A proper fertility diet will not only improve your fertility, but also health and well being. It will also ensure your baby’s healthy development once you become pregnant. So how should you eat and what constitutes "fertility foods"? Below are 13 dietary tips to boost your fertility:
1. Eat regularly. Replace your usual three meals a day with five smaller ones, eaten at regular intervals. Try not to eat later than three hours before bedtime.
2. Eat varied, diverse meals. Don’t focus on one type of food. Plan meals according to these guidelines: eat fish twice weekly, prepare meat just once or twice a week, and enjoy pulses twice a week.
3. Eat at least three servings of vegetables a day. It’s helpful to plan to have vegetables at every meal.
4. Eat one to two servings of fruit a day.
5. Choose seasonal products. Buy locally grown fruit, rather than spotless fruit imported from afar.
6. Make sure that at least half of the grain products you eat are made with whole grains.
7. Be careful with sugar (replace it with honey!), salt and fat. Keep all three to a minimum.
8. In addition to taking vitamins with folic acid (essential when trying to have a baby), try to include products rich in folic acid in your menu. These include green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, beans, brussels sprouts, asparagus), legumes (beans, peas), citrus (oranges) and whole wheat bread.
9. Consume the right amount of calcium. Don’t forget about milk, yogurt (choose the natural ones), and white cheese. Calcium can be found not only in dairy products, but also in hazelnuts, parsley, some fish and white beans.
10. Make sure you take in the right amount of iron. Iron deficiency may interfere with your hormonal balance and thereby adversely affect ovulation and reduce fertility. You will also need large amounts of iron during pregnancy, in order to avoid anemia. Make sure you have a sufficient iron reserve even when you’re just trying to conceive. Foods rich in iron include red meat, spinach, sorrel, amaranth, liver, broccoli, beans, and eggs. To increase iron absorption, combine these foods with vitamin C (drink orange juice with meals).
11. Cook your own food. Don’t buy pre-made meals, and choose the least processed foods. For example, instead of a pre-made spaghetti sauce, buy canned tomatoes and add the right amount of salt (ready-made products usually have too much of it), meat, garlic, basil and other spices yourself.
12. Drink at least 1.5 quarts of still water a day. Low-sodium mineral water is generally best for adults.
13. If you're a vegetarian, talk to a nutritionist about how you can effectively replace animal protein while maintaining the right level of iron and vitamin B in your body.
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