You are advised to stay off plenty of things while you are pregnant, but did you know there are certain foods that can increase your chances of getting pregnant?

How does food affect your chances of conception?
During the different phases of a woman’s cycle, the levels of various hormones fluctuate and the body goes through a lot of changes. To improve the chances of conception, you should eat foods that help in each phase.

Top foods to eat while trying to conceive

  1. Beans

Beans are known to be fertility-boosters. If you’re not too fond of beans you can substitute them with nuts, tofu, lentils, or edamame to get your fill of plant proteins.

  1. Ice cream

Oh, yes! Ice-cream (the full-fat variety) can help you conceive. Milk products improve ovulatory function and the fat content in them helps regulate reproductive hormones.

  1. Green leafy vegetables

Dark green and leafy vegetables contain high amounts of vitamin folate, which not only improves the process of ovulation in a woman, but also helps in healthier sperm formation in a man. Increasing the intake of broccoli or spinach in your regular family meals will go a long way in improving your chances of getting pregnant.

  1. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are rich in non-heme iron. This form of iron is easily absorbed by the intestinal lining. Toasted pumpkin seeds make for a tasty and crunchy snack.

  1. Whole wheat bread

Refined carbohydrates are digested much faster than complex carbohydrates. This causes sudden shooting up of blood sugar levels which can interfere with the performance of reproductive hormones.

Choose dark bread over white and replace regular rice with brown rice when trying to conceive.

  1. Olive oil

Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats that are healthy for your body. It reduces insulin sensitivity and inflammation. Inflammation hampers the reproductive processes of the body such as ovulation, early development of the embryo and conception.

Olive oil can be drizzled on salads or used in cooking.

  1. Wild salmon

Salmon, a cold-water fish, is rich in omega-3-fatty acids that are essential for regulation of reproductive hormones and increasing blood circulation to the reproductive organs. Salmon has lower levels of the harmful mercury when compared to other fish. Salmon burgers are a delightful way to get your fill of this delicious fish.

Avoid: Remember to avoid eating tilefish, swordfish, king mackerel and shark when you are trying to get pregnant.

Other ways of consuming omega-3-fatty acids is by incorporating flax seeds or chia seeds in your diet. These make a good salad topping and go well with smoothies or mixed with whole grain cereal. You should aim to get between 1,000 mg and 2,000 mg of omega-3-fatty acids every day. This requirement is fulfilled by eating 2-3 ounces of fish or 2 tablespoons of chia or flax seeds or walnut seeds. Cooking with chia seed oil or flax seed oil will also do the trick.

  1. Folic acid

Adequate quantities of folic acid in your diet will help you conceive sooner. You can begin to take prenatal vitamins after consulting your doctor. You can also eat meals that include folic acid-rich foods like citrus fruits, whole grain cereals and vegetables. Before you get pregnant, your intake of folic acid should be between 400 mg and 600 mg.

  1. High-quality proteins

Studies have shown that people who were having trouble getting pregnant improved after eating high-protein and low-carbohydrate diets. According to a study, eating 25% more protein and 40% less carbohydrates improved the quality of the women’s eggs and doubled her chances of getting pregnant.

High-quality proteins can be sourced from eggs, fish and white meat poultry. If you do not eat meat, you can include legumes, beans and soy products in your meals to meet the protein requirement.

Include these dietary changes in your life and you will soon be welcoming a new member into the family!