Women health

Fertility-Boosting Foods

Are you looking for a way to kick-start your pregnancy? Check out which foods you should eat — or avoid if you want to have a healthy pregnancy. ovulation test strips and pregnancy test kit

There are plenty of old wives' tales (and Internet legends) about the fertility benefits of certain foods, as well as the baby-busting potential of others. And if you're considering starting a baby-making campaign (or are already in the middle of one), you're probably wondering which facts about fertility are true...and which are false. The truth is that you can get pregnant regardless of what you eat — or don't eat. However, there is some intriguing, if preliminary, research that suggests your fertility may be influenced by what you eat — and that eating certain foods (and avoiding others) may help you get pregnant faster.

The scientific jury is still out on the food-fertility connection (or is there one? ), but it's certainly food for thought in the meantime. Take the following list with a grain of salt (and a prenatal vitamin, which is a proven preconception must) when it comes to food. Fill up on foods that promote fertility (they're all healthy, after all), and stay away from foods that researchers believe may reduce your chances of conceiving. Bottom line (and you don't need a scientist to tell you this): if you eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet prior to conception, you're most likely fueling your fertility. If you eat a lot of junk food and fast food, you're probably not helping your fertility. fertility supplements for women

Dairy. When you're trying to conceive, it's a good idea to eat a lot of dairy (milk, yogurt, and cheese). Including dairy in your preconception diet is beneficial not only to your bones but also to your reproductive health. So drink your milk, eat your yogurt, drink your smoothie, and nibble on your cheese. Most of the time, sticking to low-fat or fat-free dairy products makes sense, especially if you're trying to reduce your bottom line (after all, extra weight can weigh on fertility). However, preliminary research suggests that splurging on a serving of full-fat dairy per day may help women who are having trouble ovulating. Before you go too far with the Ben & Jerry's, keep in mind that eating too much full-fat will defeat the purpose if you gain weight.

The lean animal protein. Let's talk about (lean) turkey...as well as (lean) chicken and (lean) beef. All of these protein sources are high in iron, a nutrient that aids fertility. In fact, studies show that women who increase their iron intake during the preconception period have a higher fertility rate than iron-deficient women. There are a few caveats: Avoid high-fat cuts of meat (bring home the pork tenderloin, but not the bacon) and limit your animal protein intake (stick to no more than 3 servings). This is because studies have shown that consuming too much protein (even lean protein) can reduce fertility. Replace one serving of animal protein with a serving of plant protein (think beans, tofu, or quinoa). If you're a vegan, make sure your prenatal vitamin includes iron, and ask your doctor if you need any additional supplement

Fatty fish. Because of their high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish like salmon (preferably wild), sardines, herring, and other types of fatty fish are rich in fertility-boosting benefits. Increased blood flow to reproductive organs and the regulation of reproductive hormones can both be aided by eating a diet rich in those wonderful fats. Are you a fish adverse person? Flax-seed (found in some bread), almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and enriched eggs (marketed as "omega" or "DHA" eggs) are all good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

The Complex carbs. You've never met a carb you didn't like (and what estrogen producer doesn't?) It's past time to start being a little pickier. Consume complex carbohydrates (whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits) rather than refined carbohydrates whenever possible (white bread, white rice, refined cereal, sugary treats of all types). Because there could be a link between the carbs you eat and your fertility. Because of the following reasons: Increased insulin levels can disrupt reproductive hormones and wreak havoc on the menstrual cycle, which isn't ideal when trying to conceive. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, take longer to digest and don't cause insulin spikes, which may help with ovulation timing. Batmom, you've got yourself some whole wheat! fertility supplements for women to get pregnant fast with twins

Oysters. Oysters are known for their ability to heat things up between the sheets, but did you know they can also help you conceive? The oyster, dubbed "Nature's Viagra," is the most concentrated source of zinc in the food chain, a nutrient essential for conception. Zinc deficiency can cause menstrual irregularities and slow the production of high-quality eggs, both of which are detrimental to fertility. Oysters in any form don't appeal to you? Sucking on those bivalves isn't the only way to get your zinc fix. Other fertility-friendly foods, such as beef, poultry, dairy, nuts, eggs, whole grains, and legumes, contain smaller amounts of zinc.

Yams. Consider making yams for dinner if you're looking for a bun in your oven. Some researchers believe this Thanksgiving staple contains an ovulation-stimulating substance, citing the fact that wild yam eaters have a higher rate of twins as evidence. Whether or not this theory holds true (after all, the yams we eat are raised rather than wild), it's worth frying up a few tonight. After all, they're high in vitamins that promote fertility (their deep color is a giveaway).

Berries. Are you debating between pink and blue? Consider blueberries and raspberries. These berry family members are high in antioxidants and protect your body from cell damage and aging, which includes cells in your reproductive system (aka your eggs). Are you wondering if you should also pick other berries (such as strawberries and blackberries)? Without a doubt. All berries are beneficial to your fertility... Raspberry and blueberries are simply the berry, berry best. Is it the off-season? Purchase them frozen.


Fish with high mercury content. You've probably heard that eating high-mercury fish is a no-no during pregnancy. But did you know that too much mercury can also have an impact on fertility? That's right: there's a link between infertility and high mercury levels, according to research. What's more concerning is that mercury is stored in the body, so even if you strictly adhere to the fish consumption guidelines while pregnant, the mercury you ingested prior to conception could harm your unborn child. When you're trying to conceive, stay away from high-mercury fish like swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, fresh tuna (limit canned, too; light has less mercury than white) and shark. Do you enjoy sushi? Take your fill now (you won't be able to once you're pregnant), but stick to low-mercury fish.

Tran’s fats are unhealthy fats. Tran’s fats aren't anyone's friend, which is why they're being phased out of an increasing number of products. However, there is one reason why you should eliminate all trans fats from your preconception diet: some research suggests that the more trans fats a woman consumes, the greater her risk of developing ovulatory infertility. Processed and fried foods contain trans fats (also known as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils). Check nutrition labels for trans fats to make sure you're not consuming them. While you're at it, stay away from all types of saturated fats. Obtain your fats in a healthy manner (canola oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, nuts, avocados, and so on).

Caffeine. Caffeine addiction can wreak havoc on your fertility. Caffeine consumption has been linked to decreased fertility and an increased risk of miscarriage in studies. But that doesn't mean you have to say goodbye to Joe, your old pal. Up to 200 mg per day (roughly two shots of espresso or 12 ounces of brewed coffee) is considered safe — both now and during pregnancy.

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