9 foods to include in your diet if you are trying for a baby right now
Food and fertility are linked.
This goes for both men and women and is why experts recommend you should stick to a balanced and healthy diet to boost your chances of conceiving.
When it comes to supercharging your fertility, scientists have also found certain foods to be packed with the most important vitamins and minerals for a healthy reproductive system. So if babies are on your brain, here are the nine foods you need to fill your trolley with:
Nutrient super-hero: Vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 is one of the most important vitamins in aiding conception as it regulates the hormones. A B6 deficiency can lead to irregular menstruation and can also lead to poor egg and sperm development.
Nutrient super-hero: Folic acid.
Studies have found that folic acid can help reduce the risk of ovulatory failure. Women are also strongly advised to take folic acid supplements when trying to conceive.
Nutrient super-hero: B12.
Studies have suggested a link between B12 deficiency and abnormal oestrogen levels that may interfere with implantation of the fertilised egg. B12 may also help to strengthen the endometrium lining in egg fertilisation, decreasing the risk of miscarriage.
Nutrient super-hero: Vitamin D.
A recent US study on infertile women found that only 7% of them had normal vitamin D levels. They also found that none of the patients with PCOS had normal vitamin D levels.
Nutrient super-hero: Vitamin E.
Studies suggest vitamin E can improve sperm health in men, and is also an antioxidant that helps to protect sperm and egg DNA.
6. Citrus fruit
Nutrient super-hero: Vitamin C.
Studies have shown Vitamin C can improve and boost sperm count AND motility (the sperm's ability to move towards an egg). The vitamin is also thought to improve hormone balance in women.
Nutrient super-hero: Selenium.
This mineral produces antioxidants that protect the eggs and sperm from free radicals. It can help prevent chromosome breakage, which is known to cause birth defects and miscarriages.
Nutrient super-hero: Zinc.
Increasing zinc levels in infertile men has been shown to boost sperm levels, improve the form, function and quality of male sperm and decrease male fertility. For women, a lack of zinc can lead to an imbalance of oestrogen and progesterone.
Nutrient super-hero: Essential fatty acids.
These are a MUST (hence the essential tag!) for a strong reproductive system in women. DHA, one of the fatty acids found in fish oil has a significant impact on sperm health. A fatty acid deficiency leads to an increase in cholesterol in the sperm membrane, which then prevents sperm from proper maturation.