When trying to start a family, it’s important to ensure your body is in the right condition. If you are lacking in certain nutrients or your stress levels are raised, your ability to conceive may be reduced. Here are some top tips to boost your chances of success:
- If you are overweight, reducing your size by just 10% will have a massive effect on your chance of becoming pregnant, and improve the effectiveness of fertility treatments. Sticking to a healthy eating plan will not only help to reduce weight and rebalance your hormones, it will ensure you are getting the right fertility-boosting nutrients from your diet. Eat lots of fresh and organic foods such leafy vegetables and fruits to obtain the antioxidants and nutrients that are beneficial when trying to conceive. Selecting organic products also reduces the amount of pesticides ingested which have a negative impact of fertility.
- Protein from plant sources like beans, peas, peanuts and lentils are associated with higher fertility potential, as opposed to animal proteins such as red meat and poultry. When 5% of the daily total calorie intake comes from vegetable protein instead of animal, the risk of infertility due to lack of ovulation drops by more than 50%.
- Reducing your sugar intake is important as a high level of insulin affects your hormone balance and ovulation. Fats should also be addressed as eating low-fat dairy products increases the risk of ovulatory infertility. This doesn’t mean that all low-fat dairy products should be replaced by full-fat ones, which can increase weight gain and affect ovulation. It is better to swap one low-fat dairy serving per day for one full-fat serving, such as a glass of whole milk.
- Keeping a food and lifestyle diary helps a nutritionist identify any key nutrients that are absent from your diet. It also helps you see where you are going wrong when it’s written down in black and white!
- It is vital for a woman planning to conceive to take a folic acid supplement (400mcg daily) as this is essential to reduce the risk of developmental abnormalities known as neural tube defects.
- Nutrition and lifestyle are important area to address when to trying to conceive, but the benefits of healthy eating not only increase fertility and improve energy and stress levels, it also leaves your body in a far stronger position when becoming pregnant.