I think all of us must have heard a colloquial phrase at least once in our life
“kya kha k paida kiya hain?” (Translation: what did your mother eat, when she was pregnant with you?)
This sounds funny but it does has its roots in science. What every individual eats makes every cell in the body, including Sperm and Ovum.
Well this means our husbands also need to take real care of what they are eating for at least 3 months prior to conception. Haha! You got a chance to cut down those junk calories for your husband as well!!!
Jokes apart 😉 When I spoke to my friends about Pre-conception diet – most of them had not witnessed any changes in their pre-conception diet, which made me wonder, why?
Well, in India, most of the doctors suggests to be on a balanced diet when trying to conceive.
What is this balanced diet?
A balanced diet, as mentioned by Dr. Sathe, is a complete meal that includes vitamins, minerals, protein, good fats and carbohydrates in an adequate level. As designed by our traditional system, our Indian daily meal i.e. Roti, Sabzi, Dal, Rice, Salad and Curd, does include all the essential nutrients required to maintain good health.
While balanced diet twice a day does its job, what one needs to focus on is sufficient supply of Folic acid, Vitamin E, Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12 and hydration, so that the multiplication of cells required to generate Sperm and Ovum happen seamlessly.
So here comes the list of super foods and fruits that contain the baby making nutrients:
- Folic Acid: The wonder cell development nutrient is found in Leafy greens like Spinach, Sarso and Methi; Beans, Peas and Lentils; Curry leaves, Citrus fruits like Orange and Strawberries; Other fruits like Papaya and Banana as well as Nuts like Almonds and Peanuts. They can also be found in Avocado, Lady Finger, Flax seeds, Cauliflower, Beets and Corn. To maintain quality and quantity of Sperm , a man should consume at least 2 bowls of Urad dal every day, as mentioned in Ayurveda.
- Vitamin E: The fertility vitamin is found in Almonds, Pistachios, Black currents, Apricots, Spinach, Sweet Potato, Avocado, Mango, Kiwi Fruit and Rice Bran oil.
- Iron: This important multifunction mineral is found in Soybean derived products like Tofu, Lentils, Beans, Peas, Flax Seeds, Green Leafy Veggies, Tomato, unpeeled Potato, Prunes, Dates and Mulberries.
- Vitamin C: This wonder vitamin is available mainly in citrus foods like Lemon, Orange, Kiwi, Black Current, Guava, Melon, Amla, Strawberries and Tomato. Surprisingly Papaya and Cauliflower are couple of other foods that are high in Vitamin C.
- Vitamin B12: The DNA synthesising and nerve vitamin is found in Dairy products, Eggs and Fortified Cereals. For non veg lovers sea food is filled with this wonder vitamin.
- Hydration: It is important to be well hydrated with at least 3 -5 litres of fluid per day. In addition to water you can choose to hydrate with coconut water once every day, which not only hydrates your body but, it also flushes out the toxins in the body. Trust me it worked really well for me!
Like I said earlier, diet structure in India is designed to support intake of healthy nutrition, and that is the reason not many women and men change their diets pre-conception in India. However, what one should say NO to is, the addiction bucket. (link to lifestyle changes) This addiction bucket should be stopped at least 4 months prior to conception so as to support healthy cell development.
While, what I mentioned above is more of a pragmatic approach towards conception, however, there is an alternate theory that suggests pre-conception diet, as per the stages of egg development, for women. This alternate theory, though very logical, its application is not very ideal.
So how does this alternate approach work?
It works on three main factors i.e. Food constitution | Climate | Time of Cycle
- Food constitution: Many times we have heard from our elders that a particular food has a hot constitution (गरम तासीर) or a cold constitution (ठंडक तासीर). But what each constituent has in the house is left to one’s assumption ;). So here is a complied list of day to day food items that fall in each of the food constitutions.
- Climate: Climatic conditions matter a lot! If one is staying in cold climatic conditions and have hot constitution foods in moderation, it will cause no harm, while if the same is done in moderate or hot weather conditions it will back fire during the early stages of pregnancy. So please, keep a tab on what you eat in a particular climatic condition!
- Time of the cycle: Starting from the day 1 of your cycle, whatever you consume has an impression on your health, as well as, on inception of the unicorn as mentioned in Ayurveda, says Dr. Shipra. So, what should be consumed in each stage of egg developmental cycle?
So what’s the bottom line?
No Binge but only balanced diet for 3 – 4 months prior to conception in order to get the healthy Sperm and Ovum.
A balanced diet should include all round nutrients. Include Grains, healthy Vegetables with Leafy Greens, Lentils – especially Urad dal for Men, 2 portions of Milk, one portion of Curd, Salads and one Fruit every day!
I truly believe that, a balanced diet together with good thoughts and a good lifestyle makes the journey of conception much easier and fun!
Enjoy food! Enjoy making unicorns!