc, which plays a role in semen and testosterone production in men and ovulation and fertility in women. That doesn't mean you should down a plate of oysters on the half shell at every meal. Maintaining the recommended dietary allowance of zinc 8 mg a day can help keep your reproductive system working properly, but excessive amounts of zinc or any nutrient, for that matter will not turn either of you into a baby-making machine.

In fact, super-high doses of vitamins and minerals may actually reduce your fertility. Protein is a critical part of a healthy diet, but according to the USDA, many Americans rely too heavily on beef, pork, and chicken to get their daily amount. In a study of 18, women, experts at Harvard Medical School found that those who included one daily serving of vegetable protein — such as nuts, beans, peas, soybeans or tofu — were less likely to have infertility due to ovulation problems.

More research is needed on the link to fertility, but because vegetable proteins are usually lower in fat and calories than steak or fried chicken, including them in your meal plans is both good for you and a great way to maintain a healthy weight.

According to studies, healthy diets that include whole grains are associated with better fertility. Refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and white rice won't directly lower your chances of getting pregnant, but they do shortchange your body, because the refining process strips grains of key nutrients such as fiber, some B vitamins, and iron.

PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that can get worse when insulin levels in the bloodstream surge, and refined carbohydrates are a main cause of insulin spikes. Mark Leondires, fertility specialist and medical director of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut, explains that when women with PCOS eat too many refined carbohydrates, insulin flows into the blood, feeds back to the ovaries, and can lead to irregular ovulation. The occasional bottle of beer or glass of wine probably won't affect your chances of getting pregnant, but having two or more drinks a day might.

For nonalcoholic alternatives, see our list of some classic "virgin" drinks. Found in many processed and fast foods, trans fats are thought to be linked to infertility. Studies suggest that diets high in trans fats may be related to ovulation problems and to lower sperm counts and semen quality in men. There's some evidence that very high consumption — more than milligrams a day, or about five 8-ounce cups of coffee, depending on the strength of the brew — might interfere with fertility.

But experts generally agree that low to moderate caffeine consumption less than milligrams a day, or about two 8-ounce cups of coffee shouldn't make it harder for you to get pregnant.

Trying to conceive isn't just about eating a good diet, it's also about preparing for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Here are the essential steps to take:. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ACOG recommends all women of child-bearing age take a supplement with micrograms mcg of folic acid daily. If you have a family history of neural-tube birth defects or take medication for seizures, your healthcare provider may suggest that you boost your daily folic acid intake to 4, mcg, or 4 mg, starting at least a month before you conceive and continuing throughout your first trimester.

Taking a prenatal vitamin ensures that you're getting enough folic acid and other essential nutrients to boost your chances of conceiving a healthy baby.

Bonus: There's some evidence that taking a prenatal vitamin before you conceive can help you avoid morning sickness once you're pregnant. A good over-the-counter prenatal vitamin should contain more than the minimum recommendation of folic acid, but if your provider wants you to take more, you may need to take a separate folic acid supplement.

Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, so your body will flush out the excess if you consume too much. Ask your doctor or midwife if you think you may be at risk. Remember that a supplement is a safeguard, not a substitute for a sound diet. And since regular over-the-counter multivitamins may contain megadoses of vitamins and minerals that could be harmful to a developing baby, choose a pill formulated specifically for pregnant women.

If you have a vegetarian diet, you may also need vitamin D and B12 supplements, which studies say are beneficial for fertility, along with extra protein. Talk with your healthcare provider about the right prenatal supplement for you. Although the effects of drugs on fertility are difficult to study because they are illegal, it has been well documented that these substances can harm a developing fetus.

It might be a good idea to shed some pounds, or gain a few if you're underweight, while you're trying to get pregnant, since you want to be as close as possible to your recommended weight when you conceive. Also, obese women have more pregnancy and birth complications , and underweight women are more likely to have a low-birth-weight baby.

Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and calcium-rich foods such as yogurt, cheese, and milk every day. Not getting enough nutrients can affect your periods, making it difficult to predict when you ovulate. And you may not ovulate at all if you're significantly underweight or obese. In addition to following a smart eating plan with low-fat, high-fiber foods, get regular exercise. If you're overweight, aim to lose one to two pounds a week, a safe rate of weight loss.

Extreme weight loss from crash dieting can deplete your body's nutritional stores, which isn't a good way to start a pregnancy.

Fill your body's iron reserves before you get pregnant, especially if your periods are heavy. Make sure to get enough iron now — once you're expecting, it's difficult for your body to maintain its iron level because your developing baby uses up your stores of the mineral. Anemia causes your red blood cells to fall below normal and saps your energy.

If you don't eat much red meat, or if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, your healthcare provider may recommend that you take a prenatal vitamin containing extra iron. Your partner should also pay attention to his diet since certain vitamins and nutrients — such as zinc and vitamins C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, and folic acid — are important for making healthy sperm.

When it comes to fertility and diet, men don't get a free pass. Lisa Mazzullo, an ob-gyn and clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, recommends that fathers-to-be take a daily multivitamin that contains zinc and selenium for at least three months before conception. They could also add nuts such as walnuts or almonds that contain these minerals to their diet.

Studies suggest zinc and selenium aid in healthy sperm development. Why start so early? The sperm your partner ejaculates today was actually created more than two months ago. It takes about 74 days for sperm to fully develop and benefit from the supplementation. Nutrition during pregnancy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Optimizing natural fertility: A committee opinion. American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Fertility and Sterility Vol. Recommendations: Women and folic acid. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Panth N et al. The influence of diet on fertility and the implications for public health nutrition in the United States.

Frontiers in Public Health Join now to personalize. By Nancy Montgomery. Medically reviewed by Emily Hu, M.

You can optimize your body's overall condition for conception by eating good-for-you foods and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Nutrient-rich foods, including fruits and vegetables, fish, oysters, vegetable proteins, and whole grains, can help support fertility, some studies show. Limit alcohol, trans fats, and caffeine. Encourage your partner to eat a healthy diet, too, as this supports healthy sperm. Photo credit: iStock. Can some foods increase your chances of conceiving? Show sources ACOG. Featured video.

Nutrition While Trying to Conceive. Tips for Getting Pregnant. Dads-to-be: Diet changes to boost your fertility. Caffeine: Does it affect your fertility? How much folic acid should I take while trying to get pregnant?

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Fertility Foods to Boost Your Odds of Conception

So far, there isn't any conclusive evidence that specific foods can make you more fertile, but your diet does matter. You can optimize your body for conception by maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle, eating good-for-you foods, and minimizing the junky stuff. Practicing smart eating habits now can also help you have a healthy pregnancy once you conceive. Here are some suggestions for how and what to eat in order to set the stage for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Andie is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Lactation Consultant, and Certified Personal Trainer who thinks of nutrition counseling as equal parts science and sensitivity. She specializes in lactation, sports nutrition, exercise fitness, and weight loss programs. Tuning up your diet and achieving a healthy preconception weight can have numerous benefits that can support a healthy pregnancy.

The ultimate fertility diet: We reveal what to eat and what to avoid. Trying to get pregnant? Foods to eat and avoid to boost fertility. Researchers from the Harvard T.

The Fertility Diet: What to Eat When Trying to Get Pregnant

Log in Sign up. Before you begin Get ready for pregnancy. Community groups. Home Getting pregnant Before you begin Food, weight and fertility. In this article What is a healthy diet for fertility? Are there any particular foods that can boost my fertility? What about my weight? Do I need a vitamin supplement?

Tips for a healthy pre-pregnancy diet

In fact, following a healthy diet before you conceive can boost your fertility and lower the risk of birth defects like spina bifida. Plus, shoring up what you eat now can help you transition to a smoother pregnancy once baby is on board. Use this nutrition guide to plan out your meals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC say that women should take micrograms mcg of folic acid at least one month before getting pregnant. Not only is folic acid crucial for forming healthy cells, it can also help prevent birth defects like spina bifida and anencephaly.

Infertility affects about nine percent of married women who are of childbearing age, according to a national survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While couples can't control all of the causes of infertility, they can control their eating habits.

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Nutrition Before Pregnancy

A fertility diet plan is a helpful element of preconception care. Understanding the impact certain foods have on fertility will help you create a plan that will improve your chances of natural conception and a healthy pregnancy. Nutrition is an important part of preconception care.

Nutrition is about eating food that gives your body what it needs to stay healthy and work properly. The main nutrients your body needs are proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. What you eat can affect your chances of getting pregnant, but the full picture is not very clear-cut because it is hard to separate diet from other factors. What we do know is that the best foods for getting pregnant are the same as those for general well-being: whole grains, healthy fats and proteins. Reaching the ideal BMI of

Fertility and diet: Is there a connection?

Well, sort of Researchers have found that unhealthy eating habits can harm fertility. Eating nutrient-rich foods is usually safer than concentrated supplements. Some research has connected particular foods to fertility health. Some of the fertility superfoods on this list fall into that category. Overall good nutrition leads to good health.

Sep 17, - FOODS THAT YOU SHOULD EAT IF YOU ARE TRYING TO GET PREGNANT: A whole list of what-to-eat is given to a woman while she is.

Pre-conception nutrition is a vital part of preparing for pregnancy. Studies show that underweight women are more likely to give birth to small babies, even though they may gain the same amount in pregnancy as normal weight women. Overweight women have increased risks for problem in pregnancy such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. Talk with your healthcare provider about whether you need to lose or gain weight before becoming pregnant.

Optimize your diet while trying to get pregnant

The goal is to increase your fertility and prepare yourself for a healthy pregnancy. With all the information available, it can be confusing and even frustrating trying to figure out what pre-pregnancy diet and lifestyle tips are most important. How do you get the best information and avoid becoming overwhelmed? In this article, we share the top 10 pre-pregnancy diet and lifestyle tips.

Foods That Can Affect Fertility

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The meal plan was ranked 11th best diet overall by U.

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How and what to eat if you want to get pregnant

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