When you're trying to conceive (TTC) and it's just not happening, it's easy to feel like you're doing something wrong. It can be soul-crushing to keep seeing negatives when all you really want to do is wave a positive pregnancy test in the air. So what can you do, besides well, just doing it, to speed things along in the baby-making department? It turns out that you may be able to boost your fertility by making a few simple tweaks to your diet. So what are the foods to eat when you're trying to get pregnant?
It may seem a little new age-y but research has shown that if you're TTC, certain foods can help. The "fertility diet" — which includes a healthy intake of vegetables and fruit, whole grains and beans, healthy fats, certain protein-rich foods, and full-fat dairy — can increase ovulation, which in turn increases a woman's chances of getting pregnant, reported USA Today.
When I heard this, my first thought was that the "fertility diet" sounded quite similar to the Mediterranean Diet, which also emphasizes eating plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, and choosing fish and poultry over red meat. And it turns out that the Mediterranean Diet is also a smart choice for those TTC. "A large study found that the Mediterranean Diet has been shown to improve success rates from IVF so it would stand to reason that it would improve fertility overall," says Dr. Edward Marut of Fertility Centers of Illinois.
If you look at the foods in the "fertility diet" or Mediterranean Diet, the main take-away is that they are balanced, whole foods — unlike trendy, fad diets (pineapple diet, anyone?).
"Whole foods high in essential vitamins, minerals and macronutrients can play an important role in optimizing reproductive capacity," advises Dara Godfrey, the registered dietitian at RMA of New York.
So let's get into 5 super foods to eat when you're TTC, and take note, some of these foods also help boost male fertility, too, so you and your partner can embark on this food journey together.