Nutrition’s significance to the health of women before conception is now better understood. What you eat can affect your chances of getting pregnant, but the overall picture is not entirely clear, as it can be difficult to separate diet from other factors.
However, if you’re having trouble getting pregnant, you should think about changing your diet. Consuming foods that reduce inflammation may be helpful. Omega-3 fatty acids are the best foods for reducing inflammation. These fats are derived from fish oils, like those found in wild-caught salmon. Kale, spinach, beets, and collard greens are examples of green leafy vegetables.
Scroll down to see some naturally anti-inflammatory foods you can eat while pregnant.
What is Inflammation?
The body uses inflammation as a natural defense against infection. But other things like stress or obesity can also be the culprit.
Prolonged or chronic inflammation can lead to insulin resistance and studies suggest it is linked to many conditions that may affect fertility, such as preterm birth, preeclampsia, implantation failure and miscarriage.
- Acute Inflammation-Acute inflammation can be brought on by bacteria invading the body, trauma-related tissue damage, or noxious substances. It starts rapidly, becomes severe in a short time and symptoms may last for a few days for example cellulitis or acute pneumonia. Subacute inflammation can last for two to six weeks and is the stage between acute and chronic inflammation.
- Chronic Inflammation-Chronic inflammation is also known as slow, long-term inflammation that lasts for extended periods of several months to years. The severity and outcomes of chronic inflammation typically depend on the origin of the injury and the body’s capacity to heal and reverse the harm. Chronic inflammation is discussed in this article.
What Can Cause Inflammation in Pregnant Women?
An individual inflammatory environment is present at every stage of pregnancy. The first and third trimesters are proinflammatory (TH1), whereas the second trimester represents an anti-inflammatory phase also knowns and TH2 environment.
Obesity, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, smoking, pollution, low socioeconomic status, depression, psychosocial stress, autoimmune diseases, and asthma are common maternal diseases and environmental factors that are linked to systemic chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation also involves an infection. These maternal inflammatory states play a critical role in immune activation during pregnancy through the placenta and immature blood-brain barrier to cause dysfunction in the developing fetal brain and prepare the child to be susceptible to future hits through microglia activation and epigenetic alterations, manifesting a spectrum of diverse neurodevelopmental outcomes with varied expression and progression.
Natural Anti-inflammatory Food
Let’s get right to the important stuff. The following foods are widely recognized to be anti-inflammatory so should be incorporated into your diet:
In its raw state, olive oil contains omega-9 fats and a chemical called oleocanthal, both of which have anti-inflammatory actions on the body. There is proof that women who consume diets high in monounsaturated fat have higher fertility rates. For men, diets rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve sperm health, quality and motility.
Dress salads, drizzle over toast with fresh tomatoes or swirl on top of soups to add flavour and load up on the benefits. Beware, once you heat olive oil it becomes pro-inflammatory, so opt for seed oils for cooking at higher temperatures.
Oily Fish and Shellfish
High levels of omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish like salmon, sardines, and mussels, which enhance the body’s natural anti-inflammatory processes.
Limit your weekly intake of oily fish to two servings. This is due to the possibility that contaminants from oily fish could accumulate in the body and have an impact on a developing baby while it is still inside the mother. See our blog post about what you can and can’t eat while pregnant for more information on fish and shellfish.
Including iodine-rich foods, such as seaweed, in your diet is a good idea if you plan to get pregnant. It is best to encourage women to increase their iodine intake several months before getting pregnant. Right now, there aren’t any recommendations in particular.
Soft tofu cubes, crunchy seaweed, and flavorful spring onions can all be used to make your own miso soup. Take pleasure in it as a starter or a snack.
Nuts and Seeds
Alpha linoleic acid (ALA), a type of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid that is abundant in some nuts and seeds, helps to control inflammation. It is also a source of magnesium, l-arginine, and vitamin E. So opt for flaxseed, chia, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, and pistachios.
Remember to eat nuts and seeds mindfully once a day because they are high in calories and can be very salty.
Additionally, make an effort to favor plant-based proteins like tofu, tempeh, lentils, pulses, and beans over animal proteins. There is evidence that this could help with ovulatory infertility.
Fruit and Vegetables
Natural polyphenols and antioxidants are abundant in fruit and vegetables. Consume plenty of green leafy vegetables or inflammatory-reducing fruits like oranges, strawberries, and blueberries.
To further strengthen your body’s ability to fight inflammation, you could cook your vegetables with some spices like ginger, garlic, and turmeric. Or use our best smoothie recipes to get your recommended daily fruit intake.
Other Supplements to Consider
Additionally, it is advised to take a 400 microgram (mcg) supplement of folic acid as soon as you begin trying for a baby, as well as a daily 10 microgram (mcg) supplement of vitamin D, both of which have positive effects on fertility.
Foods to Avoid in An Anti-inflammatory Diet:
- Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, white pasta, pastries
- Foods and drinks with extra sugar; like fizzy drinks
- Processed meats (hot dogs, sausages, burgers)
- Margarine, shortening, & lard
- Ready-made desserts, such as cookies & sweets
- Excess alcohol
Be particularly mindful when eliminating convenience foods in pre-packaged forms. They may seem easy to grab when fixing a quick meal, but they can be loaded with salt, saturated/ trans fats, and sugar which we know can make inflammation worse.
Pregnant women are prone to a variety of inflammatory disorders and are always at risk. Olive oil and plant-based proteins are two of the previously mentioned foods that naturally reduce inflammation. If you suffer from inflammation, try them out!