Planning to have a baby is a big decision in any couple’s life. A lot of women wait for this moment, but it is not that easy.
There are chances that a woman might not be able to conceive at the first go, but there are certain medical and non-medical options that can help in getting pregnant. Following a healthy diet increases fertility and increases the chances of getting pregnant.
But, there are a few guidelines that you should follow when deciding what to include in your diet. Many a time women are completely oblivious to the fact that having unhealthy foods increases the risks of not having a healthy pregnancy.
Why should you avoid unhealthy food when trying to conceive?
- Unhealthy food can make you unfit.
- It is suggested that you avoid getting too fat before you conceive or your baby can face problems.
- Eating sweets and sweet foods can result in diabetes.
- Some foods can be responsible for cutting down iron from your body.
Foods that You Should Consider Avoiding while getting pregnant
You might be a foodie, and your taste buds might love to explore new tastes but while trying to conceive, you will have to avoid eating these foods:
Fatty Foods or Foods filled with Trans Fat
No more stopping by the bakery to indulge in a good cake or pastry. Also, you should stop having chips, fast foods and chocolates if you want to get pregnant. Having junk food affects fertility a lot.
With every 2% of the daily intake of trans fat, fertility gets affected by 75%! Junk foods increase cholesterol levels in your body which in turn increases your weight and reduces the production of insulin. All these problems just disrupt the entire functioning of your body.
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Having unfiltered Water
Unfiltered water contains a huge amount of arsenic, iron, lead, and other harmful chemicals. Drinking unfiltered water or contaminated underground water can affect you biologically, leading to the loss of valuable salts from your body and affecting your immunity system. Drink filtered or boiled water to protect your body from any type of microbes and chemicals.
A diet containing High Sugar and Carb Intake
Who doesn’t love having sweets and chocolates and whatnot? If you have a sweet tooth, now is the time to keep a check on your sugar intake. Having foods with high sugar concentrations affects fertility by removing essential nutrients. Unchecked sugar intake will increase the level of insulin in the body and affect the ovaries and pose a risk to conceive.
Keep away from Soy Products.
Soy products are good for health. But, if you are trying to conceive, it’s better to stay away from soy products. Certain components which are present in these soya products function the same way as estrogen functions in a woman’s body.
Carbonated drinks contain high levels of fructose, preservatives, artificial coloring, and, most importantly, caffeine, which are not good for the body. All these reduce fertility and instead become poison for the body, which in turn flushes out all the nutrients from the body.
People consider vegetables and fruits to be the factory of necessary nutrients, but some vegetables and fruits should not be eaten raw by women who are trying to conceive.
Do not have raw sprouts such as moong, radish, etc., raw as there are chances of them being contaminated with bacteria and other chemicals, which in turn can take a toll on your health. Do not eat stale food. Have fresh, properly cooked organic food to facilitate the chances of conceiving.
Peas contain certain chemicals similar to that of soybeans which affect fertilization. It becomes an obstruction to the sperm from fertilizing an egg.
For your pregnancy, it is better to have low-mercury or no-mercury fish, as it is highly nutritious and good for your health. But, with the continuous increase in water pollution, high mercury has been detected in various kind of fishes, and consuming them are harmful to the body and also to the fetus. Instead, have salmon, cod, and shrimp to get the required protein and nutrition. Certain foods can improve the quality of your eggs, so those should be consumed.
Having properly boiled eggs are really good for the body but if you have undercooked or raw eggs, there are chances of getting affected by the salmonella virus, which can lead to certain pregnancy complications. It’s better to avoid eggs as these are the products of antibiotic-injected animals. Instead, eat organic eggs for the time being.
Have cheese that is not produced from unpasteurized milk or fermented using artificial agents. These types of cheeses contain bacteria which is not welcomed by the body while planning for pregnancy.
Tips to Stay Away from Junk Food
Here are some tips that you should follow so that you can practice staying away from junk food.
Keeping yourself hydrated
Maintain a healthy liquid diet and have an ample amount of water throughout the day that will kind of ease your food cravings.
Maintain your diet
Consult a nutritionist and maintain a strict diet plan. Be your boss and constrain yourself from having cheat days. Even while planning a second baby, maintaining your diet is a must.
Taking adequate rest and having a sound sleep are the two necessities for a healthy pregnancy. Your mood swings will lead to stress, and that will lead to eating all those junk and unhealthy food that you are not supposed to have. Do yoga and meditate and rest well to keep your mind calm and composed.
Keep yourself occupied with work
You are bound to have food cravings, and the best thing to do during such situations is to keep yourself busy so that the temptation doesn’t creep in your mind.
I know what is going on in your mind. You might be thinking, ‘How can I give up on my pizza weekends and my favorite black forest?’, but if you want to be a mum, you will have to make these sacrifices. It’s not like you have to give up on them forever but for the time being, it is required. It’s really difficult to control food temptations and give up on your favorite burger or cheesy fries at once, but you have to, for your future baby.
If you find it difficult to maintain a strict diet, consult your nutritionist or doctor to give you a proper diet plan.
Related: Apple Cider Vinegar And Pregnancy
Here are some Important FAQs about food to avoid while getting pregnant
What should I eat if I am suffering from Morning Sickness?
Morning Sickness is natural during pregnancy. Your pregnancy hormones trigger this sudden feeling of nausea and vomiting in the morning. Do not eat fatty foods which can cause acidity as digestion slows down during pregnancy. Have dry food and healthy food or something with high carbs. Eat small meals and drink ample amounts of water.
What is the quantity of food I must eat?
You should at least 2000 calories each day and increase it to 2200 during the third trimester of your pregnancy. The calorie content also differs from woman to woman. It depends on whether you are overweight or under-weight or pregnant with multiple babies. Consult your doctor and nutritionist to decide on a healthy diet, depending on your body type.
Is fermented food safe during pregnancy?
Fermented food like homemade curd, pickled, etc., are okay to consume during pregnancy. Fermented food contains certain bacteria that protect you and your baby when your immune system is weak.
I love having cheese! What cheese is safe to eat during pregnancy?
Any type of hard cheese is safe to eat during pregnancy- cheddar, parmesan, or stilton. You can even have soft cheeses that are not fermented using artificial chemicals or methods and are pasteurized. Have cottage cheese, mozzarella, feta, cream cheese. Ricotta and halloumi for soft cheeses.
Can I have Non-Veg Food during pregnancy?
You can have non-veg food during pregnancy, but you have to take certain measures while cooking them. Chicken and egg whites are rich with proteins that are needed for the body.
Even fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are a must for pregnant women. Cook the meat properly to avoid any bacterial infection. Do not have sushi, raw eggs, and fish like Mackerel, Sword Fish which contain high mercury levels and it is not good for the baby.
How much is Caffeine Intake healthy during pregnancy?
Unchecked caffeine consumption can lead to miscarriage and stillbirth. It is recommended to have not more than 200mg of caffeine per day. A cup of 200 ml of coffee contains at least 70-120 mg of caffeine which is fine for one day. Cut down on chocolates, tea, and carbonated drinks too as they contain caffeine too.
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.