Trying to conceive? Nutrition matters!

Nutrition has always been a very important topic for women when trying to conceive a baby and enjoy a healthy pregnancy. Not only is a good diet extremely vital during the months prior to pregnancy, but also during and after delivery of the baby as well. The most natural approach to infertility is to include nutrient rich foods in the diet which will help increase the chances of conception and alleviate any dietary related infertility problems in both men and women.

Natural treatment for infertility can include looking more deeply into previously ignored factors such as lifestyle, nutritional deficiencies, and dietary habits and even emotional/stress elements. There are many different things that can be at the heart of infertility problems and researchers have uncovered that making certain changes in diet, nutrition and other areas of life can improve the chances of conception by as much as 80%, for most couples.

For couples trying to become pregnant, dietary recommendations which include prenatal vitamins and other vital nutrients should be followed. Consuming a healthy diet is crucial to the success of conception as well as pregnancy, but many are not aware of the fact that diet accommodations can correct certain hormonal imbalances. Not only should the diet include healthy foods, but the couple may want to consult with a nutritionist in order to determine which foods and drinks should be avoided as well.

Some important fertility supplements include vitamin A, B vitamins (folic acid, pyridoxine, B12), vitamin C, vitamin E, essential fatty acids (EFA), arginine, carnitine, iron, zinc, selenium, Maca powder, evening primrose oil (EPO), Dong Quai, and Vitex, etc. Among them, sufficient supplementation of zinc should catch your special attention. Zinc is widely studied nutrient which plays a very important role in the fertility of men and women. The nutrient is the basic essential component of genetic material and can lead to chromosomal abnormalities in a man or woman, which can cause reduced fertility and increases the risk of miscarriage. Zinc is needed in order for the female body to utilize the reproductive hormones efficiently, particularly estrogen and progesterone.

In males, zinc is also important to fertility in many different ways and is found in high concentration in sperm. Zinc composes the outer layer and tail of sperm and is essential to the male being able produce healthy sperm. Consuming zinc dense foods will help a man make sure that enough is contained in the diet to benefit fertility and the health of a developing baby is improved as well.

A human body requires zinc for the production, function and repair of DNA, which is the basic building block of cells and proteins. Zinc also supports the function of the immune system, maintains the body’s sense of smell and touch and aids in wound healing. A deficiency of zinc while rare can be linked to a higher rate of miscarriage, low birth weight and other complications and problems with pregnancy, labor and delivery.

Non-pregnant woman need approximately 8 mg of zinc in the daily diet, while a pregnant female will need varying amounts due to age. Breastfeeding women also need zinc in the diet for healthy milk production. It is not necessary to consume a recommended or preset amount of zinc each day, but rather to space it out over a period of days or within a week time period, works well for most women.

The following is a list of zinc rich foods which can be consumed by a male or female that wishes to increase levels of the nutrient naturally:

  • Breakfast cereal (fortified with zinc and other nutrients)
  • Baked beans
  • Crab meat
  • Lamb
  • Ground beef
  • Raw pumpkin seeds
  • Tofu
  • Chickpeas
  • Chicken
  • Yogurt
  • Spinach
  • Milk
  • Raw crimini mushrooms
  • Fish

If a woman thinks she is not getting enough zinc in her diet, it is something to bring up to her physician. A simple blood test will take a look at certain nutrient levels in the blood and the doctor will recommend any changes which need to be made in order to improve fertility and overall health.

Folic acid may seem to be the most important and attention getting pregnancy nutrient, zinc is also just as vital, but often overlooked because of this reason. When trying to conceive, a couple must look at the many different issues which could be preventing pregnancy and discuss certain lifestyle and dietary changes with a qualified medical professional. Prior to taking any type of supplement however, it is very important that a woman or man consults with a medical doctor in order to avoid any negative side effects which may occur.

Last updated on Apr 7th, 2010 and filed under Reproductive Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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