If you are planning to get pregnant, it is important that you eat nutritious foods. If the body is undernourished, pregnancy may be more difficult to achieve. Another important factor is your baby could be born with a birth defect if your body is not adequately nourished. Consume foods that will put you in a healthy state and prepare your body for conception.
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Eat Foods From the Five Food Groups
To give your body proper nourishment and a healthy environment for the baby you are planning to conceive, eat foods from the five food groups. Include six to 11 servings of grains such as whole wheat, bulgar, oatmeal, cornmeal, barley, rye, wild rice or brown rice in your diet every day. Eat three to five servings of vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, lentils, black beans, lima beans, corn, peas, potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms and eggplant. Every day have two to four servings of fruit such as apples, grapes, kiwi, honeydew, nectarines, peaches, pineapple, tangerines or some other type of fruit. Consume four to six servings of dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Have three to four servings of foods that contain protein. Some protein foods are beef, pork, ham, chicken, turkey, beans, eggs and fish.
Eat Folic Acid Foods
Eat more foods containing folic acid, as folic acid is necessary for the formation of new cells and for cell division. Folic acid is a B-vitamin that can also prevent your baby from developing spina bifida or anencephaly, two neural tube defects, while it is in the womb. These defects form between 18 to 30 days after a baby is conceived. Folic acid foods include leafy green vegetables, organ meats, peas, broccoli, foods that contain brewer’s yeast, fruit, foods containing soy, chicken and whole grains.
Eat fish for a beneficial protein. Protein is required for the building of body tissue. Fish is a healthy food as it does not contain a lot of saturated fat, and it is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that play a part in the regulation of fertility. Fish also encourages normal growth in children. The types of fish to eat while trying to get pregnant include shrimp, light tuna in a can, Pollock and catfish. Eat no more than 12 ounces of these types of fish in any one week. Do not eat fish that has high methylmercury content, as an accumulation of methylmercury in the bloodstream can be harmful to a growing fetus and its nervous system. Foods high in methylmercury include shark, swordfish, King mackerel, tilefish and some local water fish. Eat no more than 6 ounces of albacore tuna a week as this kind of tuna contains a higher amount of mercury than light tuna does.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- March of Dimes Pregnancy and Newborn Health Education Center: ABCs of a Healthy Pregnancy
- What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish: Advice for Women Who Might Become Pregnant, Women Who are Pregnant, Nursing Mothers, and Young Children
- Linda Page's Healthy Healing: All New Eleventh Edition; Linda Page