What are the best things to eat when you're trying for a baby? We take a look at five fertility-boosting foods
Eating a varied and healthy diet when trying to conceive is important; it helps the body to build adequate stores of vitamins and minerals. But what fertility-boosting foods should you focus on eating when you're thinking about trying for a baby?
Healthy food guidelines about diet are very clear when you're pregnant (did you hear the good news about eating runny eggs in pregnancy?). But when you are trying for a baby it is also important to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet that will give your body the nutrition it needs to stay strong.
The following are five fertility-boosting foods are the sort of thing you should be serving up for breakfast, lunch and dinner:
(1) Leafy greens such as broccoli, fortified breakfast cereals, citrus fruits and pulses provide folic acid which helps prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida (make sure you still take folic acid though - here's why folic acid is so important).
(2) Red meat, fortified breakfast cereals, lentils, soy beans, dried fruit and leafy greens such as spinach are great sources of iron. Low iron levels have been linked to an increased risk for ovulatory infertility, making it an essential part of any getting pregnant diet.
(3) Milk and cheese are rich sources of calcium which helps with the development of healthy bones and teeth in a developing foetus.
(4) Asparagus and squash will provide zinc to keep the immune system strong, which is essential when trying to get pregnant. Zinc also helps the production of healthy eggs, as well as healthy sperm.
(5) Fibre-rich beans and wholegrains will flush a variety of toxins from the body, thereby increasing the chances of getting pregnant, and can also reduce the risk of pregnancy complications, like gestational diabetes.
And finally, it's not a food - but make sure you drink enough water! It will keep you hydrated and make sure you have good quality cervical mucus. Add in some fruit for flavouring if you're not a fan of it plain.