I am passionate about food, wellness and pregnancy. As a doula, I have seen many moms who didn't start pregnancy in the best health possible and, with pregnancy, whatever you are struggling with might just get worse.
I cannot emphasize how important it is to eat a balanced diet in general. Now take that advice for conception and think of it as building the foundation for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
There are a few things that one should eliminate from her life if she is trying to conceive, such as cigarettes, alcohol (and believe me, being French that's not an easy task), processed food (frozen already-made dinners, canned dinners, etc.), trans fat (hydrogenated oils), pesticides, toxic products (such as the ones in many cleaning products) and refined food.
You might wonder why they are harmful to body. Basically, these foods give no nutrition to our body, our cells and organs. Furthermore, they might disrupt our hormonal balance, which is so important to conceive.
There are several foods that will help a woman balance her body and her hormones. She should specially focus on food that are rich in folic acid, protein, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, fats, iron, antioxidants, water, essential fatty acids, zinc, selenium, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin D and omega 3.
Basically, food that nature gives us – food that hasn't been changed by machines – we call these foods "whole foods" and they are vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, pastured-fed or free range meats and wild-caught fatty fish (such as salmon). They haven't been stripped of their vitamins, blanched with bleach, deprived of their good fat to be replaced by not-so-good fat and so on so forth, so think WHOLE FOODS.
Vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals, nuts are full of good fat, fatty fish is full of omega 3 (so are walnuts and flaxseeds). Kale is rich in folate. (You may have heard of folic acid and how important it is to reduce risks of brain and spinal cord birth defects.)
It's also very important to build blood and these vegetables can help – green veggies (kale, collards, Swiss chard, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green beans) beets/beet greens.
Now, gentlemen: don't think you have nothing to do and it's all on the ladies. There are many foods that promote healthy sperm such as beef (hormone free), nuts, fruits, cereals, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, asparagus and broccoli. Men, you need to be sure to get enough vitamin C, selenium, essential fatty acids, zinc, and the list goes on.
Now, you are on the way to a healthier body, which can better support a pregnancy. Should you be interested in more information, I will be having a full two-hour class on nutrition for conception on January 10. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org