Congrats! You and your partner have decided that you are ready to add another member to your family and have started trying for a baby. Whether this is your first or your sixth pregnancy, it is still a huge deal, and eating right is one of the best things you can do to not only help you get pregnant faster but to help ensure that you have a healthy, happy pregnancy from the beginning. Starting to eat like you’re expecting now before you ever get a positive pregnancy test is the best way to prepare your body for pregnancy and help increase your chances of conceiving sooner.
Leafy green vegetables
Think broccoli, spinach, kale, swiss chard, and bok choy. These green veggies are loaded with iron, folate, and other key nutrients and minerals that can not only help you conceive but can also improve the health of your pregnancy and help protect your baby from birth defects. Of course, it is still important to take a doctor-approved pre-natal supplement before and during your pregnancy.
Eat a big breakfast
Though this isn’t a specific food you should be eating, skipping breakfast could put a damper on your fertility. This is especially true for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), as studies have shown that women with PCOS who ate a large breakfast ovulated 30% more than women with this same condition who skipped breakfast. Be sure that you are eating healthy, wholesome foods and not filling up on things like sugary cereal.
By now, you’ve probably realized that fat isn’t the bad word that it used to be. Yes, processed, artificial fats and trans fats are still a huge “no, no” and always will be. However, good fats like coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, and nuts play an important role in health and can boost your fertility and help increase your chances of getting pregnant. Snack on nuts like almonds or walnuts for a healthy dose of fat and drizzle olive or coconut oil over roasted vegetables.
Eating beans as your main source of protein and cutting down on animal protein may actually help improve your fertility, as certain studies have shown. Garbanzo beans, black beans, kidney beans, to name just a few, could all be benefical. Add them to your diet today and use them to replace a few servings of meat. You can also enjoy lentils and edamame.
Omega-3 fatty acids are another key component in improving the health of your pregnancy, and even if you aren’t yet expecting, it is important to start introducing omega-3 into your body. Fish is the best source of this critical nutrient, so enjoy fresh-caught, organic salmon, or tuna for optimal benefits.
Staying hydrated is a critical component of any healthy lifestyle, but it is especially important if you are trying to conceive, as it actually helps thin out your cervical mucous. Water keeps all of your organs functioning effectively and can even protect your body from a number of ailments. Along with drinking more water, it is a good idea to cut down on your caffeine consumption and stop drinking alcohol and soda altogether.
Cut down on carbs
One of the keys to getting pregnant is achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and supporting your body to function optimally. Along with daily exercise, cutting down on your carbs and sugar is a great way to get to your goal weight and lose some of that excess abdominal fat before the baby comes. Cut out processed grains and bread and try to limit your intake of refined starches.
Full fat dairy
Along with fat from sources such as healthy oils, avocados, and nuts, switching to full-fat dairy instead of low fat has also been linked to increased fertility. Enjoy greek yogurt and butter, and don’t be afraid to use that half and half or heavy whipping cream in your tea or coffee.
Remember, enjoy this unique time of life and don’t get frustrated if it takes a little while to conceive. It’s normal! However, if it takes longer than six months, it is a good idea for you and your partner to see a doctor and ensure that you are both healthy.