A Harvard review of fertility and diet has revealed that eating a nutrient-dense diet can have a positive effect on both fertility and pregnancy health.
It is vitally important that mothers-to-be have a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. This will help to ensure that both mother and baby have sufficient nutrients for optimum development.
It is also important to remember that the nutritional status of both mother and father come together and are reflected in the health of the embryo. Studies have shown that semen quality improves along with a healthy diet. But a diet high in saturated and trans fats could be detrimental to sperm health.
Fertility and Diet – Why change?
Essential vitamins and minerals are dietary components that support every stage of maternal, placental and foetal interaction to enable a healthy gestation. However, setting appropriate recommendations for vitamin and mineral intakes during pregnancy can be challenging. There are a number of factors to consider, including foetal nutrient needs and additional maternal demands. But also changes in nutrient absorption that may occur during pregnancy.
In the UK, diets are typically diverse and less likely to cause micronutrient deficiencies during pregnancy. However, diets of higher fat and sugar and lower nutrient density are increasingly consumed. Many pregnant women are not having their recommended daily intake of some key vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins and Minerals
Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 can both have a positive effect on fertility both before and after conception. These vitamins are vital in maintaining a healthy nervous system. Folic acid in its most natural form is called folate. This is found naturally within green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, green beans, peas, oranges and brown rice. Vitamin B12 can be found in meat, fish and dairy foods and can be easily obtained through diet alone.
Other beneficial foods include getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids such as fish oil and fatty fish. Choose fish such as salmon, trout and tuna that are rich in Omega-3. Fatty acids can also be obtained from plant-based sources like seaweed, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts and kidney beans.
Foods to Avoid
If you are planning to get pregnant then it is advisable to avoid high sugar, carbonated drinks. Especially avoid those foods with synthetic energy-boosting properties. Evidence also suggests that women who consume a calorie-rich, processed diet are less likely to become pregnant when compared with those with healthier diets.
Fertility and Diet Advice
At SureScan we understand that fertility and pregnancy can feel daunting with the wealth of information that is available. That is why we offer our support and guidance to all women during this stage. Get in touch today and speak to our friendly team to arrange a consultation with one of our professionals.