If you’re trying for a baby, typing the words ‘fertility foods’ into a search engine can immediately pull up a mammoth list of lotions, potions and foods that are all supposed to help support conception. However, the truth is that most of these ‘quick fixes’ are not going to help you at all.
I’ve written previously for Harper’s Bazaar Magazine all about Fertility Foods and the truth behind these but I wanted to write a short post for my own readers as well as it’s such an important topic.
Trying to conceive can be hard, it can be stressful and it can also be really disheartening. The last thing you need is the false promise of a faddy food or diet that suggests a quick fix to conceiving – that just doesn’t exist, sorry!
What if I’m struggling to conceive?
If you are struggling to conceive, it’s certainly worthwhile visiting your GP first and foremost, they can help to put your mind at ease (I think the average time to conceive in the UK is around 12-18 months), check you over and refer you to the right people, if necessary. They can also help by doing some preliminary and important checks e.g. thyroid function, coeliac disease or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) to make sure your health is up to scratch and there aren’t any underlying reasons which may be making it difficult to conceive. This can be vital feedback and I’d recommend asking for this as soon as you’re starting to worry about your fertility.
Can diet and fertility foods help?
Eating well and living a healthy, active lifestyle is of course important if you’re trying to conceive. Trying to get the most out of your body and your health can help ensure your fertility is up to scratch, as much as possible, and as long as there are no underlying medical issues.
When it comes to food and diet, there really isn’t anything that you need to cut out or add in, specifically. It’s more about eating a generally healthy, balanced diet (click link to find out what that REALLY means). However, there is some research that suggests that eating a diet full of the following foods may help increase your chances of conceiving:
- Healthy fats could be important for fertility – so swap those trans and saturated fats from butter, cakes and biscuits for ‘healthy’ fats from avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil (think Mediterranean diet)
- High fibre, Low GI carbohydrates may be beneficial – so reach for the wholegrains instead of white varieties of bread, rice and pasta
- Plant-based proteins may help too – so stock up on beans, lentils, pulses and nuts and seeds, which are great for health, lower in calories and a great replacement to meat every now and then. Why not try out Meatless Mondays, for example?
- Get your 5 a day (or more)! Read here for more on what counts and what doesn’t when you’re aiming for 5+!
It’s also worth thinking about taking a pregnancy supplement or, at least getting 400mcg of folic acid, which is recommended for anyone trying to conceive. Read more about pre-pregnancy nutrition supplements.
Lastly do check out my video all about Fertility Foods below and let me know if you have any comments, queries or general feedback too. Happy conceiving!