We all know the age-old myth: Want to have a baby? Eat oysters! But did you know there is actually some truth to this old saying?
Oysters contain high levels of zinc, and studies have shown deficiencies in zinc can have adverse effects on fertility. So what nutrients should you consider adding to your diet if you are trying to become pregnant? According to the American Pregnancy Association, “Maintaining a diet composed of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and dairy products should provide you with the recommended dietary allowance of vitamins and minerals for proper reproductive functioning.”
Here is a list of healthy diet and lifestyle changes you should consider before trying to conceive or before your frozen embryo transfer:
- Zinc – As stated above, low zinc levels in the body can have an adverse effect on fertility. And not just for women, but also men. Zinc help with sperm production in men and ovulation in women. Zinc also helps in preventing early pregnancy miscarriages. So eat more oysters!
- Folic Acid – Folic acid is known as a big fertility booster! This mineral helps reduce the risk of neural tube (brain and spinal cord) defects in the early stages of the baby’s development, which reduces the risk of miscarriage.
- Calcium – Calcium is essential for getting pregnant. It is a vital mineral in the process of triggering growth in embryos. The more calcium in the surrounding fluid around the embryo, the better.
- Iron – Iron is not only important for maintaining healthy pre-natal development, but also for ovulation. Studies have shown that women who do not get sufficient amounts of iron may suffer anovulation (or lack of ovulation) and potentially poor egg health.
- Fats – Yes, you read that right: fat is fertility friendly! Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help regulate hormones in the body, increase cervical mucous, and promote ovulation in women. Of course, certain fats better are than others. Fatty acids from olive oil, coconut oil, and nuts (saturated fat) will help fertility, while fats from butter or fried food (trans-fats) will not have an effect.
- Limit caffeine – Limit your caffeine intake before you’re pregnant, not just after. One study found that women who consumed more than the equivalent of one cup of coffee per day were half as likely to become pregnant, per cycle, as women who drank less.
- Limit sugar soda - In a recent study, it was found that consuming one or more carbonated, sugar drinks a day can lead to a 33% decrease in male fertility and a 25% decrease in females. In other words, drink more water!
- Things to avoid: alcohol, cigarettes, and second-hand smoke – We all know we should not drink alcohol or smoke while pregnant, but these vices can be just as bad before pregnancy as they are during pregnancy.
To learn more about embryo adoption and donation, visit EmbryoAdoption.org