Trying to get pregnant? Here’s a doctor’s advice on what to eat
Our food tips come from Dubai Fertility Doctor Pankaj Shrivastav (MD.DGO.FRCOG), Director of Conceive Gynaecology & Fertility Hospital. He says: “you are what you eat and if you are trying to conceive then eating the right food can help to boost your fertility.”
- Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are loaded with folate and are essential for your diet if you’re trying to conceive or are expecting. Most of the folate-rich foods are leafy green vegetables which makes Brussels sprouts a great alternative source for this nutrient. Brussels sprouts have also been found to help increase sperm counts for men and help in keeping uterine lining, which is essential for implantation, healthy.
- Butternut squash
These are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A (great for sperm health and overall hormone production and one serving of squash covers your entire daily recommended value!), Vitamin C (essential for healthy ovulation) and carotenes (good for egg health).
- Pumpkin seeds
Such a powerhouse for your fertility! They’re loaded with zinc which has been termed “the most important fertility mineral.” It’s vital for healthy fetal growth and facilitates healthy sperm production. Research has also linked pumpkin seeds to reductions in early miscarriages.
- Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes and yams are a wonderful food to include in the fertility-friendly diet. They are a great source of healthy carbs and they’re also high in vitamin C, B, and vitamin B6. These antioxidants protect against cell damage so they’re great for protecting your eggs and improving egg health!
It is a little-known fact that apples can help boost your fertility. They’re a great choice for getting the nutritional benefits of fruit without all the sugar that’s found in other fruits. For men, apples are recommended to increase sperm count.
Tomatoes are one of the best food sources when it comes to the antioxidant, lycopene. Studies show that lycopene has been found to significantly improve motility (the sperms ability to swim), activity and structure of sperm. Lycopene can benefit women also, as some studies suggest that it can help treat endometriosis, so if you have this condition, this is great news for you!
In addition to being known for their natural aphrodisiac, oysters help boost fertility because of their high zinc content. Other zinc rich foods include baked beans, eggs, and walnuts.
Lentils are considered one of the richest sources of folate (natural folic acid) which is equally as important for male fertility as it is for female fertility. Men with lower folate intake often have higher rates of chromosomal abnormalities in their sperm which can affect fertility.
Blueberries contain two of the best, most powerful antioxidants there are (quercetin and resveratrol). Quercetin helps maintain healthy sperm parameters including motility and quality while resveratrol helps to improve sperm count and motility.
Avocados are a great source of vitamin E and essential for fertility. Along with being another powerful antioxidant, it also improves the viability of sperm. Avocados are considered ‘healthy fats’ and are essential for hormone function and stabilising of their levels.
A variety of nuts such as almonds and walnuts, both rich in Vitamin E, helps to improve female sex drive while protecting embryos from miscarriages.
Eggs are packed with nutritional sources that boost fertility. They contain Vitamin B12 and folate, both of which minimize birth defects. Eggs are also rich in antioxidants and carotenoids which also help to boost fertility in women.
- Black-eyed peas
These are also a great food to eat if you’re trying to lose weight, because they’re filling but low in calories. They also don’t contain any fat or cholesterol, making them a great food choice when looking to eat healthy overall.
- Olive oil
This is another good choice for health and fertility. Extra virgin olive oil especially makes for a great cooking oil of choice, because it is rich in Vitamin E which helps protect the health of our cells, including our egg and sperm cells.
- Leafy greens (spinach, chard and kale)
Leafy greens are loaded with iron, which is super important for regulating ovulation. Studies have shown that women who get sufficient iron in their diet have, on average, 40% less risk of ovulatory-related infertility.
Details: This article is reproduced with kind permission of one of the UAE’s top fertility experts, Dr Pankaj Shrivastav (MD.DGO.FRCOG). For more information on fertility, visit Conceive Gynaecology & Fertility Hospital. If you enjoyed this article, you may like this story on healthy family recipes.