A healthy pregnancy mainly depends on the production of good-quality eggs and sperm. Lifestyle modifications are imperative when it comes to improving fertility and maximizing conception probabilities. Food and diet are known to play a significant role in fertility.
Here are some of the recommendations of food that can be consumed during IVF treatment.
• Enriching proteins: Proteins are the requisites of an IVF diet. These are known to produce the required hormones for reproduction and improve the number of quality eggs. Foods such as soybean, lean meat, fish, nuts, beans, legumes, and cooked eggs are a few protein-rich foods.
• Wholesome carbohydrates: Whole grains, fruits, and other carbohydrates are energy-giving foods that are required to build stamina for daily physical activities. Enough carbohydrates are required during the IVF treatment to keep optimum energy levels.
• Zinc-rich foods: Women undergoing IVF are generally advised to take at least 20gms of zinc every day to enhance overall reproductive health and maintain hormonal balance. Foods rich in zinc include nuts, whole grains, dairy products, beans, etc.
• Folic acid: Folic acid foods are considered a superfood for pregnancy as they are essentials for the brain and spinal development of the fetus. Hence a diet with certain prenatal vitamins and folate is included in the IVF diet.
• Iron content: Iron is required for healthy eggs and ovulation. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia and in turn, cause preterm delivery or a child with low weight at birth. Including a diet with iron-rich foods such as spinach, pumpkin seeds, soybean, and lentils, can ensure a lowered risk of iron deficiency.
• Organic foods: A well-balanced diet is complete when fresh and organically grown green vegetables, fruits, nuts are included. Vegetables and fruits grown have essential nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the reproductive system.
• Unsaturated Fats: Unsaturated fats are healthy fats that help digest the essential nutrients present in the food. Foods rich in unsaturated fatty acids are avocados, nuts, olives, vegetable oils, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc.
• Adequate hydration: It is important to understand that the body needs enough hydration. And so, 8 full glasses of water per day is quintessential.
Certain foods are advised to be avoided during IVF treatment. Some of them include:
• Cheese, unpasteurized milk, and coffee need to be avoided to improve pregnancy chances.
• Alcoholic beverages consumption can affect ovulation, cause ovulatory disorders.
• Alcohol must be avoided to maximize pregnancy possibilities and healthy fetal development.
• Undercooked, raw, or smoked seafood though protein-rich has mercury in them, which can cause birth defects in the child.
• Raw eggs can cause salmonella infection and food poisoning during pregnancy.
• Artificial sweeteners must be avoided during IVF treatment.
• Sugar consumption is likely to cause gestational diabetes and so must be moderately consumed or avoided.
• Saturated fats can slow down embryo development and need to be avoided during pregnancy.