When it comes to falling pregnant, there’s a lot you can’t control. But experts say tweaking your diet with fertility-boosting foods can give your body the best possible chance of conceiving.
And just what you should include on your daily menu may surprise you!
Fertility expert Dr David Knight says eggs and sperm take about 120 days to mature, which is why what you eat can play a key role in whether you get pregnant.
“We’ve heard for decades that eating a balanced diet is important, but there are two compounds in certain foods that are essential to maximising health at all life stages,” explains Dr Knight.
“These are compounds called polyamides and isoflavones. Simply, they should be part of any diet for both women and men who trying to conceive.”
What are polyamines?
While it may sound scientific, polyamines are found in some really common foods (and others that you may indulge in occasionally, like during Oktoberfest!).
Dr Knight says these compounds are essential for embryo and foetal development growth, and the highest levels of polyamines occur in fresh grapefruit juice, orange juice, sauerkraut and oranges.
“I recommend a woman eat a grapefruit and orange every day if they are trying to fall pregnant,” Dr Knight says.
“As we age, the rate in which our bodies naturally produce polyamides decreases, so it’s imperative to consume these foods.”
With the soy revolution has come a greater awareness of just how helpful it can be in boosting a woman’s chances of having a viable pregnancy – it just so happens that isoflavens are the antioxidants found in soy products.
“If you want to get enough soy into your diet, I recommend eating 220g of tofu, two cups of cooked soybeans, 56g of soy flour and drinking three cups of soy milk,” says Dr Knight.
Fresh is best
This top pre-pregnancy diet tip won’t come as a surprise to most, but plenty of us aren’t eating enough of this fresh fuel for our bodies.
“Fresh fruit and vegetables, in particular brightly coloured and green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli are important, as they are high in folate and magnesium.
“Essential nutrients that the body needs to host a suitable environment for a baby to develop,” says Dr Knight.
It’s recommended a woman trying to fall pregnant eats five big handfuls of fresh fruit and veg daily.
Other fertility boosting foods
Dr Knight says there are a few other tasty fertility boosting foods we should be throwing onto the menu:
- Oysters, lean red meat and sunflower seeds, which are packed with zinc and polyamines.
- Healthy fats that can be found in nuts, avocado, seeds such as sesame and pumpkin, sardines and salmon (he recommends eating a serve of oily fish two to three times a week).
As always, if you plan to make any changes to your diet, it’s always best to have a chat with your doctor. And be sure to have a read of our other article about how herbal tea can help with fertility.