About 40% of pregnancies are unplanned, but what if you belong to the other 60% who are trying to conceive? The goal is to always have a healthy pregnancy, from the time you conceive to the time you deliver the baby. You start reading different material, your eating habits change, and you start thinking about baby names. This is all great, but what happens when you have trouble conceiving?
Many women take oral contraceptives and lead high-stress lifestyles in their 20s and early 30s. They want to “figure things out,” so to speak, before having a child, but some women later come to realize that conceiving is more difficult than they expected. This can lead to depression or anxiety about having a child.
Rather than immediately resorting to medical treatments, it may be a good idea to look at your eating habits because nutrition may play a role in improving fertility. The best thing you can do, when trying to conceive, is to eat a clean, plant-based diet that is free of GMOs, hormones, and processed ingredients. If you are unsure of what foods to eat, follow the guidelines below.
Switch Protein Sources
Most animal protein contains hormones that can mess with the hormonal balance. It is better to eliminate beef, pork, chicken, dairy products, or fish from your diet and start eating beans, nuts, seeds, and vegetables that contain protein. Take a look at these plant-based protein sources here.
The Right Kinds of Fat
If you are obese or have excessive fat, conceiving can be difficult because too much fat can limit sperm count or create a hormonal imbalance. You have to eat healthy fats. It is beneficial to consume omega-3 fatty acids, which are in extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, nuts and seeds, avocados, and more plant-based foods. Always avoid trans fats because they can lead to inflammation, ultimately inhibiting ovulation.
There are commercials for many cereals or packaged products that contain fiber, but natural is always best. Eating plant-based foods that are high in fiber can help to regulate blood glucose levels, preventing insulin spikes or hormonal imbalances. Fiber also helps to aid digestion. For a list of fiber-rich foods, click here.
Eat Your Veggies
Vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals, which is why you should eat several servings a day. If you are trying to conceive, try to eat 7 servings of vegetables every day, and make sure they are different colors too. Eating different colored vegetables helps you get a wide variety of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Add veggies to soups, salads, smoothies, or other dishes.
Try To Avoid Caffeine
This can be a hard one to eliminate from your diet, but consuming a lot of caffeine can make it difficult to conceive. If avoiding caffeine seems impossible, try to drink two cups of green tea every day. Decaffeinated coffee is acceptable infrequently if you need to have that taste.