When trying to conceive, proper nutrition and supplementation are essential. It can be several weeks before a woman learns she is pregnant. By enhancing her nutrition and essential vitamins while trying to conceive, rather than waiting until pregnancy is confirmed, the newly developing fetus’ brain and nervous system will benefit. The mother’s health is also significantly increased. This results in a reduced chance of issues such as preeclampsia or preterm labor.
A prenatal vitamin should be taken before you become pregnant, not just when you find out that you are having a baby. However, a prenatal vitamin is NOT enough to fulfill all the nutrients required to create a child and protect your own needs. Here are some essential vitamins to include in your diet and a few food resources that they come from.
Helps to regulate excessive estrogen levels. You can eat eggs and orange or yellow vegetables.
Essential for liver detoxification and for protecting DNA. Most of us are B12 deficient. So be sure to take sublingual methylcobalamin, an enhanced form of B12 that dissolves quickly under the tongue.
Essential for detoxification processes. You can eat: papaya, broccoli, strawberries, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cantaloupe, mustard greens, swiss chard, tomatoes
Can prevent or reduce depression, dementia, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. This vitamin is mainly from the sun and supplementation.
Protects the baby’s neural tube development. Take 400 – 800 mcg before becoming pregnant and especially during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. The dose is dependent upon previous conditions, so please seek medical advice. You can eat brussels sprouts, eggs, broccoli, asparagus and brown rice.
A trace element that improves cognition, metabolism, protects the thyroid, and balances hormones. It is necessary for optimal health of the breasts, ovaries, and uterus. Sources include fish and dairy products.
DHA and EPA:
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain health and preventing Alzheimer’s. You can eat flaxseed oil or flaxseeds.
The active ingredient in the spice turmeric activates the genes that turn on powerful antioxidants in the brain. It has mega anti-inflammatory effects.
Creates healthy flora in the gut and facilitates digestion. If you choose to eat dairy, eat whole-fat active yogurt which contains probiotics. An even better idea is eating probiotic foods, such as sauerkraut and pickles.
In one study, women who regularly took iron supplements were forty percent less likely to have trouble getting pregnant. The benefit came from these women taking forty to eighty milligrams of iron daily. The source of the iron mattered – because women who got most of their iron from meat in the study were not protected against ovulatory infertility. Iron from fruits, vegetables, beans and supplements were beneficial to becoming pregnant. You can also eat pumpkin seeds, dried fruits, and almonds.
Helps with your bowel movement and to eliminate waste; it is also a muscle relaxant. You can eat meat, fish, eggs, rice, and bread
Helps to boost fertility and is a natural antioxidant. You can eat sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and spinach.
Vitex (chasteberry) and ashwagandha:
These are herbs and adaptogens that can be used to boost fertility.
For the guys, foods with zinc are needed for the production of healthy sperm. Good sources include oysters, red meat, and poultry. Nuts, seeds, eggs, whole grains and legumes like chickpeas, lentils and beans also contain substantial amounts of zinc.
The combination of CoQ10, Vitamin D and DHEA is often prescribed for women with low egg reserve (or a low AMH lab value). After a full evaluation, your medical provider at GENESIS will let you know if you need any of these supplements to boost your fertility. Occasionally, patients may choose to work with a nutritionist to safely and effectively reach their nutritional goals.
- Chavarro, Willett & Skerrett. (2008). The Fertility Diet: The Groundbreaking Research Reveals Natural Ways to Boost Ovulation and Improve Your Chancs of Getting Pregnant. McGraw Hill.
- M.D., C. S. (2008). Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food (Vol. 1). NYC: Flat Iron Books.
- Northrup, C. (2010). Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing. unknown: Random House.