If you've been trying to conceive for any length of time, you're well aware of the fact that getting pregnant involves so much more than having sex at the right time in your cycle. Many other factors contribute to your overall fertility, and one that doesn't get nearly enough attention is your diet. Believe it or not, asking yourself "what should I eat before sex if I want to get pregnant?" can affect your chances of actually getting pregnant.
To make matters even more complex (because nothing about a woman's fertility is simple), eating certain foods during the different phases of your cycle can have different effects on your fertility. Some foods are known to improve egg health, make cervical mucus more "attractive" to sperm, and boost certain vitamins in your system that increase your chances of conceiving. But other foods, like caffeine and alcohol, are known to inhibit your fertility. It's important to know which foods can help or hinder your ability to conceive, especially when eaten right before the deed.
Although there isn't a magic food plan that will get you pregnant instantly you (as scary and convenient as that would be), adding a few key ingredients to your diet at key points in your cycle will make your body as fertile and pregnancy ready as possible.
It turns out that legumes really are the "magical fruit," but not for the reasons pre-teens sing about. According to a study from Harvard University where more than 18,000 women were studied to look for connections between fertility and diet, vegetable proteins like tofu, nuts, and beans were found to improve fertility.
2. Fatty Fish
Many kinds of fish are packed with healthy fats and Omega-3s that, according to Parents, can balance hormone levels and increase blood flow to your reproductive organs. Salmon is a great choice that is also low in mercury, which women who are trying to conceive should avoid.
Although they're seen as an acquired taste, the Kaldas Center for Fertility, Surgery, and Pregnancy noted that since they're packed with zinc, oysters are thought to protect eggs and increase libido.
According to Everyday Health, yams are super-charged with fertility boosting vitamins and antioxidants. They're also thought to produce an ovulation-stimulating substance. Although the evidence isn't completely solid on that hypothesis, the root is still worth adding to your plate.
5. Leafy Greens
The aforementioned Parents article noted that adding dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, arugula, broccoli and romaine to your diet increases folate levels, which can improve ovulation. Leafy greens also have benefits for men and their fertility as well, so be sure to share with your partner.
6. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are another power-house for fertility for both men and women. According to Harley Street Fertility Clinic, they're loaded with zinc (like oysters) and promote healthy ovulation and the production of mature eggs.
7. Olive Oil
Olive oil increases insulin sensitivity and, according to the aforementioned Parents article, decreases inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation can interfere with ovulation, hormone production, conception, and development of the embryo, so decreasing your overall inflammation is no small thing.