When you are trying to conceive a baby, good nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight are keys. The sooner you begin eating well, the more likely you are to get pregnant, according to the BabyCenter. It is easier to conceive if you are not underweight or overweight. The best way to ensure a healthy weight is to eat right and exercise. You can get many of the vitamins you need in the foods you eat and by taking vitamin supplements.
Food and Fertility
Food and fertility go together for both women and men when you are trying to conceive. You and your partner should eat several servings a day of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, yogurt, milk and cheese. The vitamins that help make healthy sperm are vitamin C, vitamin E, folic acid and zinc. If you are undernourished or obese, you may have trouble ovulating.
Folic acid is the wonder supplement when you are trying to conceive and while you are pregnant. The only way you are going to get enough folic acid, 400 micrograms, is to take a supplement. Start taking it about a month before you start trying to conceive. If you take folic acid, you can reduce the risk of your baby having neural tube defects by 70 percent. A neural tube defect is an opening in the brain or spinal cord that can lead to defects such as spina bifida or anencephaly.
How to Take Folic Acid
You can buy folic acid supplements at the drugstore or supermarket. You can also get folic acid in certain multivitamins or prenatal vitamins. If you do take a multivitamin, make sure it doesn't contain more than 2,565 international uinits of vitamin A. Too much vitamin A can cause birth defects, according to the BabyCenter.
Vitamin B Considerations
Vitamin B12 and B6 are essential when you are trying to conceive and are essential to good reproductive health, according to the Fertility Factor website. You can get vitamin B12 from animal products, such as fish, poultry, eggs and meat. Vegetarians may have a vitamin B12 deficiency and may want to discuss with their doctor what a proper diet entails for trying to conceive. You can get vitamin B6 in beans, leafy greens, oranges, cantaloupe, poultry and fortified cereal.
What Not to Eat
Some foods and vitamins can help you conceive, and others do the opposite. Avoid alcohol and tobacco, and cut back on caffeine to less than 3 cups a day. Fish, such as salmon and canned tuna, is good for the omega-3s, but avoid fish with high mercury content, such as swordfish and shark.
- BabyCenter: Trying to Conceive? Five Changes to Make to Your Diet Now
- BabyCenter: Prenatal Vitamin Supplements--A Nutritional Insurance Policy
- BabyCenter: Diet for a Healthy Vegetarian Pregnancy
- Fertility Factor: Vitamins
- Harvard School of Public Health: Three of the B Vitamins--Folate, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12
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