Getting pregnant is one of the most life-changing events that can ever happen to a family; however, being able to conceive certainly seems easier for some couples than others. Many factors contribute to a couple’s fertility, including prior birth control methods used, genetics, age, lifestyle habits, and nutrition. Fortunately, there are also natural many things that men and women can do to increase their opportunities for success when trying to conceive a baby.
Consume More Antioxidants
For both men and women, good nutrition is essential to fertility and a key factor when trying to conceive. For example, studies suggest that fertility may improve when men and women eat more antioxidant-rich foods because these foods target free radicals that can put sperm and eggs at risk. Blueberries, pecans, tea, and dark chocolate are all high in antioxidants.
Focus on Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are also important when you are trying to conceive, so choose omega-3 fatty acids over trans fats in the foods you eat. This means avoiding processed foods, fried foods, and bakery goods to choose avocados, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil instead.
Reduce Your Carb Intake
Carbs are needed in every diet but aim to limit the amount of carbs consumed to boost fertility. This is because carbs can affect hormone levels, insulin levels, and contribute to weight gain that makes it harder to become pregnant. Healthy carbs to focus on include quinoa, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes.
Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
Another nutritional tip for couples trying to conceive is to eat more fiber. Fiber-rich diets help to balance out the body’s blood sugar sand rid the body of excess hormones that stand in the way of conception. Broccoli, beans, almonds, and lentils are healthy sources of fiber to add to your meals.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
All of these nutritional tips are effective in helping you maintain a healthy weight, which is another important component of fertility. Medical studies show that being overweight or underweight can contribute to infertility because bodily fat affects menstruation and cycle length. Therefore, a moderate amount of exercise is recommended for both men and women trying to conceive. High-intensity exercise is actually associated with greater risks of infertility though, so don’t make your workouts overly intense or excessively frequent.
Reduce Stress and Unhealthy Habits
Stress takes its toll on all aspects of the mind and body, and it can seriously harm a couple’s chances to conceive. This is because stress affects hormone levels and makes it more difficult to become pregnant. This is also an ideal time to ditch unhealthy habits, such as tobacco, alcohol, and excess caffeine. Unhealthy habits and poor nutrition affect men’s sperm as well, which is why all of these health tips apply to men as well as women.
Talk with Your Doctor about Vitamins, Herbs & Supplements
There are also numerous vitamins, herbs, and supplements that may support fertility, but it’s important to discuss these options with a trusted medical professional before putting a future baby at risk. Prenatal vitamins are commonly recommended to make up for nutrition deficiencies in a prospective mother’s diet. Meanwhile, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, vitamin B6, and folic acid are great nutrients for fertility. Some natural supplements linked to fertility include bee pollen, maca, and evening primrose.
Overall, a healthier couple is more likely to create a healthier baby, even when conception doesn’t happen right away and a bit of patience in the process is needed. And since hormones play such an important role in conception, read more here about how to help balance your hormones naturally through nutrition and lifestyle changes.