According to the American Pregnancy Association, changes to diet that help reproductive health do not take effect until three months after they have been implemented. However, it is never too late to start making changes.
∙ Drink alcohol in moderation, or cut it out completely between ovulation and menstruation.
∙ Limit caffeine intake. Although studies aren’t conclusive in this area, caffeine has effects that can prevent, or at least not help, pregnancy from occurring.
∙ Limit intake of refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta and rice).
∙ Eat fruit and vegetables with a high mineral and vitamin content.
∙ Eat fish, but not all types. Fish rich in omega 3 is good but some types of fish have high mercury levels which is harmful for fertility. Consume fish with low mercury levels like prawns and salmon.
∙ Consume iron rich products but limit intake of red meat with high saturated fat content. Eat lemons, tomatoes and spinach instead.
∙ Eat protein, which is also important. Although many diets eliminate or reduce protein intake, a balanced diet that includes protein is essential.
∙ Avoid eating Trans fats and junk food. High intake of these types of fat causes cardiovascular problems.
∙ Consume unsaturated fats. Using olive oil in food is highly recommended, and preferably extra virgin olive oil. Avocados, pistachios and pine nuts are also good.
∙ Eat vegetable protein, which can help a lot. Seeds such as lentils, chickpeas and dates are a good source of vegetable protein.
∙ Consume dairy products. At the beginning full fat products are recommended and later on consume low fat products.
On the basis of this advice, it is especially important to eat a balanced diet. All the pointers listed above are helpful and all products mentioned should be combined, as consumed together they will contribute to a healthy and balanced diet.
Many of the conditions that cause low fertility, or lead directly to infertility, are increased by nutritional imbalance. The closer you are to your ideal weight, the more balanced your body will be when trying to become pregnant. If, in addition to a healthy diet, you undertake moderate exercise on a daily basis, you will be doing a lot to help achieve your goal.