Trying to get pregnant can be an exciting albeit stressful time in a woman's life. What you eat, drink, weigh, smoke and how active you are all influence your chances of conceiving.
Eating a healthy diet — one that's rich in iron, zinc, folate and antioxidants — improves your chances. Fruit is an excellent source of these nutrients, while also providing other benefits such as minerals, hydration and fuel. Some fruits may be better than others when you're trying to get pregnant.
Fruits that make good choices when you're trying to conceive include oranges, dried apricots and strawberries and other fruits that are rich in vitamin C, zinc and folate.
Pump Up Your Iron
Iron supplementation has been shown to decrease the risk of infertility. Before you run out to buy supplements at your local pharmacy, however, consider whether you could increase the iron in your diet through food.
Many people think "beef" when they're trying to eat more iron, but fruit is also an option. Enjoy iron with iron's best friend, vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron, making it more effective. Iron-containing fruit includes sun-dried tomatoes, apricots, raisins, coconut, squash, watermelon, grapefruit and prunes.
Zinc: A Little Goes a Long Way
Dried apricots, prunes, dried peaches, avocado, figs, bananas, blackberries and raspberries are all delicious ways to enjoy zinc.
Research conducted at Northwestern University indicates that just prior to peak egg fertilization, the egg or gamete requires as much as 50 percent more zinc before it can move forward in its developmental journey. This means that maintaining an adequate supply of zinc is beneficial if not critical.
Essential Folate for Neural Development
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking 400 micrograms of folic acid starting one month prior to trying to conceive. Supplements are an insurance policy, but nothing beats getting nutrients fresh from food sources.
Munch on these folate-containing fruits to decrease the chances of birth defects soon after conception: avocado, mango, oranges, orange juice, tomato juice, strawberries, blackberries, cantaloupe and papaya.
Think "C" for Conception
If you've had trouble trying to conceive due to low progesterone, increasing your vitamin C through diet or supplementation could help.
Results of a study conducted at Sapporo Medical University and Sapporo Toho Hospital in Japan indicate that vitamin C supplementation improved the hormone levels of 53 percent of women who were previously having difficulty trying to get pregnant.
Citrus fruits, such as oranges, guava, papaya and kiwifruit, are an excellent way to get vitamin C.
Adding Fruit to Your Diet
If you haven't been good about including fruit in your diet, make small, gradual increases to avoid getting constipated.
Consider adding raisins to your cereal, pack orange slices for a refreshing treat, add avocado to your salads or sandwiches, have chips and salsa, or sip a berry-filled smoothie as an after-dinner snack.
- Nature Chemical Biology: Zinc Availability Regulates Exit From Meiosis in Maturing Mammalian Oocytes
- USDA ChooseMyPlate.gov: All About the Fruit Group: How Much Fruit Is Needed Daily?
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: The Nutrition Source
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Recommendations: Women & Folic Acid
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine: Fertility and Sterility: Effects of Ascorbic Acid Supplementation on Serum Progesterone Levels in Patients With a Luteal Phase Defect