Plenty of detailed information exists on what pregnant women should and should not ingest. However, when you are trying to conceive, the guidelines are less clear. Read on to learn more about great foods to eat when you are trying to become pregnant.
- Plant-Based Proteins– A study of 19,000 women conducted at the Harvard School of Health uncovered that women with a high intake of animal proteins were 39% more likely to be infertile that those with a diet higher in plant protein. Examples of plant proteins you can add to your plate are beans, edamame, nuts, tofu, and lentils.
- Whole Milk Products– The aforementioned study also found that one to two servings daily of whole milk or products containing this ingredient can protect you from ovulatory infertility. However, this only applies to whole milk; skim and low-fat milk can have the opposite effect. (The lower fat milk products have a higher amount of lactose so if you are able to tolerate it at all, the best bet would be organic whole milk products. The other thought would be soy milk but that is still a hot topic in the food world and it is said that it negatively affects fertility.)
- Leafy Green Vegetables– Dark leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and arugula contain high levels of folate, a B vitamin found to improve ovulation.
- Foods High in Iron– Studies show that women regularly taking a non-heme iron supplement were 40% less likely to have difficulty conceiving than those who do not. One great example of a plant-based product high in non-heme iron is pumpkin seeds.
- Complex Carbohydrates– Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest than refined carbohydrates, and therefore help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels stable. This is important because women with high blood sugar and/or high insulin levels are 50% less likely to become pregnant within a six month time frame than those with stable levels. When you are trying to conceive, choose dark bread, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta over their counterparts.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids– Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids help regulate your reproductive hormones, as well as increase the blood flow to your reproductive organs. Salmon is an excellent source of this. (However, not all fish is. When you are trying to conceive, you should avoid swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel.)