While there is no miracle diet to get pregnant, you can, by adopting some good nutritional reflexes and a diversified diet, boost female and male fertility. The objective: ingest the right nutrients at the right time.
Food and fertility: the basics
We know that a healthy and diverse diet is essential for good health. But what is less well known is that the time when we eat also influences the assimilation of vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind that industrial food and processed foods should be avoided as much as possible, especially when you want to have a baby. To avoid endocrine disruptors and enjoy foods rich in nutrients, we favor organic and local foods.
Objective before pregnancy: to optimize our intake of good fats (including omega-3, which regulate the secretion of hormones, normalize menstrual cycles and increase uterine circulation) and vitamins. In particular, beta-carotene, which contributes to the production of quality eggs, contributes to the natural production of progesterone, the pregnancy hormone par excellence. Red kuri squash, dried apricots, spinach, but also parsley, carrots, mangoes and melons are particularly rich in beta-carotene.
Why folic acid?
If you are planning to have a baby, your doctor will no doubt have ordered supplements with vitaminB9 (folic acid) for you. It is essential before and during pregnancy (at least during the first trimester) in order to avoid a very serious congenital malformation (Spina Bifida). While folic acid has no proven effect on fertility, it must be consumed in good quantity during this period of life, in combination with vitamin B12. Good to know: wheat germ, chickpea, kale, spinach, sunflower seeds and dried mango are particularly rich in vitamin B9.
4 types of meals to boost fertility
In practice, and to respect some principles of chrononutrition, which consists of ingesting the right nutrients at the right time, here are 4 typical meals that will optimize your fertility … And that of the future dad.
A breakfast rich in fiber, omega-3 and 6, and low in sugar
Forget the ultra-sweet breakfasts that take away energy more than they provide us. The morning is the best time of the day to eat greasy! Do you like cheese? This is the perfect time to consume it. For the rest, we optimize the intake of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6), by eating a half avocado and an egg (from a well-fed hen) boiled, scrambled, fried… For vitamins and antioxidants, try freshly squeezed vegetable juices. Vary the vegetables according to the seasons, and don’t hesitate to enjoy them with the whole family. For fiber intake that will help you spend the morning without cravings, eat whole bread, ideally rye bread for its richness in zinc. It prevents miscarriages and malformations and increases testosterone, to help with the formation of spermatozoa.
A full breakfast, packed with omega-3
Do you like raw vegetables? They’re even better sprinkled with an oil rich in omega-3 and vitamin E, such as rapeseed oil or, better yet, calamine oil. For the dish, opt for complete starchy foods (for the fibers) and green vegetables (ideally cooked slowly with steam). Not to mention, of course, the proteins, essential for the maintenance of our body’s functions. Whether from vegetables or animals, they should ideally be varied and tasty.
A snack rich in good fat
At tea time, we think again of omega-3s and especially, at this time of day, those contained in oilseeds: a handful of fresh nuts, almonds or cashews, for example. Not to mention from time to time, brazil nuts. They are rich in selenium, a trace mineral known to contribute to the development of healthy ovarian follicles (responsible for the production of oocytes) and for the production of spermatozoa. In addition, enjoy yogurt and seasonal fruit.
A dinner rich in antioxidants, low in bad fats
The bad fats (saturated fats) tend to take precedence in our minds over the good fats (unsaturated fatty acids). Ideally, you should avoid eating cheese and cold cuts at the end of the day. For a good intake of essential fatty acids and proteins, you should regularly eat fatty fish by focusing on small fish (mackerel, sardines, etc.) that contain less heavy metals than the big ones (salmon, tuna, etc.).
As for alcohol? Of course, limit excessive consumption, which disrupts menstrual cycles. But if you like red wine, you do not need to deprive yourself completely—provided that it is relatively young, it is rich in polyphenols, powerful antioxidants (which work in synergy with vitamin C). So consume in moderation but enjoy yourself!
Translation: Ashley Griffin
Photo credit: Belly Balloon Photography/Les Louves