Some people plan to fall pregnant and some people fall pregnant without planning. Some people plan so hard that they forget to fall pregnant and get everything else right. This is what to eat for those who want to fall pregnant. Not just for the planners, but for the non-planners or over-planners too. This guide can be used even if you do not want to fall pregnant right away, but to ensure that your body is optimally prepared for when the time comes. In other words, it’s a healthy eating guide for those of childbearing age.
5 FOODS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR DIET:
1. Folic Acid
Folic acid is essential for the neurological development of the baby. Folic acid can be supplemented or found in fortified whole grains, fortified cereals (FUTURELIFE® powdered range), brown rice, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and citrus fruits. These foods must be included into your diet and if you want to use a supplement, 800 to 1,000 mcg of folic acid* is advised for as long as you are trying to conceive.
2. High Quality Protein
Protein is great source of iron, B vitamins, zinc and magnesium. All of these support your immune system and ensure that you have a strong line of defense against diseases. B vitamins are also needed for converting the food you eat into energy and red blood cell formation.
3. Fruit and Vegetables
These are the 2 food groups that everyone should be eating anyway. It is automatically added onto this list just in case you are not following this advice yet. Fruit and vegetables do not only contain plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which you need for daily bodily functions, but they are also full of fibre and a great source of energy. Not only are they a healthy snack option, but they will get you into a healthy habit that you can pass onto your child soon.
4. Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids can be taken at least 3 months before you are planning to fall pregnant or for as long as you are at childbearing age. Omega-3 is great for the baby’s brain development. This healthy fat is also needed for proper hormone functioning and to balance the inflammatory response in your body. Omega-3 can be found in fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, trout, tuna, and halibut), flax and chia seeds. These seeds can be used in smoothies and over salads. A great basis for a smoothie will be FUTURELIFE® HIGH ENERGY Smart Food™, ZERO™ or HIGH PROTEIN Smart Food™. Aim for 1,000 – 2,000 mg omega-3 fatty acids* per day, which is about 60 to 90g of fish, 2 tablespoons of walnuts, or 2 tablespoons flaxseeds or chia seeds.
Dairy is an excellent source of calcium and a good source of protein. This will also ensure you have healthy bones and when you fall pregnant that you have ample calcium available for the baby’s bones to develop optimally.
Preparing for pregnancy is part of the excitement of falling pregnant. Eating healthy during the course of preparation and pregnancy is just as important as living a healthy lifestyle every day even if you are not planning to fall pregnant. Remember that changing a habit is a lot harder than adapting an already good one.
*always consult your health care professional on supplement use