Trying to pick out the best foods when you’re trying to conceive is hard and extremely stressful. Tracy Beckerman, a registered dietitian specializing in fertility, discusses the best foods to help align your body with the right vitamins, minerals and hormones for a healthy and successful pregnancy. Here’s her top 5 fertility foods:
Boost up on beans! Why? Well, beans are high in iron, an important fertility nutrient. Low iron has been associated with anovulation so beans can help get iron levels (and maybe even your period!) back to normal. Also, beans are high in plant-based proteins and are a great alternative protein source if you are trying to keep your animal protein intake low. Harvard School of Public Health looked at nearly 19,000 female nurses who were actively trying to get pregnant and found that infertility was 39 percent more likely in women with the highest intake of animal protein.
Leafy greens are essential during pre-pregnancy because of their high folate levels. They also contain B vitamins which are important in pregnancy health. Men also benefit from leafy greens due to folate’s ability to help produce healthier sperm. In fact, researchers at the University of California Berkeley’s Public School of Health surveyed 97 nonsmoking men who had no prior history of fertility problems. They found that men who had the highest intake of folate had nearly a 20 percent reduction in the number of abnormal sperm. Facing male infertility? Load up on the spinach!
Eat the best foods with the right vitamins, minerals and hormones to set yourself up for a healthy and successful pregnancy.
Whole wheat bread
Whole wheat bread has a good rep because it’s high fiber content helps maintain blood sugar levels when compared to white or refined bread. Elevated insulin levels can cause an imbalance of hormones, therefore it is important to stabilize blood sugar while getting ready for pregnancy. A Dutch study that looked at 165 couples trying to get pregnant found that women who had high blood sugar levels were only half as likely to get pregnant during this 6 month study. Pass the whole wheat bread, please!
Full-fat dairy is a great source of calcium, but the natural fat within the milk is also important if you’re trying to get pregnant. Full-fat dairy should not be feared as being too high in fat because the type of fat can aid in regulating hormones. However, full-fat dairy shouldn’t be consumed in excess due to its high amount of saturated fat. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend that we consume less than 10% of our daily intake from saturated fat.
Fatty fish is a healthy choice during pre-pregnancy. The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish can regulate hormones and increase blood flow to reproductive organs. Fatty fish also may decrease stress, and in turn can decrease cortisol production within the body. In order for our hormones to stay balanced, we want to keep our cortisol levels as low as possible.