Foods That Can Help You Get Pregnant

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So you and your partner have been seriously discussing having a baby. Congratulations! But before you start trying to conceive a baby, there are certain foods you should intake. 

Foods and fertility are linked. If you and your partner stick to a healthy, balanced diet, you may be able to boost your chances of conceiving. 

The sooner you start eating well, the more likely you are to get pregnant. For both men and women, food and fertility are linked. You need to stick to a balanced diet to boost your chances of conceiving and of having a healthy baby.

Fish

At 95 mcg per serving (3 ounces), tuna comes in second place. Choose the Wild Planet tuna for more responsibly-caught tuna with lower levels of heavy metals.

Other selenium-rich seafood includes halibut (47 mcg per serving), sardines (45 mcg), and shrimp (40 mcg). We recommend avoiding Atlantic halibut Pacific halibut is generally okay, and sardines are on our good list, too. However, there are a lot of problems with shrimp, so we’d suggest looking for selenium elsewhere.

Pork, Beef, and Poultry

Like fish, meat is rich in selenium. Ham has 42 mcg per serving, beef has 33 mcg, turkey has 31 mcg, and chicken has 22 mcg. But, also like fish, there can be a lot of other nasty stuff, such as antibiotics, hiding in these products, so always opt for organic, pasture-raised meat.

Cottage Cheese

This delicious dairy not only comes with a healthy 20 mcg of selenium, but it has 103 mg of calcium per four-ounce serving, too. Just make sure the kind you buy doesn’t have carrageenan in it.

Brazil Nuts

Far and away, Brazil nuts are the best source of selenium, with 544 micrograms (mcg) per ounce (six to eight nuts).

Grains

Rice, oats, and even corn flakes contain selenium. Rice and oatmeal are the best grain-based sources.

What to Avoid

If your eating habits leave something to be desired and many people’s do you’ll have to make some adjustments. Some solid advice: Cut out or only occasionally drink alcohol. Stop using recreational drugs and, if you smoke, quit. All of these substances and habits can harm a developing fetus.

You may also want to cut back on caffeine. The research on whether caffeine can affect fertility is mixed. Experts generally agree that low to moderate caffeine consumption, less than 300 mg a day or about the equivalent of two 8 ounce cups of coffee, won’t affect your fertility, but your healthcare provider may recommend that you cut caffeine out entirely to play it safe. Learn more about caffeine and fertility.

Although fish is generally very healthy, certain types are high in mercury, which can be dangerous to your unborn baby. Because mercury can accumulate in your body and linger there for more than a year, it’s best to avoid high-mercury fish such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish while you’re trying to conceive. Instead, eat lower-mercury fish such as salmon and canned light tuna (not albacore, which is higher in mercury) once or twice a week. Read more on eating fish while trying to conceive.

Processed meats should be consumed in small amounts, and smoked or raw meats should be avoided entirely during pregnancy. Even hot dogs or deli meats should be heated until they are steaming before you eat them if you are pregnant.

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