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 is rich in iron, zinc, folate and antioxidants -- improves your chances. Fruit is an excellent source of those nutrients while also providing other benefits such as minerals, hydration and fuel. Some fruits are better than others when trying to get pregnant.
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Pump Up Your Iron
Iron supplementation has been shown to decrease risk of infertility. Before you run out to your local pharmacy, however, consider whether you could increase iron in your diet through food. Many people think "beef" when trying to eat more iron, but fruit can also be an option. Enjoy iron with iron's best friend, vitamin C. Vitamin C will help the body 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. Maintaining an adequate supply of zinc is beneficial if not critical.
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 chances of birth defects early 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 between 1997 and 2000 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 fruit, such as oranges, guava, papaya and kiwi, are an excellent way to get vitamin.
Adding Fruit to Your Diet
If you haven't been a 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. Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests a minimum of 1.5 cups of fruit daily, many experts contend more is better.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Obstetrics & Gynecology: Iron Intake and Risk of Ovulatory Infertility
- Nature Chemical Biology: Zinc Availability Regulates Exit from Meiosis in Maturing Mammalian Oocytes
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Pregnancy Questions and Answers
- Fertility and Sterility: Effects of Ascorbic Acid Supplementation on Serum Progesterone Levels in Patients With a Luteal Phase Defect
- U.S. Department of Agriculture ChooseMyPlate.gov: How Much Fruit Is Needed Daily?
- Harvard School of Public Health: The Nutrition Source
- Harvard School of Public Health: Nutrition Source
- American Pregnancy Association: Conceiving