Although the decision to become pregnant and start a family is solely up to the couple, the circumstances that surround them, job stress, their health or age become factors that indirectly affect when and even decide if we will or will not be parents. Do you want to know how food influences the conception of a baby? Review your diet and take note of the prohibited foods if you want to get pregnant.
Problems with female fertility have increased dramatically in the last century. One of the main reasons for this increase in infertility lies in the increasing age of women when conceiving, although it is not the only one. In the case of men, the quality of sperm has also been affected by their age, overweight problems and, even, by stress.
Obviously, a healthy and balanced diet is vital for the proper functioning of the body and that is the first step to achieve pregnancy, but there are also foods that can interfere in some way with fertility, both female and male.
1. Trans and saturated fatty acids
These fats, as well as cholesterol, affect the circulatory system and cardiovascular health. When circulation is poor, the flow of nutrients to the reproductive system decreases (in the distribution of nutrients in the body there are other vital organs that are more important than the reproductive system), which affects its functioning, being able to alter the menstrual cycle.
2. Fish with mercury
Mercury is a mineral that accumulates in the body and affects the development of the fetal nervous system. Unfortunately, the brain and nervous system of the fetus are formed before the woman even knows that she is pregnant so, although it does not directly affect fertility, avoiding fish rich in mercury, such as swordfish, helps the progression of the pregnancy and the health of the fetus.
3. Low-fat dairy
In the fat part of dairy products, androgens (male hormones) can be found that remain when the fat is removed, increasing its bioavailability. Unfortunately, these androgens can affect the female body, altering the menstrual cycle and even increasing the production of androgens in situ.
4. High glycemic index foods
Cookies, breakfast cereals, industrial pastries, and trans and saturated fats contain, like industrial juices and soft drinks, amounts of simple sugars (simple carbohydrates) that increase blood sugar. This increase in blood sugar is related to an increase in inflammation, an alteration of hormones and, above all, it can prevent ovulation.
Alcohol consumption is one of the greatest enemies of fertility, both male and female. Alcohol interferes with the B vitamins, the most important group for conception and to ensure good quality and mobility of sperm. Specifically, the hypothalamus is responsible for releasing hormones related to sexuality and is extremely sensitive to deficiencies in B vitamins, with folic acid in particular being the one most affected by alcohol consumption, and the most essential for get pregnant.
Too much vitamin C could be detrimental to female fertility as it disrupts cervical mucus. Citrus fruits, like tomato or kiwi, being rich in vitamin C, should not be consumed in excess if pregnancy is sought. However, they should not be completely avoided since they help the absorption of iron of vegetable origin and, curiously, this non-heme iron (lentils, spinach ...) seems more beneficial for fertility than that from animal foods such as meats red.
7. Natural iron chelators
Low iron levels have been linked to infertility, and natural chelators are characterized by preventing the absorption of this mineral. Oxalates (green leafy vegetables such as spinach and chard), tannins (persimmon, green apples or unripe bananas) or phytates (soy or wheat bran) sequester and trap iron, reducing its bioavailability. Excess fiber can have the same effect, so you should not exceed the recommended daily amount. Maintaining proper iron levels can also decrease the risk of miscarriage.
Besides following all these advice regarding food, When it comes to wanting to conceive a baby, it is important that women know their fertile days, that is, the days when it is easier to get pregnant.
This type of calculator is indicated for women who have difficulties carrying a baby and for those who have irregular menstrual periods and cannot know for sure what their ovulation period is. To do this, take an agenda or better a calendar and write down the days you are ovulating (in some women the physical symptoms are obvious: more vaginal discharge, abdominal swelling, increased sexual desire, food-related cravings, mild spotting. ..)
Normally, 14 days pass from the day you ovulate, that is, your fertile days, until the date of your next period. Therefore, if you subtract 14 days from the total number of days in your cycle, you can calculate the approximate day you ovulate, counting from the first day of menstruation.
There is also a way to calculate the fertile days to get pregnant with a girl. Have you heard ofShettles method? It consists of having intercourse with your partner between 3 and 5 days before ovulation and then abstaining until after this period. In the case of doing so, a male sperm (the sex of the baby is decided by the man) could fertilize an egg.
But if what makes you really excited is having a boy, we also have a little trick you can use! Have sexual encounters on the same day of ovulation or, failing that, the day before, that is, in this case you have 24 hours to try.
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