It is a well-known fact that women who are expecting need to follow a balanced, healthy and nutritious diet throughout their pregnancies, so that their babies can grow and develop well. However, did you know that many health care providers now encourage women to follow a preconception diet in case they are planning to have a baby shortly?
This is because eating right is the best way to get your body ready for pregnancy. Your diet has an impact on your overall health, which includes the functioning of your organs, bones, muscles, tissues, cells, hormones and the various systems within your body.
For a healthy pregnancy, it is important for your diet to be high in vitamins, minerals, protein, calcium, fiber, iron and other essential nutrients. If you are planning to have a baby soon, therefore, you need to incorporate a preconception diet plan as early as possible.
Another important reason to follow a healthy preconception diet plan is that your body weight can influence the ease with which you get pregnant. You should neither be overweight, nor underweight, if you are planning a baby. It is therefore better to speak to a doctor or a nutritionist for a customized preconception diet that best suits your needs.
A few decades ago, people became aware of an eating plan known as the Preconception Gender Diet through books. This preconception diet was based on the theory that your diet can influence the gender of your baby. The creators of this plan claim that a diet high in sodium and potassium, but low in calcium, increases the chances of conceiving a boy and a diet rich in calcium and magnesium, but limited in potassium and sodium can increase the chances of having a girl. According to this diet plan, therefore, to increase their chances of having a boy, women should follow a high-sodium diet, which includes foods like table salt, processed meat, chips, cheese, bacon, pastrami, ham, canned soup and pretzels. For the conception of a girl women are asked to consume a high amount of calcium-rich foods like milk, almonds, yogurt, cheese, fish, leafy greens and legumes. However, there is no evidence to claim that this diet is effective in helping parents choose their baby’s gender. Before making any dietary changes for following any recommended preconception diet, it is important to speak to a doctor and get an approval.
A healthy and well-balanced preconception diet for women can also make it easier for you to get pregnant A good preconception diet for women is not very different from most other healthy eating plans. Given below are a few helpful tips for an effective preconception diet for women:
When trying to conceive, it is difficult for women to get all the nutrients they need from their diets alone. Adding a prenatal vitamin or a multivitamin supplement to your diet, after checking with a doctor, can be a good option.
It is not just women who are advised to follow a preconception diet. In many instances, fathers-to-be are also advised to make a few dietary changes, so that their chances of conceiving increase. A man’s dietary habits have a direct impact on the quality and potency of his sperm. Studies indicate that men who have poor eating habits and drink alcohol regularly could take longer to have a baby. Given below are a few tips on a healthy preconception diet for men:
It is a good idea for men to take a multivitamin containing selenium and zinc each day, for at least three months before conception. This is because it takes their bodies around 90 days or so, to develop healthy sperm. However, before making any drastic changes to a diet, it is important for men to check with their doctors.
While it is easy for you to get tips on what you should eat and avoid while following a preconception diet, implementing them may be a bit more challenging. Fortunately, there are several preconception diet recipes that you can easily find through online websites, pregnancy books and other similar resources. Given below are a few ideas on recipes that you can include in your preconception diet plan. Scrambled eggs and pancakes with jam or fresh fruit smoothie are delectable breakfast options. Chicken sandwich or salad with lettuce and tomatoes is a healthy lunch option.
You may be able to find several other preconception diet food ideas, along with their recipes through various resources. However, it is best to check with your doctor, before adding any of the suggested foods to your diet.