Healthy babies start before birth and also before conception, with preconception nutrition a strong factor in female and male fertility. People with a desire for a family should start planning with optimal diets before they try to achieve pregnancy. The boosted energy and calmed minds from better foods may set the mood more often and make a baby in no time.
A Fertility Diet Is Not a Diet
Extreme thinness can shut down estrogen production and disrupt ovulation with irregular periods. The body is unable to regulate temperature when it senses hunger, and body temperature is critical to initiating and predicting ovulation.
When it comes to conception, a healthy weight including fat is essential. Nix fasting, diet pills and meal replacement drink crashes. Eat the proper foods in healthful proportions and keep it simple with regular exercise for weight management.
Toxins Flow From Food and Packaging
Some foods linger in a woman’s body to pass toxins on to a growing baby long after the meal is over. As a combination of healthy fats and protein women need, salmon and cod are essential preconception nutrition staples. But some fish have marine diets contaminated with pollutants and chemical exposure, which women will store up to harm fetuses later.
Women must eliminate popular fish known to be high in mercury. Tuna, swordfish and mackerel are known to contain high amounts that a fetus could ingest later.
Plastic Is a Fertility Foe
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a key chemical in plastics used to package or store food and epoxy resins which coat the inside of metal containers such as soda cans. Because BPA seeps into food, it seeps into the bloodstream. Adults must consume a high amount of BPA before effects show up, but smaller amounts can harm fetal development.
Kicking the soda habit cuts BPA exposure considerably. Substitute plastic food containers and dishes for glass ones. Men should also beware, as BPA can create inadvertent estrogen levels which defeat sperm production.
Preconception Nutrition Essentials
Food must be medicine with the following considerations:
- Switch to decaffeinated beverages.
- Boost egg quality and assist implantation with antioxidant-rich foods like berries and pineapple, high in enzymes that assist a fertilized egg’s implantation.
- Start high vitamin D, iron and protein reserves for the baby with whole dairy products, grass-fed beef, and lean chicken.
Special Preconception Nutrition for Men
Changed diets, fast food and processed meats have caused a dramatic decrease in sperm counts for men. Men innocently decrease their sperm counts with high trans fats amounts found in fast and junk foods. Even superfoods like soy can flood them with estrogen-like compounds to disrupt the hormonal balance for sperm production.
Men can produce vital sperm with more fruits, vegetables and fish. Walnuts have been proven to boost sperm counts.
Vegan and Vegetarian Diets
While dairy foods and protein figure largely in preconception nutrition, many people are lactose intolerant or do not eat meat. They can still have healthy conception and pregnancies. In fact, vegan and vegetarian diets help women in advanced maternal age to maintain healthy weights plus prevent health conditions that often accompany high-risk pregnancies.
If a vegan and vegetarian diet is necessary to manage a medical condition, the time before pregnancy is inappropriate to risk changing it. A professional medical nutritionist’s care is nonnegotiable to keep the iron, vitamin D and protein levels best for conception and gestation. Spinach, soy milk, tofu, green peas and lentils are stable vegan proteins or iron-rich foods that vegetarians can supplement with eggs and low-fat dairy.
The Risks of Alcohol
Excessive drinking for men leads to trouble with erections and ejaculation. Excessive drinking for women damages otherwise healthy eggs. An early pregnancy could come before it is planned and lead women to unwittingly leak alcohol to a new fetus.
An occasional or celebratory drink relaxes everyday pressures, a benefit in conception. But one binge depletes the vitamins and nutrients a fertility diet builds up. Your family will thank you later when you cut drinking back or cut alcohol out entirely as you plan to start a family.