A Vegetarian Fertility Friendly Diet

Are you a vegetarian and ttc?

If the answer is yes, you will want to make sure that you and your spouse are eating a fertility friendly diet. If you are lacking any of the following vitamins and nutrients, it may take you longer to conceive.

Wondering what a fertility friendly diet looks like?

Your pre-pregnancy diet should include plenty of vitamin D, vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, folic acids, protein, zinc, iron and calcium. And here is why they are so important if you are trying to get pregnant……

Vitamin D works in conjunction with calcium to maintain the health of bones and teeth. In addition, babies born from a vitamin D deficient diet can suffer from rickets. The good news is that you can get your recommended 5-10 micrograms a day by spending 15 minutes a day in the sun, eating fortified cereal, and drinking fortified milk. Talk with your doctor though, because it is common for vegetarians and vegans to need to take a supplement as part of a pre-pregnancy diet.

Vitamin B12 is important because babies born from moms that are B12 deficient are often born very week. They offer are diagnosed with failure to thrive, brain damage and delayed development. To get the recommended 3 micrograms per day, you will need to include Nutritional Yeast, fortified juices, cereals and meat substitutes. It is possible that you will need to take a supplement since B12 is only found in foods that come from animals, so talk with your doctor on you plan for including it in your diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for your baby’s brain and nervous system development. To get the recommended 4-5 grams a day, you will want to include fatty fish like salmon, DHA eggs, walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil and avocados. You will want to talk to your doctor to see if you need to add omega 6 to your diet as well.

Folic Acids are important to include in your diet so that your baby isn’t born with neural tube defects or spina bifida. To get your recommended 600 micrograms, there are many healthy food options. Included in the list are leafy greens, strawberries, papaya, legumes, oranges, corn, bran cereals, peanut butter, green beans, beets, peas and whole wheat bread.

To get the recommended 60-66 daily grams of protein, there are many food options. Included are eggs, dairy, fish, dried peas, tofu, soy products, nuts, seeds, beans and veggie burgers.

Zinc is important in your preconception plan to maintain the health of the sperm and eggs. Zinc is also involved the production, repair and overall functionality of the DNA. Zinc deficiencies are also linked to spontaneous abortion and congenital malformations as well. So to get the 15-30 daily milligrams needed, you can choose from whole grains, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, cereals and green leafy vegetables,

Iron is important in promoting a healthy immune system and to make red blood cells for both you and your baby. You can get your daily 30 milligrams by eating cereal, molasses, oatmeal, grains, legumes, dried fruits, tofu, dark leafy greens, spinach and beans.

Calcium works along with vitamin D to protect and maintain the health of your and the baby’s bones and teeth. You can get your 1000 milligrams per day by including dairy, soy, fortified orange juice, almonds, kale, bok choy, broccoli, dried figs, leafy greens, soy milk and corn tortillas in your diet.

You will want to discuss this list of vitamins and nutrients with your doctor to find out if you need to supplement your vegetarian diet in any way while you are ttc!


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By TTC veteran and mother of two, Elizabeth Andrews.