Maintaining a healthy diet can play a significant role in increasing fertility for both men and women. Hence, including natural, wholesome foods in your diet becomes important for the well-being of those looking to conceive, as well as the foetus.
Whether you’re a couple trying to conceive or already on the journey towards parenthood, preparing your bodies to ensure that you have a healthy baby is crucial. While the mother’s womb must be in favourable condition to nurture the foetus, it is also important for men to be mindful of what they eat, so that the quality of their sperm is favourable for healthy conception. That being said, including whole foods, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and eating a balanced diet a few months before trying for a baby, can be of great help. Here are seven foods to include in your diet – for both men and women.
Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help improve overall health and fertility – eating leafy greens like kale and spinach, which are rich in folate is ideal. Pair it with other conception-friendly ingredients like garlic and tomatoes to increase fertility levels. Additionally, eating avocados, pomegranate and pineapple have been known to greatly benefit reproductive health.
Whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and oats provide complex carbohydrates, fibre and other essential nutrients which regulate blood sugar levels, that directly impact fertility. These grains provide a slow release of energy to the body, ensuring smooth digestion as well as reducing changes of a sudden spike in blood sugar.
Incorporating sources of healthy fats such as ghee, almonds, pumpkin seeds as well as fatty fish like salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for reproductive health and hormone regulation. Due to the presence of omega-3’s in these foods, the fatty acids reduce inflammation and protect the integrity of the eggs as well as improve sperm quality.
Lean protein sources like poultry, fish as well as plant-based options like tofu and paneer contain proteins and iron that is important for the body to absorb for reproductive health. Protein is also essential for building and repairing tissues, including those in reproductive organs. The folic acid present in lean protein sources also aids in healthy embryo development.
Dairy & Dairy Alternatives
Pick full-fat dairy products like whole milk, yoghurt or fortified dairy alternatives like almond or soy milk to make up for calcium and vitamin D, which are important for reproductive health. Consuming two glasses of whole milk or plant-based milk each morning, facilitates the process of ovulation as well as provides the body with much-needed probiotics to keep your gut healthy.
Eating foods like beans and fortified cereals provide plenty of iron, which helps in transporting oxygen to the reproductive organs. Include ingredients like beetroot, fermented or pickled vegetables, soy bean flour and whole grain breads to make the most of non-heme iron sources that nourish your body and prepare you for a healthy pregnancy.
Spices such as cinnamon, turmeric and ginger have anti-inflammatory properties and may help regulate hormones. Using them in moderation improves hormonal balance and increases blood flow to reproductive organs. Including whole spices in your diet also works well to regulate metabolism and digestion – both of which are key factors in improving chances of conceiving.