Lifestyle And Diet Choices To Improve Fertility
Guidelines to prepare for a healthy pregnancy:
1) Replace a serving of meat each day with vegetarian sources of protein such as nuts, seeds, quinoa, beans, or lentils.
2) Eat more vegetarian sources of iron such as spinach, raisins, beans, prunes and cashews.
3) Limit foods containing trans fats such as vegetable shortenings, frostings, fried foods, certain margarines, baked goods, and pie crusts. Trans fats are listed on foods as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” vegetable oil.
4) Eat more foods that are rich in monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and canola oil.
5) Eat complex carbohydrates that are digested slowly and rich in fiber such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes and lentils.
6) Begin prenatal vitamins when you begin trying to become pregnant. The vitamin should include folic acid, choline, and vitamin D. Recent studies have demonstrated that vitamin D deficiencies are common in the United States and that fertility potential is decreased when vitamin D levels are low. It may be wise to have your physician check your vitamin D levels and supplement with 2000-4000 IU of vitamin D if indicated.
7) There may be an advantage to using whole fat milk or yogurt while trying to conceive.
8) Try to achieve and maintain a normal body weight. Being over or underweight can interfere with normal ovulation. Overweight women are at increased risk for miscarriage and may take longer to conceive.
9) Moderate exercise improves fertility while excessive vigorous exercise seems to increase the amount of time required to conceive.
10) Reduce the amount of coffee consumed to just one cup per day. Studies have shown that increased amounts of caffeine may decrease the chances of conception and increase the chances of miscarriage.