Fertility and diet: Foods to eat and avoid for a healthy pregnancy as found in a Harvard study

Foods that help with pregnancy and pregnancy and nbsp | & nbsp Image source: & nbspiStock Images

the main points

  • Have you decided to get pregnant and now focus on quality food that is good for you?
  • If you’re trying to get pregnant, there are foods to eat and avoid — to boost fertility, says a Harvard study.
  • Foods to eat and avoid for healthy fertility? This is what the researchers found.

Gone are the days when mothers were told to eat too much – like – “You should eat for two, after all, your diet determines the diet of the child too.” Prospective mothers now want to know exactly what they should eat and what should be avoided while they are trying to conceive – so that the health of the mother and child is ensured and food helps fertility, pregnancy, the three trimesters of pregnancy and childbirth. “

Mothers are also aware of the fact that there are some congenital diseases that can affect the fetus if the mother’s diet lacks certain vitamins and nutrients. Such as spina bifida – a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord do not form properly due to the mother’s diet lacking in folic acid. Therefore, for similar reasons, mothers strive to follow a fortified diet.

Harvard Fertility Study and Diet:

Researchers from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School have published a review of previous studies that examined the effect of diet on fertility. This is what they found.

For women trying to conceive naturally (without “assisted reproductive technologies” such as in vitro fertilization), the following vitamins and nutrients have been linked to positive effects on fertility:

  1. Folic acid: According to the Mayo Clinic, having enough folic acid in your system by the first weeks of pregnancy is critical to preventing spina bifida. Since, in practice, most women do not discover they are pregnant until this time, experts recommend that all adult women of childbearing age take a daily supplement of 400 to 1,000 mcg of folic acid. Food sources of folate (fuic acid) and the vitamin B12 family according to NHS UK are broccoli. Brussels sprouts and green leafy vegetables, such as cabbage, kale, spring vegetables, and spinach. Peas. Chickpeas, kidneys and beans. Liver (but avoid during pregnancy), breakfast cereals fortified with folic acid.
  2. Vitamin B12: According to American Pregnancy), Vitamin B12 is vital not only to help maintain a healthy nervous system in the mother’s body, but is also thought (when combined with folic acid during pregnancy) to prevent spina bifida and other spinal and central nerve system birth defects in the fetus that Not yet born. Moreover, prevention through a proper diet of folic acid and a diet full of vitamin B12 is the best bet that parents should keep this irreversible and debilitating disorder at bay. Regardless of which sources vitamin B12 shares with folate (above), if you eat meat, fish, or dairy products, you should be able to get enough vitamin B12 from your diet.
  3. Omega-3 fatty acids: Couples who ate more seafood got pregnant earlier than those who rarely ate seafood. Most pregnant women consume much less than 2 to 3 servings of low-mercury fish (such as salmon, scallops, and shrimp) per week. The most famous sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish oil and fatty fish such as salmon, trout, and tuna. For vegetarians and vegans, there are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids, called ALA, DHA, and EPA. Plant sources, such as nuts and seeds, are rich in ALA, while fish, seaweed, and algae can provide DHA and EPA fatty acids. It is important to eat a variety of omega-3 sources.
    Chia seeds are an excellent vegetable source of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Hemp seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, edamame, beans, soybean oil, etc
  4. Healthy diets (such as the Mediterranean diet): According to a published research study, greater adherence to MedDiet, determined using the Certified Mediterranean Diet Score (MedDietScore), was associated with a higher likelihood of achieving clinical pregnancy and live birth among non-obese women <35 years of age. Another report (citing Loyola University Health System nutritionists says) that women who eat a Mediterranean-style diet rich in vegetables, vegetable oils, fish, and beans are more likely to increase their chances of conceiving.

What about the biological father?

A child is born from a fetus that has an egg and sperm from the mother and father, respectively, which combine together to create a genetic transcript. Therefore, it is necessary that the nutritional health of them be reflected in the health of the fetus. Studies in men have found that semen quality improves with healthy diets (as described above), while the opposite has been linked to diets high in saturated or trans fats. Although semen quality is not a perfect indicator of fertility, parents prefer to refrain from using carcinogens like cigarettes, or avoid consuming things like alcohol, drugs, etc.

For those trying to get pregnant through IVF – IVF:
The Harvard study says that for couples who receive assisted reproductive technologies,

  • Women may be more likely to get pregnant on folic acid supplements or a diet rich in isoflavones (a plant estrogen with antioxidant activity), while
  • Antioxidants can help with male fertility.

Foods that harm your chances of conception/fertility:

  1. Soft, sweet, and energy drinks: Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (particularly soda or energy drinks) was associated with lower fertility in both men and women, while diet soda and fruit juice had no effect.
  2. Fast food slows the chances of getting pregnant: Women who ate lots of junk food and little fruit took longer to get pregnant than women who ate a healthy diet.

Advice valid at all times:

  1. Ask any medical expert and they will reiterate the fact that whether you are a man or a woman – if you are of childbearing age and not using contraception, take a daily prenatal vitamin – under medical advice. Avoid excessive intake of vitamins before pregnancy. Too much vitamin A, for example, can be harmful to a developing fetus.
  2. At the very least, women who are planning to become pregnant should take a prenatal vitamin at least a month before trying to conceive.
  3. Depending on the medications they are taking and other medical conditions they have, the doctor may prescribe the correct doses of vitamins and nutrients, if they hope to be parents – if they hope to be a part of the baby’s great health plan.
  4. It is advised to refrain from smoking, to drink in excess of the permissible / recommended amount of alcohol, and to completely eliminate drug use.
  5. Try to maintain a healthy weight before pregnancy. Obese women are more likely to develop complications.

Read the finer details here: The Harvard report cautions that just because the study indicated that some foods are bad and likely harm fertility chances, it doesn’t mean that this research is interpreted as an account of the diet that can help prevent pregnancy. Eating an unhealthy diet and avoiding supplemental vitamins or omega-3 fatty acids is not a form of birth control.

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