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Top Nutrients To Eat When You’re Trying To Get Pregnant


woman in workout clothes sitting on floor eating cereal

When’s the best time to start thinking about nutrition for pregnancy?


Hint: It’s sooner than you think!


You don’t have to wait until you’re expecting to make these dietary changes! In reality, we know that a healthy eating pattern as early as three months prior to conception can help to support your fertility, boost egg and sperm quality, and improve prenatal health outcomes.


Forming healthy eating habits can take time – so it’s never too early to start working on changing your diet!


How does nutrition affect your fertility?

Over the last few years, more and more research has shown that nutrition plays a role in fertility in a number of ways.


1. It can impact your hormone balance and cycle regularity

Nutrients are the building blocks for hormones, including your reproductive hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle. Having the appropriate balance of nutrients, to avoid nutritional deficiencies, can help to support the balance of your reproductive hormones. Reproductive hormone balance can help to support a consistent menstrual cycle, which can make it easier to track your ovulation and, ultimately, conceive.


2. It can impact egg quality and implantation

Certain nutrients play a role in the genetic programming of follicles. Since a follicle takes three months to mature, diet can impact your egg quality for up to three months leading up to conception. After conception, nutrition also plays a role in the thickening of the uterine lining. This helps to create a favourable environment for implantation and positively supports your chances of creating that little babe you’re hoping for.


3. It can improve fertility outcomes for conditions that impact fertility

Aside from supporting overall fertility, nutrition also has a significant impact on managing infertility. It has been shown to help manage different conditions that may impact your fertility, including PCOS, endometriosis, IBS or hypothyroidism.


So, what should you be eating when trying to get pregnant and to support your fertility? Here are some key nutrients you should include in your diet to support.

Folate or folic acid

Folate probably the most talked about nutrient related to fertility since we know the crucial role that it plays in fetal development. Folate consumption is critical in helping to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. It’s recommended to take a folate or folic acid supplement of 400-600 mcg at least three months prior to conception.

In addition, you can also increase your dietary folate intake by including:

  • Dark leafy greens

  • beans and nuts

  • fruits

  • and whole grains


Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a powerhouse nutrient to support your fertility. From the early stages of preconception, increasing your omega-3 intake helps to reduce inflammatory markers that impact egg quality. They also support regulating your reproductive hormones and promoting blood flow to your reproductive organs.

Some important dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids to add to your grocery list include:

  • Fatty fish

  • omega-3 eggs

  • and nuts and seeds


Vitamin B12

Vitamin b12 is an underappreciated nutrient when thinking about preconception and fertility. However, a comprehensive review looking at the impact of diet on fertility found that adequate consumption of vitamin b12 had a positive effect on embryo development and quality.

Some foods to include to help increase your vitamin b12 intake include:

  • Eggs

  • meats

  • fish

  • and milk or dairy products


Protein

Proteins have a multitude of functions in our body and make up the building blocks of our cells. Ensuring that you’re having enough protein is essential when trying to conceive, but the amount of protein that you need in your diet can be specific to you based on a variety of factors.

It’s great to include a variety of protein sources in your diet such as:

  • Meat

  • fish

  • eggs

  • legumes

  • dairy products

  • and tofu


Getting started on making positive diet changes to support your fertility is something that should be considered as soon as possible . To learn more about meeting your individual nutritional needs for fertility, book a complimentary 15-minute meet-and-greet call with our registered dietitian.



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