5 Nutrients To Consider When Conceiving
One food may not help someone to get pregnant or cause infertility however your overall diet can potentially help to increase odds of conception.
Here are 5 powerful nutrients to include in your diet before or during conceiving:
Eicosapentaenoic acid(EPA), docosahexaenoic acid(DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are three mainly known Omega-3 amino acids.
EPA and DHA are primarily found in seafood and both have a key role in fetal brain and retina development. Daily recommendation of DHA is 200 mg. Total EPA and DHA recommendation varies between 400-550 mg/day with the 200 mg DHA by consuming at least 8 ounces(before pregnancy) to 12 ounces(during pregnancy) of seafood that is low in mercury and/or with Omega-3 acid supplementation from fish oils.
It is important to start omega 3s 3 months before pregnancy to get the maximum benefits on fetal brain and retina development. Remember Omega-3 consumption may not be as effective as when consuming after-pregnancy.
EPA and DHA are rich in cold-water fatty fish. Moreover, some low-mercury seafoods include salmon, black sea bass, shrimp, tuna, herring, and sardines whereas ALA is rich in flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts.
Choline supports the baby’s spinal cord and may protect the unborn baby from infections. Daily recommended intake is 550 mg. Therefore, choline is recommended to be supplemented while conceiving along with prenatal vitamins.
Choline is also naturally found in animal sources such as egg, lean beef, poultry and fish(cod). There are also plant-based choline sources such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, legumes and nuts.
Iron is a vital mineral which carries oxygen to the body and iron deficiency anemia can cause ovulatory problems when trying to conceive. The daily recommended iron intake for reproductive-aged women is 18 mg and 27 mg while pregnant. There are two types of dietary iron to include in the diet .These are known as heme-iron and non-heme iron. Heme-iron is mostly found in animal products such as liver, red meat, poultry and nonheme-iron can be found in legumes, eggs, dark green vegetables, nuts and whole grains. Increasing the consumption of non-heme iron is suggested to potentially help to improve pregnancy outcomes.
4- Folic Acid
Folic acid is also known as folate and vitamin B9 deficiency may lead to undesirable outcomes as neural tube defects in babies. It is recommended to get at least 400 mg of folic acid and through the first trimester for women who are trying to conceive and already pregnant. Folic acid is not naturally found in foods however it can be found in some enriched products such as pasta, rice and breakfast cereals.
5- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is responsible for musculoskeletal health therefore sufficient Vitamin D status is substantial for fertility and later on in pregnancy.
There are two forms of Vitamin D; Vitamin D3 form is the most absorbable and animal sourced version whereas Vitamin D2 is plant-based form which can be suitable for vegans. The recommended intake is 400 IU for pregnant women and most of the adults however higher doses can be considered to prevent deficiency by your healthcare provider’s advice.
Fortified milk and orange juices are the best sources of Vitamin D in addition to the sunlight. The angle of sun may not be good to absorb Vitamin D, therefore getting the blood test from your healthcare provider is the best way to check if you are deficient and take action to have a healthier fertility phase.
Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information in this or other posts are not intended to give you a medical advice or should not be substitud with medical advice. Please see your health care provider for individualized treatment plans, diagnosis and recommendations.
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