So, it’s the end of an era. The end of your party for two.
Cue: Scene 1, Act 2: Parenthood Fact 2: The Wait.
As the dust settles on your newfound plan of parenthood, begins an uncertain waiting game only to be broken by the monthly turn of the crimson tide. And so far, there’s no stork in sight.
Riding the wave to conception can be a stressful, often frustrating experience, fraught with doubts and deliberations. And while it can be tempting to seek an early detour by considering infertility treatment right away, your plate can be invitation enough for the stork.
Fertility superfoods can pave way for a conducive ecosystem for pregnancy. This guide takes the top 10 that ought to be a part of your next shopping list.
Dairy is a hat-tip to not just healthy bones but also to your reproductive machinery. If you’re one for all things cheese and milk, this is your golden ticket to Dairyland. Of course, as with everything, it’s important to be mindful of quantity, so meet a nutritionist to know how much you should be consuming as part of your preconception diet.
On Your Plate: Dairy is possibly one of the easiest food groups to fold into your fertility diet. A mug of milk with breakfast, a spoonful of ghee with lunch or a slice of cheese at teatime are just some of the ways you can moove dairy into your daily meal plan.
India is a treasure trove of delicious citrus produce. From mosambi and oranges to grapefruits and lemons, you can inspire your menu with the season’s best. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, potassium, calcium and folate, the last of which has a hand in regulating ovulation and promoting healthy eggs. Aim at eating at least one portion of citrus fruit each day.
On Your Plate: A helping of citrus fruit can be a tantalising addition to your day. Kickstart your morning with a juicy kiwi, slip a Kinnow orange into your bag for later, or unwind with a cooling glass of mosambi juice after dinner.
If you’re an egg aficionado, this here is your seal of approval to stock up on the good stuff! Eggs brim with vitamins, minerals and amino acids that boost the quality of the follicles. Amino acids can go a long way in arresting neural tube anomalies at birth and augmenting brain development.
On Your Plate: This can’t be that hard certainly, but we’ll give you a list anyway! Eggs cooked all ways are tasty and nutrient-rich, so experiment with omelettes and eggs poached, boiled and fried. French toast (minus the spoonfuls of sugar) is also a good way to go as a breakfast option.
The gentle lentil is a time-honoured secret of fertility. Filled with fibre and B vitamins, lentils are an excellent source of iron and folate, and an integral part of Indian cuisine, forming the centrepiece of regional culinary pockets, from North to South and East to West. It’s likely you already eat some form of dal everyday, so you may already be one step ahead in the fertility game.
On Your Plate: Dal, rajma, moong, chana, sambar, masoor dal, lobia and split peas can all make for delectable dishes on your dinner table. With summer setting in, consider mixing in some light soups to cool you down in the unforgiving heat.
Leafy greens are the original prenatal nutrients, and are available in an array of forms. Choose among spinach, fenugreek, broccoli and cabbage, or pick them all for a classic bring-back-winter cookout in your kitchen. Leafy greens carry essential prenatal nutrients like calcium, iron and folate, which also works as a shield against fetal abnormalities of the brain and spine. It’s important to be proactive about stocking up on these nutrients even while you’re trying to conceive because it can be a few weeks before you realise that you’re pregnant.
On Your Plate: Leafy green veggies lend to some all-time favourite dishes. Palak paneer, methi aloo, broccoli stir fry and cabbage sabzi are all flavourful options that double up as fertility-boosting superfoods.
So, the next time you sit down for dinner, say a little prayer and leave your window open just in case; because by introducing fertility superfoods onto your plate, the stork will have more than one reason to pay you a visit.