What to eat to increase your chances of getting pregnant

What to eat to increase your chances of getting pregnant

What to eat to increase your chances of getting pregnant

Women that are trying to conceive (#TTC) are familiar with all the dietary advice that comes with pregnancy. They’re aware that they need to supplement with folic acid and avoid the dreaded blue cheese or the evils of unwashed mushrooms.

They’re often unaware though that even before pregnancy nutrition is fundamental and can increase the likelihood of pregnancy, sometimes making the difference between “trying-to-conceive” and dancing the little dance of the positive pregnancy stick.

This is as true for the father-to-be as well. It takes 2½ – 3 months to develop fully-mature, ready-to-be-ejaculated sperm and roughly the same amount of time for an egg to mature for ovulation. Maturing essential nutrients are required for all the cell DNA replication and gene transcription that’s being carried out. If both partners follow a healthy diet they can be assured that when their sperm and egg finally meet they’ll be carrying all the correct genetic information and that they’re tough enough to finish the journey.


Nutrition can make the difference between trying-to-conceive and dancing the dance of the positive pregnancy
Of course, even when actively trying to get pregnant, many women won’t realise they actually are until they miss their period. At this stage, a possible 3 weeks down the line of foetal development, there has already been a massive multiplication of cells with the early stage foetus now burrowing into the uterine lining. Consequently, nutrition is important at this stage, not only for foetal health but to also help make the uterine lining receptive and nurturing.

 

7 Vital Nutrients When #TTC:

Asparagus Folate / Folic Acid*
The neural tube is the precursor to the central nervous system and one of the first things to develop in the embryo. Folate is crucial for this, with many health providers recommending that the mother supplement with folic acid before and during pregnancy. Some women, however, are unable to fully absorb Folic Acid and may need a revised supplement called Methyl-Folate. If you repeatedly miscarry, this may be the reason why. Many studies have shown that vitamin B12 is vital for the same reasons. Consequently, ensure that your daily multi-vitamin has a spectrum of B vitamins including folic acid and B12. Additionally include yeast products, pulses, leafy green vegetables and whole grains in your diet.

Iodine
Along with folate iodine is crucial in the development of the early central nervous system, specifically with regard to brain development. This is borne out by research showing that low levels in pregnancy are connected with many mental health issues in the child such as cretinism, ADHD and autism. Many multi-vitamins provide a baseline level but ensure your diet also contains fish, seafood, seaweed and dairy products.

Zinc
Zinc is regularly linked with male fertility and sexual health. It is crucial for cell division, relevant in the synthesis and maturation of sperm. Luckily it is an easy mineral to find in a whole food diet, in abundance in seafood and asparagus (maybe explaining their reputation as aphrodisiacs) but also in eggs, fish, whole grains, lean meat and seeds and nuts.

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Omega 3
This polyunsaturated oil is not only important for the ready synthesis of sex hormones but is also recommended to increase sperm quality and count. Readily found in oily fish but also flaxseeds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

Anti-oxidants
Anti-oxidants are important when cell multiplication is happening rapidly such as with sperm synthesis or foetal growth. There are many of them which include selenium, coenzyme Q10 and vitamins E and C. Whole grains, seeds and nuts are good sources of selenium and Vitamin E whilst Vitamin C can be found in abundance in all fruits and vegetables. Co-enzyme Q10 can be found in fish, sesame seeds, broccoli and eggs.

Protein
Again this nutrient is the basis for sex hormones but is equally needed for sperm creation and cellular replication. Obviously, there are many sources of protein but look for quality sources such as lean meats, eggs, fish and dairy which will help you to obtain all the essential amino acids whilst also providing sources of vitamins and minerals.

Sperm to egg

So, making sure your kids eat right doesn’t start at the kitchen table. Your children’s nutrition starts 3 months prior to even the twinkle in their father’s eye.

For more pre-natal, ante-natal, and post-natal advice please contact me at saffron@thislifenutrition.co.uk.

* Just to clarify Folic Acid is the synthetic form of the vitamin, folate is that which is found in food sources. Folate requires less conversion by the body and is more bio-available, methylated-folate even more so.

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Saffron Rogerson (1 Posts)

Saffron is a Nutritional Therapist and founder of www.thislifenutrition.co.uk which covers thoughts, discoveries and experiences from the world of nutritional therapy.