When planning a pregnancy, a little-known but significant factor involved in successfully falling pregnant is what we eat. In fact, a Harvard study involving 17,000 female participants showed that when women made just 5 changes to their food intake, their chance of getting pregnant increased by 69%! Below are 3 game-changing tips to boost fertility.
1. Get Enough Iron
Many women around Australia aren’t getting enough iron in their diet, and this is particularly important when it comes to fertility. Iron helps to deliver oxygen around the body, which helps supply our organs with energy to function optimally. The reproductive system requires energy to carry out the intricate processes involved in egg transportation through the follicular tubes, implantation in the uterus and all of the other processes required to successfully become -and stay- pregnant. When we think of iron-rich foods we normally think of meat, but other foods high in iron include tahini, pumpkin seeds, molasses and lentils.
2. Consider Zinc
Zinc is involved in the regulation of our hormones, and is required for fertilised eggs to successfully move through the fallopian tubes in order to eventually reach and attach to the uterus. Hence, a low zinc intake is one dietary factor that can prevent one from getting pregnant. Furthermore, anyone who has taken contraceptive pills may have inadequate zinc levels due to the established link between contraceptive pill use and depletion of zinc levels in the body. Rich sources of zinc include hemp seeds, oats, oysters and tofu.
3. Supplement With Folate
While obtaining our nutrients from foods is ideal, folate is one nutrient you don’t want to mess around with when planning for pregnancy. Hence I almost always recommend supplementing folate before and during pregnancy to ensure you’re getting enough (our needs also increase by 50% during pregnancy so it can be challenging to obtain enough folate from food alone). Not only has it been shown to improve fertility rates, but it also plays a vital role in forming baby’s brain and spinal cord and preventing defects in these areas at birth.
If you’re looking at improving your chances of getting pregnant and ensuring you endure a healthy pregnancy, looking at your eating patterns can prove to be particularly helpful. Dietitians understand food and how it interacts with the body, and are the best advisors on what to eat for your individual health needs. Understanding fertility and pregnancy nutrition can help you along your family planning journey and if you would like to know more then please reach out! I’m here to help.