It can be both exciting and daunting to think about starting a family however, many couples will get pregnant with little worry. Primary infertility is defined as an inability to conceive after one year of trying. In New Zealand, approximately 1 in 5 people experience infertility. It’s a good idea to take note of your current diet to make sure what you’re eating is conducive to your reproductive health. Eating enough protein, healthy fats and antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables is a good place to start.
Lean red meat is not only an efficient source of protein but also contains essential minerals needed for conception and a healthy pregnancy.
- We can think of zinc as the kingpin of fertility as it’s required for egg production, regulating reproductive hormones, sperm maturation and many other processes throughout the reproductive cycle. Zinc is widely distributed in foods, but is more bioavailable from animal products such as beef and lamb. Beef and lamb provide an excellent source of zinc, with a 150 grams serve providing at least 25% of the recommended daily intake for adults.
- Selenium is a mineral that acts as a powerful antioxidant and is necessary for healthy sperm quality. A deficiency in selenium may cause complications with conception and pregnancy.
Did you know women need 2-3 times more iron than usual when they're pregnant? Read our ten top tips for improving your iron intake before you become pregnant. Tips include:
- Beware of dieting: Research shows girls and women on low calorie diets often go short on iron.
- See red: Iron is found in a number of foods, including red meat. In general, the redder the meat, the higher the iron content.
- Choose a variety of foods: Eating a variety of foods is the best way to get enough iron. Choose foods from each of the main food groups to ensure you have enough iron each day: breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, dairy foods and red meat, fish, chicken, eggs, beans or lentils.