It’s important to have a balanced diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants. This will help prevent fertility problems or even increase the chances of a successful in-vitro fertilisation process. Furthermore, you should also avoid being overweight. Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is also important and therefore some foods should be avoided to ensure the health of both the baby and the mother.
Types of food you should include in your diet
- Fruits and vegetables: you should eat plenty of fruit and vegetables salads. Red, green or yellow fruit and vegetables are higher in antioxidants so focus on those. Remember to clean and wash the fruit or vegetables before eating them and whenever possible consume them raw or nearly raw so that they don’t lose nutrients.
- Carbohydrates made from whole meal flours (unrefined) such as whole wheat, oat or rye bread, white pasta or rice. The refining process can adversely affect your blood sugar and alter your fertility.
- Iron-rich foods: fish or seafood such as sardines or mussels, vegetables such as asparagus, broad beans or lentils. These can help you avoid anaemia during and after your pregnancy.
- Fish: due to its high concentration of Omega 3s the are very beneficial. Some examples of Omega 3 rich fish with low mercury levels are: prawns, trout or salmon. Flax seeds are also rich in Omega 3s.
Vitamin supplements can also be added to your diet, but always under medical advice.
What types of food should be avoided?
Avoid eating the following during ovulation and pregnancy.
- Unpasteurised dairy such as soft or uncured cheeses: they can contain listeria, a very harmful bacteria for pregnant or ovulating women.
- Raw or underdone meat: avoid processed meats such as raw or smoked meats
- Fish with high levels of mercury: though most fish indeed have a high concentration of Omega 3s, some also have higher levels of mercury which should be avoided such as, swordfish and mackerel. Also, raw fish in dishes such as sushi should be avoided.
- Cold cuts
- Unwashed fruit and vegetables
- Alcohol and caffeine: both of these can affect your fertility and harm the fetus. Therefore, it is advised to avoid alcohol completely and only consume caffeine in moderation.