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Planning pregnancy and your diet.

More and more women seemed to be struggling with infertility or hormone related issues. When planning a pregnancy, supporting our bodies as best we can through the foods we eat prior to falling pregnant will not only support fertility it will ensure our unborn child gets the best start in life.

Anyone planning a pregnancy should be supplementing with folic acid and will have hopefully stopped smoking, taking drugs of any kind, drinking alcohol and if overweight or obese endeavour to lose excess weight. In an ideal world it is not just mum to be that implements these changes however also dad (other than folic acid), our genetic makeup comes from two people so to ensure your baby to be gets the best it can these changes should involve both parents 3-6 months before a pregnancy.

Some top foods to be eating for general wellbeing and fertility are:

8-10 portions of fruits and vegetables of which three are fruits and seven are vegetables. A portion is equivalent to the average sized apple, pear or a medium carrot. Fruit and vegetables are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, fibre, water and plant chemicals that help regulate important body process which ensures optimum health. Recent research indicates that ten portions daily provide more protection to our health which is just what we need to support conception.

Managing blood sugar has been shown to support hormone regulation; we all need support in this area to ensure our female hormones are in balance. This can be approached by two methods: firstly turn all your carbohydrate foods to the brown kind or low GI forms for example brown rice, brown pasta and brown breads whilst removing all refined sugars, these would be cakes, biscuits, chocolates etc. Another great method of regulating your blood sugar is by always combining your carbohydrates with good lean quality protein; for example boiled egg on Irish brown bread, banana with seeds, organic salmon fillet with stir fried vegetables and brown rice!

Plenty of omega 3,6 and 9 oils within our diet has be shown to again support hormone regulation. These essential oils are found in oily fish (trout, mackerel, salmon, sardines, kippers), avocados, olive oil, flax seed oils, nuts (not peanuts!), seeds and Chia Bia seeds ( Introducing plenty of these foods into your diet not only will support skin, hair and joints it will also ensure that if you fall pregnant there is plenty of essential oils for healthy brain development.

Supermarkets do great ranges of unsalted/unroasted nuts like cashew, almonds, brazil nuts and regarding seeds Lynwoods do a wonderful range of ground mixed seeds which can be sprinkled onto yogurts, porridge and soups – even better then helping you to look and feel great. They taste lovely too.

Don’t forget hydration and ensure caffeine is ideally removed from your diet replacing it with wonderful herbal teas and also ensure your getting 1 ½ litres of water a day to support toxin removal.

Best of luck and let’s keep Irelands baby boom, booming!

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