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CONCEPTION: TRYING TO CONCEIVE? – FOODS TO AVOID

Vitamin A

It is recommended that you avoid supplements containing vitamin A (or retinol, the animal form of vitamin A) and food sources such as liver.

Caffeine

Several studies have revealed that the caffeine in coffee (and other caffeinated products) when consumed in high amounts, can cause a decrease in fertility. Since the exact amount of caffeine that is “safe” to drink is unknown, it’s better to stay safe altogether if you are serious about baby-making. Stick to herbal teas instead. In moderation too.

Alcohol

While having a cocktail or two may lead to some fun times while trying to conceive, it’s a no-no for couples that are trying to get pregnant. If you are thinking of getting pregnant, stop drinking,” he advises. Even a few drinks in some studies have been shown to cause problems in the fetus.

High-Mercury Fish

While fish is high in omega-3s and often touted as being good for us, for those who are trying to get pregnant, fish that are high in mercury such as albacore, swordfish and mackerel should be avoided. Why? Our bodies cannot clear out mercury, so if you eat too much, your body can get toxic.

 

And since mercury can accumulate and stick around for a while, you can’t be sure that it’ll be completely out of your system before you find out you’re expecting—and high levels of mercury can be dangerous for Baby’s brain and nervous system in those early weeks.

Processed Soy Products

Soy is known to mimic estrogen, so the theory goes that the more soy you eat, the higher your estrogen levels will be, and any imbalance of hormones can cause a reduction in fertility. And wannabe mamas-to-be aren’t the only ones that should be avoiding soy. A recent study published in Human Reproduction shows that the consumption of soy foods caused a decrease in sperm count and sperm quality.

Artificial Sweeteners

Stacy Roberts, author of the book “The Fertility Bible, says, “Artificial sweeteners and added sugar can create inflammation in the system and affect hormone balance. Cinnamon, on the other hand, is great for helping to optimize blood sugar levels, reduce sugar cravings and therefore potentially help decrease inflammation in the system.”

Canned Foods

Who hasn’t heard of BPA nowadays? For the sake of those who have not. BPA stands for bisphenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics. BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Epoxy resins are used to coat the inside of metal products, such as food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines. It has been linked to everything from minor health issues to infertility, so it’s best to avoid foods that are packaged in things like cans that can potentially leach BPA. One of the top culprits? Canned tomatoes, which leach more BPA from the lining of the cans, thanks to its high acidity.

White Flour

Several of the more common conditions that cause infertility, like PCOS and endometriosis, are considered inflammatory diseases. So it’s not a surprise that many fertility specialists suggest that women suffering from either of these conditions cut out the white flour and other refined carbs that can lead to inflammation. According to Roberts, this is also more prevalent in obese men, and women who are trying to conceive.

For Dads-to-be

When trying to conceive, the general advice for prospective dads is to eat a varied diet and maintain a healthy body weight. A healthy diet and weight are essential for keeping sperm in good condition. In addition to this, they are advised to limit their alcohol intake to less than twenty-eight units a week. This is because excessive consumption – more than three–four units a day (or 1.5–2 pints of beer or lager) – can reduce sperm quality.