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Health | Balance your diet and your body to boost pregnancy

Finding out you are pregnant can be one of the most exciting times of your life, but it’s not always so easy to fall pregnant, and for some people the harder they try, the more stressful the process becomes.

 

I have worked with a lot of couples that have successfully increased their fertility simply by changing their diets. The body needs to be in balance to fall pregnant.

 

It’s nature’s way of making sure you have the best chance possible of a healthy happy baby, and if the body needs a bit of a ‘clean out’ before it allows you to conceive, then it’s worth the effort. Sometimes it just takes as little as one or two months to make this happen and alter the body enough to create that harmony within.

 

Basically, what the body needs is nutrient dense foods that are packed with lots of nutrition per serving. Including these in your daily regime, and cutting out the rubbish, could potentially make all the difference.

 

Eggs – contain Vitamin D, B12, protein. Make sure to find eggs which are farm fresh and have deep orange/yellow yolks. They are worth the extra cost as they provide much more nutrients and are cleaner than the general factory farmed egg. Find at farmer’s markets, neighbours or the health food shop.

 

Nuts and seeds – contain omega 3, zinc, Vitamin E, protein. Eat nuts and seeds in their raw form as essential fatty acids and zinc are sensitive to heat and can be destroyed if cooked. The best seeds and nuts for omega 3 are: walnuts, flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds.

 

Grass-fed meats – contain Omega 3, iron, B12, protein. Grass-fed meats come from animals, which have grazed in grass fields and eaten fresh grass for most of their life. This meat has less fat, and it provides a lot more nutrients because the animals have eaten their natural diet. Grass-fed meats are high in omega 3, have been raised without antibiotics and hormones.

 

Dark leafy vegetables – contain iron, folic acid, B6, Vitamin E. Dark leafy vegetables are packed with minerals, antioxidants and vitamins essential to healthy fertility such as spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and collards.

 

Fruit – contain Vitamin C, flavonoids, variety of antioxidants. Fruits are the foods highest in antioxidants per serving. Some of the fruits highest in antioxidants are prunes, pomegranates, raisins, blueberries and strawberries.

 

Remember that antioxidants are heat sensitive, so to get their benefit eat your fruit fresh, ripe and raw.

 

Colourful veggies – contain B6, vitamin C. The colour of a vegetable will tell you what nutrients and benefits it will provide for your body. For instance, vegetables that are red or green in colour are high in vitamin C. Vegetables that are orange have high vitamin A. White vegetables tend to have sulphur, for instance. The easiest way to get a bundle of nutrients is to eat a variety of vegetables. Make sure you are eating a range of colours daily.

 

Lentils and other beans – contain iron, folic Acid. Lentils are the second highest source of iron of all foods and the second highest source of folic acid.

 

Just one cup of cooked lentils provides 90 per cent of your daily folic acid needs.

 

And if you get sick of lentils, garbanzo and pinto beans follow close behind.

 

Learn to get creative with your beans. You can use them to make soups, hummus, as a side dish, in stir-fry and even in brownies.

 

What about grains? There have been links to infertility in those who have gluten intolerance (celiac disease – you can get tested for this) as well as a possible link to immunological infertility and grains.

 

In some people, grains will be a non-issue, but if you have made many changes yet have not seen results, this may be an area for you to look into.

 

Grains and pseudo-grains that are gluten-free (amaranth, rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet) are a great option and tend to be more nutrient dense than the general grains we are used to eating.

 

Foods to avoid are sugar, soda and pasteurised juices such as bottled apple juice, orange juice, and other bottled fruit juices. They contain concentrated sugar, which can throw off your blood sugar levels and negatively effect your immune system and hormonal balance. Also avoid any processed/refined and artificial sugars. Some great alternatives are stevia, honey, and maple syrup.

 

If you are trying to conceive, you may want to cut down or stop your caffeine for a bit as caffeine can affect your hormonal balance, increase your chances of a miscarriage and prevent you from ovulating.

 

You may want to avoid Soy foods too, as they have been shown to contain oestrogen-mimicking properties. It is best to avoid processed soy foods such as soy-milk, soy burgers, soy protein powder, soy chips, soy meats, and soy cheeses to avoid a negative impact on your hormonal balance. Both men and women are affected by soy.

Posted in Lifestyle.