Trying to pick out the best foods during your pre-conception period is hard and can be extremely stressful. Tracy Lockwood Nutrition, a private nutrition practice in NYC, specializes in finding the right foods specifically for you during this period of time. During your appointment with Tracy, a celebrity registered dietitian, founder of Tracy Lockwood Nutrition and nutrition advisor of FertileGirl, she discusses the best foods that will help align your body with the right vitamins, minerals and hormones to set yourself up for a healthy and successful pregnancy. Here’s a sneak peak of her top 5 "fertility foods":
Beans: You better boost up on these beans! Why? Well, beans are high in iron, an important nutrient for pre-pregnancy. Low iron has been associated with anovulation so beans can help us get our iron levels back to normal. Also, beans are high in plant-based proteins and are a great alternative source of protein if you are trying to keep your animal protein intake low. This may be a good idea because researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health looked at nearly 19,000 female nurses who were actively trying to get pregnant and found that infertility was 39 percent more likely in women with the highest intake of animal protein. Therefore, plant-based protein is the way to go!
Leafy Greens: Leafy greens should be essential during pre-conception because of their high folate levels. They also contain B vitamins which are important in pregnancy health. Men can also benefit from leafy greens due to folate’s ability to help produce healthier sperm. In fact, researchers at the University of California Berkeley's Public School of Health surveyed 97 nonsmoking men who had no prior history of fertility problems. They found that men who had the highest intake of folate had nearly a 20 percent reduction in the number of abnormal sperm. Hey men, load up on the spinach!
Whole wheat bread: Whole wheat bread has a good rep because it’s high fiber content helps maintain blood sugar levels when compared to the not so great white or refined bread. Elevated insulin levels can cause an imbalance of hormones, therefore it is important to stabilize blood sugar while getting ready for pregnancy. A Dutch study that looked at 165 couples trying to get pregnant found that when women had high levels of blood sugar, they were only half as likely to have gotten pregnant during this 6 month study. Pass the whole wheat bread, please!
Full-Fat Dairy: Full-fat dairy is a great source of calcium, but the natural fat within the milk is also important during pre-pregnancy. Full-fat dairy should not be feared as being too high in fat because the type of fat found in full fat dairy can aid in regulating hormones. However, full-fat dairy shouldn't be consumed in excess due to its high amount of saturated fat. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend that we consume less than 10% of our daily intake from saturated fat.
Fatty Fish: Despite raw fish not being safe for women when they are actually pregnant, fatty fish is a healthy choice during pre-pregnancy. The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish can regulate hormones and increase blood flow to reproductive organs. Fatty fish also may decrease stress, and in turn can decrease cortisol production within the body. In order for our hormones to stay balance, we want to keep our cortisol levels as low much as possible.
The information provided above is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or a substitute for medical care.
For more information about nutrition and pre-conception, email Tracy@TracyLockwoodNutrition.com to make an appointment or go to her website at www.TracyLockwoodNutrition.com to learn a little bit more!