Trying to conceive? A healthy body is the first step to a healthy pregnancy, and upgrading your diet is a sure-fire way to help improve your chances of getting pregnant. If you weren’t practicing clean eating before, there’s no better time to start than now.
While there’s no scientific evidence that certain foods can or will make you more fertile, the experts do agree that there are foods that can hinder the process. Cutting out or cutting back on these three modern vices might help:
Though the jury is still out, there’s a chance that coffee addiction may be contributing to your ability to conceive, which should be enough to convince you to cut back – just a little. Experts agree that low to moderate caffeine consumption – we’re talking less than 300 milligrams a day – shouldn’t affect your fertility. But to play it safe, your healthcare provider may ask you to cut it out entirely.
It should go without saying that women who are trying to conceive should avoid alcohol. Though the occasional cocktail or glass of wine may not significantly affect your chances of becoming pregnant, research has shown that even a moderate level of alcohol can increase your chance of a miscarriage. Are you willing to take that risk?
Experts have yet to define a “safe” level of alcohol for women who are pregnant, and though the harmful effects of alcohol during pregnancy are well documented, doctors are still unsure of how babies differ in their sensitivity and reaction to alcohol. If you’re trying to conceive, the best course of action is to steer clear of alcohol altogether, but especially during the second half of your ovulation cycle, after you’ve ovulated, as this is when you are most likely to become pregnant.
Mercury In Fish
Have you heard the saying, “Fish is brain food”? It’s true – most types of fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, an important building block for brain and eye development. Fish is also low in saturated fat, high in protein, vitamin D and other nutrients that play an important role in a healthy pregnancy, as well as being mighty tasty.
Some types of fish (like shark, swordfish, king mackerel), however, also contain mercury, a metal that can be harmful to a baby’s developing brain and nervous system. Mercury accumulates in the body and can linger for up to a year once you’ve reduced your intake. So although most nutritional experts agree that women in their childbearing years should consume some fish, it is important to bear in mind which types are safe (think canned light tuna like amber jack and yellow fin, once or twice a week), and how much to eat.