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Couples who are planning on starting a family are often looking for answers about what they should be eating during this time. Particularly women are often under pressure since much of the fertility journey is out of their control, hence they feel that some simple tips on dietary improvements could contribute positively in their pursuit of improving their chances to conceive. The dietary advice is not usually very prescriptive. The important thing to remember is that this should be a time when you focus on foods that help you feel your best.

A complex ecosystem constitutes within the human body that produces enzymes, new cells and hormones continuously through millions of chemical reactions. The food that we choose to eat provides key nutrients that are important for those chemical reactions. Given below are top four nutrition tips to help you have replenished stores of important nutrients and to prepare your body for pregnancy. They are also easy to incorporate into your regular routine.

Swap refined carbohydrates for whole grains:

Swapping refined carbohydrates help to decrease inflammation, which contributes to fertility concerns. This change doesn’t have to be sudden but slowly and steadily make sure you switch to consuming Low GI (glycemic index) carbohydrates such as whole grains which reduces insulin levels.

Insulin is the hormone that controls the storage of fat in our bodies. Reducing insulin levels in your body will be very beneficial to the general overall health too. These include reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease and lowering cholesterol levels. A good example to reduce the GI in your diet is to replace white bread with wholegrain, and sweet breakfast cereals with porridge.

Protein Intake:

Our body uses protein to assist in making new hormones and hence the type of protein we eat is important. You can start by replacing a quantity of the animal protein in your diet, say 25 gms, with different kinds of vegetable proteins such as legumes, lentils, seeds and nuts. Limiting fatty meats such as bacon and including a couple of vegetarian days each week can also be beneficial.

Another rich source of protein are Dairy foods. These are also rich in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin B12. Consume at least three servings of dairy foods each day to meet nutritional requirements. Put milk in your breakfast cereal, have a tub of yoghurt for a snack, add cottage cheese to a salad or snack on veggie sticks with a dip.

Embrace good fats:

Readymade processed food and confectionaries such as chips, biscuits, snack bars and takeaway meals, fatty meats are abundant in Saturated fats that are known to be associated with inflammation and causing increase in oxygen free radicals which in turn decrease fertility. On the contrary, if good fats such avocado, nuts, tomato on wholegrain toasts are incorporated in diet, it’s a simpler and nutritious way towards good health.

Keep up your folate :

One of the only scientifically proven nutrients for healthy conception is folate. It is recommended that women take 0.5mg folic acid daily for at least three months before pregnancy and for three months into the pregnancy. It is an effective way to reduce the risk of the most common neural tube defects in babies which is Spina Bifida.

Along with consuming a folate supplement, it is recommended to incorporate rich natural sources of folate into one’s diet such as green leafy vegetables. Try to increase your vegetable intake by consuming them for all three meals. This can be done in the form of soups, veggie sticks, teaming it up with other vegetarian proteins such cottage cheese, lentils etc.

Summary :

Trying to conceive can be a stressful time if it’s taking longer than you had planned. We advise to incorporate the above-mentioned ideas in your daily lifestyle and you would feel the improvement in your general health and wellbeing. Additionally, it may also help in tackling weight issues and create suitable internal environment for conception. Meanwhile, don’t forget to enjoy yourself with your favorite foods once in a while and in moderation.

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