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Nutrition and a healthy body weight has impact on the ability to conceive


Nutrition and a healthy body weight for both partners can have a significant impact on the ability to conceive.

To prepare for pregnancy and enhance fertility, maintain a healthy weight and choose foods that will create a safe and supportive home for your baby's nine-month stay.

Men also should try to maintain a healthy body weight and follow a balanced eating pattern, since male obesity may alter hormone levels leading to low sperm count and poor sperm motility.

Find your healthy weight:

Keep your weight in the fertility zone – a BMI of 18.5 to 24, being too thin (less than 19) or overweight (more than 24) can affect your fertility & baby’s health. For women who are overweight, as little as 5 percent weight loss could improve fertility.

The Fertility diet:

In general, eating more vegetables, eating healthy monounsaturated fats instead of saturated and Trans fats, making at least half your grains whole, and getting enough calcium-rich foods including dairy will help you meet nutrient needs and promote a healthy weight

  • Complex carbs (good carbs) - those containing high fibre like fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains should be preferred over refined carbs (bad carbs) like white bread, white rice, pasta, cookies, cakes, sugary foods & drinks.

  • Avoid Trans fat (commercially baked & snack foods, animal products, fried foods, processed products, hydrogenated vegetable oils). Healthy fats include avocados, cheese, eggs, coconut & its oil, dark chocolate, fatty fish like mackerel & sardines, nuts, chia seeds, extra virgin olive oil & full fat yoghurt.

Consume 1 or 2 servings a day of whole milk or full fat dairy foods like yogurt.

  • Drink coffee, tea & alcohol in moderation & avoid sugary drinks entirely. The best beverage for keeping your body hydrated is water.

  • Get plant proteins (rather than meat ones) like beans, nuts and seeds. Taking an antioxidant supplement or foods rich in it can improve fertility rates especially among men with infertility. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts & grains are packed with beneficial antioxidants.

Vegetarian foods with iron include all types of beans, eggs, lentils, spinach, fortified cereals, long-grain enriched rice and whole grains.

Add vitamin C from citrus fruits, bell peppers or berries to your meals to enhance iron absorption.

  • While it won't make you more fertile, it is crucial that women trying to conceive obtain 400 micrograms per day of folic acid from supplements or foods such as dark leafy green vegetables and fortified grains.

Folic acid is needed to prevent brain and spine defects in the baby the formation of which normally happens three to four weeks after conception, before most women even realize they're pregnant.

More calories at breakfast and less at your evening meal can improve fertility.

If you are trying to get pregnant, it’s important that you begin making healthy nutrition & lifestyle choices today.

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