January 4, 2018
by
in Diet

When it comes to giving your body the right vitamins and minerals for a healthy pregnancy, everyone identifies with Folic Acid (Folate), Iron, Zinc and Vitamin D.  But there are other vitamins and minerals that are crucial to the baby-making process, and having a deficiency of these elements can impact your conception chances.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is an essential vitamin for women to have when trying to conceive a baby.  It helps to regulate hormones and blood sugar levels (important for regular menstrual cycles), as well as alleviating PMS and morning sickness (bonus!).  Additionally, B6 has been identified as a crucial element for combatting Luteal Phase Defects.  The luteal phase is the time between ovulation and menstruation when a fertilised egg needs to implant in the uterus lining.  If this process is hindered, pregnancy will not occur.  Vitamin B6 can help to ensure that this phase goes as smoothly as possible.

Foods that contain vitamin B6 include: Tuna, banana, turkey, salmon, spinach, capsicum, garlic, cauliflower, celery, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli and kale.

Selenium

Not a regular household name, selenium is actually an antioxidant.  Antioxidants are vital for the reproductive system because they help both sperm and eggs to fight free radicals, which can harm them.  A deficiency in selenium has now been linked to low sperm count and motility in men, as well as chromosomal defects in babies and an increase in miscarriages.  It is important to consume foods that have a high level of selenium in order to increase your chances of successful conception.

Foods that contain selenium include: tuna, salmon, sardines, mushrooms and turkey.  Plus – Brazil nuts are terrific source of selenium! Just one nut contains nearly 100% of the Recommended Daily Intake for selenium.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a super vitamin for pregnancy.  In addition to its ability to help us fight colds and infections, it has multiple benefits for the fertility process, too.  For women, vitamin C helps reduce luteal phase defects (like Vitamin B6), as well as being a stabiliser for the female hormones.  In men, vitamin C improves the sperm quality and helps to protect sperm from DNA damage (that can lead to chromosomal defects and miscarriages).  It also help to stop the sperm from clumping together, which stops them from moving freely.

Foods that contain Vitamin C include: red capsicum, broccoli, cranberries, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, and citrus fruit (oranges, grapefruit, lemon) – and it is readily available in supplement form, too, if required.

Lipoic Acid

Lipoic Acid is another antioxidant that is crucial for the fertility process, particularly when it comes to protecting sperm.  As we know sperm needs to be surrounded by antioxidants to help fight of free radicals, that can damage its DNA.  Lipoic acid can improve sperm quality and movement, as well as help the entire body to reuse and absorb antioxidants efficiently.  In women, lipoic acids help to regulate the menstrual cycle and protect the reproductive organs from free radicals, too.

Lipoic Acid can be found in potatoes, spinach and red meat.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B is another really important element to include in your fertility diet as it has multiple benefits for both men and women.  In men, it again helps with creating strong and healthy sperm.  In women, vitamin B12 is great for thickening the endometrium lining (of the uterus) where the fertilised egg needs to implant.  The thicker this lining is, the better chance of a successful implantation (and therefore pregnancy).  Studies have identified that a deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to irregular menstrual cycles (similar to Vitamin B6) and causes irregular ovulation, which makes it harder to get pregnant.

Vitamin B12 can be found in fish, crab, lobster, beef, lamb, cheese, eggs and, like Vitamin C, can be readily found in supplement form if required.

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