FOOD! My favorite thing. I feel like I’m always contemplating what my next meal is going to be. I’m always craving things like pizza, mozzarella sticks, cheese steaks and french fries. You know, the yummy stuff that definitely doesn’t promote a healthy lifestyle or support a body that’s trying to procreate. I’ve got a B.S. Degree in Kinesiology, we spent many hours on proper nutrition and what it can do for the body, you would think my body would know how useless those foods are nutrition wise and wouldn’t crave them anymore. Haha, real funny.
Through my schooling and my personal experience I know that eating a properly balanced diet can help you with conception. Sometimes our bodies can be deprived of certain vitamins or minerals that would be helpful with getting pregnant. You should discuss your diet with your doctor before making any changes. Usually, they’ll recommend a healthy diet and to make sure you are getting adequate folic acid and other B vitamins.
Drinking water is cruical. Water does so much for your body. It can help increase your production of cervical mucus which can help in the fertilization process. Many doctors also suggested that I limit my caffeine intake to 250 mcg a day which is hard since I could drink my weight in sweet tea. During the different phases of our cycle (learn more about them HERE ), our bodies need different nutrients from diffferent foods.
During the menses phase, you should increase your iron intake with foods like asparagus, red meat, spinach and broccoli. You can help fight off menstrual cramps and inflammation with foods like oily fish, ginger and berries. Making sure to drink as much water as possible will help tremendously with those horrid cramps. Try your best to avoid the junk, high calorie and foods with zero nutritional value even though that’s all your mind will be telling you that you MUSTTTT have.
During the follicular phase, you want to eat foods that aid in hormone production like avocado, Greek yogurt, almonds and spinach.
When your body is ovulating the estrogen levels in your body are decreasing significantly. It’s exhausting for estrogen to do all this work to try to pop out a fresh egg. Help your body out by eating foods to help balance this hormone change like beans and dried fruits.
Finally, during the luteal phase, your body is going to be craving foods rich in energy and probably some chocolate or sweets as well knowing that your about to restart the cycle again. Get some extra energy with lean meats, fish and proteins.
Especially with my genetic mutation that affects my ability to deal with folic acid and folate properly, a big suggestion we received as far as my diet was to focus on folate. Folate can help in reproduction and help prevent neural tube defects, congenital heart defects and other malformations in a baby. That’s why you take a prenatal vitamin that has folic acid. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate. Some folate rich foods include dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, okra, brussel sprouts, spinach and beans. Can you tell how important spinach is for your body? It’s been listed in like every category.
Another suggestion I made sure to follow was getting the proper amount of Vitamin D. Vitamin D has many functions, one of which is to increase sex hormones which will affect ovulation and hormone balance overall. Knowing I was already Vitamin D deficient and I had trouble ovulating during the proper time frame in my cycle, I took this suggestion seriously. I made sure to take my Vitamin D supplement that was recommended and I ate foods rich in Vitamin D such as eggs, fatty fish and dairy products. Don’t forget that spending some time in the sun is the best and most cost effective form of Vitamin D! Any reason to be getting outside in the sunshine is fine by me.
Overall, if you’re trying to conceive you should make sure to follow a healthy diet recommended by your doctor. Try your best to avoid fatty foods, junk foods, alcohol and smoking. These are all just general recommendations for a healthy life and a healthy pregnancy.