Six Things to Do to Boost Fertility and Have a Healthy Baby

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London: If you think it’s time for an addition to the family, getting a jump on your prenatal nutrition is vital. There are plenty of vitamins and minerals you’re going to need for your body to prep for the nine-month odyssey. Research indicates what you eat can affect your ability to conceive.

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As compiled from Women’s Health magazine and livestrong.com, here are six things you should opt for to boost the chances of having a baby.

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Curb protein intake:

This is an important part of a fit diet but according to research, most of us rely too heavily on animal protein, such as poultry and beef. Experts at the Harvard School of Public Health found that replacing a serving of meat each day with vegetable or dairy proteins, such as legumes, nuts, or tofu, can actually boost fertility.

The researchers looked at nearly 19,000 female nurses, who were actively trying to get pregnant and found that infertility was 39% more likely in women with the highest intake of animal protein. But women who ate a lot of plant protein were substantially less likely to have trouble trying to conceive. “Be sure to include plenty of lean protein in your diet, including vegetarian sources such as beans and lentils,” says Rebecca Scritchfield, a dietitian, and health fitness specialist.

Opt for full-fat milk products:

Full. Fat. Dairy. That’s right. Researchers found that women were less likely to have ovulatory infertility if they consumed at least one serving of full-fat dairy foods, such as yogurt or paneer made from whole milk each day. Skimmed and low-fat dairy products had the opposite effect on fertility.

Experts theorize that eliminating fat from milk might change the balance of sex hormones, which could hinder ovulation. Harvard researchers recommend having a serving of full-fat yogurt or drinking a glass of whole milk every day. But it’s also imperative to maintain a healthy weight in order to get pregnant.

Consume Iron-rich foods:

It’s essential to enhance your body’s iron reserves before you get pregnant. Once a woman gets pregnant, she often loses iron to the baby, which can put her at risk for postpartum anemia — a condition that zaps energy by causing red blood cells to fall below normal levels.

“The Nurses’ Health Study reported that fertility can be improved by eating foods rich in iron, particularly vegetarian sources such as beans, lentils, spinach, and fortified and enriched grains. It’s also a good idea to test your blood for anemia at your preconception checkup. “Get the most out of your iron-rich foods by adding a squeeze of lemon to sautéed spinach. These foods are high in Vitamin C and improve the body’s ability to absorb iron,” adds Scritchfield.

Go for grains:

While you’re usually told to eat whole grains, try including some refined grains in your diet that can help lift your folic acid levels. “Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps the body make healthy new cells. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body at least one month before and during pregnancy, it can help prevent major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine,” says Scritchfield.

Gynecologists recommend healthy adults consume about six ounces of total grains per day and that at least half of those grains (three ounces) are whole grains. In addition to grain products, you can get folic acid from nuts, beans, citrus fruits, and leafy greens.

Cut caffeine and add ginger tea:

While many experts advise that low to moderate caffeine consumption (about two eight-ounce mugs of coffee) is fine, other experts say that’s too much. A recent meta-analysis published in the European Journal of Epidemiology found that a dose as low as 100 milligrams per day of caffeine was associated with a 14 percent increase in the risk of miscarriage and a 19 percent increase in the risk of stillbirth.

Experts conclude that caffeine can also hinder your body’s ability to absorb calcium and iron and recommends cutting it out. Ditch the coffee and stick to your caffeine-free adrak chai for your daily boost of baby-welcoming nutrients — anti-oxidants and vitamin C.

Use olive oil:

The Mediterranean staple is a monounsaturated fat that helps increase insulin sensitivity and heals inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation can interfere with ovulation, conception, and early development of the embryo. In addition to incorporating olive oil into your pre-pregnancy diet, it’s essential to cut out trans-fats, which are found in many baked goods, fried, and processed foods.

Trans-fats decrease the body’s ability to react to insulin, which can make you more prone to irregular ovulation. “A study conducted at Harvard showed improved fertility in women eating fewer trans-fats, sugary and refined carbohydrates. Replace these with plant-based fats such as olive or coconut oil,” states Scritchfield.

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