- By Diana Cuy Castellanos Contributing Writer
If you are trying to conceive, you may first want to make sure your diet is conception-promoting. Research suggests a connection between certain foods and nutrients and the probability of conception.
And, it is not just women who have to watch what they eat — but also men.
For men, different foods and nutrients can effect sperm count and production. For women, hormone levels and a healthy reproductive system may be effected by diet.
So if you are wanting to have children, here are some diet and health tips.
1) Limit caffeine. Although research has been somewhat inconsistent, there is reason to decrease consumption of coffee to about a cup or less a day.
2) Ensure adequate iron and zinc consumption. Many women are iron deficient. However, iron plays a role in ovulation. Zinc is important in promoting sperm maturation and adequate testosterone levels. Good sources of iron and zinc include meats, poultry and fish. You can also find zinc in beans, nuts and seeds and iron is found in tofu, beans and leafy greens.
3) Consume foods high in antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants. A diet high in antioxidants can protect eggs and sperm from oxidative damage.
4) Limit alcohol. Research shows that high intakes of alcohol can effect sperm count and size and is associated with infertility in women.
5) Watch the soy intake. Soy has isoflavones which act as phytoestrogen in the body and may effect progesterone and luteinizing hormone levels in women and sperm count in men.
Consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables and healthy meats or beans while limiting caffeine, soy and alcohol intake may help conceive that bundle of joy.
Other dietary-related factors associated with fertility includes weight gain or loss. If a normal-weight person has a significant weight loss during a short period of time or is underweight already, chances of conception can decrease. On the other side, if a person is obese with excessive body fat, chances of conception may also decrease. Therefore, sustaining a healthy body weight is beneficial.
Exercise can also play a role. Excessive exercise can decrease chances of conception, although moderate exercise is good.
So the key to promoting fertility is essentially eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active.