If you are trying to conceive, there are certain foods you can eat to improve your chances. Here they are:
1. Grapefuit. From the first day of your cycle (when your period starts) to the day of ovulation, eat as much grapefruit as you can. Grapefuit increases the production of cervical mucus, especially at the time of ovulation.
How does this help? Well the environment of the vagina is normally harmful to sperm. The walls of the vagina are acidic to protect the woman from bacteria and other infection and sperm that come into contact with it will die. However, around the time of ovulation, the body produces a clear transparent mucus which looks like raw egg whites (and is commonly known as EWCM or egg-white-cervical-mucus). This is safe for sperm – the idea is that the sperm get into the cervical mucus and thus protected, swim safely through it to get to the egg. The more cervical mucus you can produce at this time, the easier it is for the sperm to swim to the egg. And this is where the grapefruit comes in – it increases your production of cervical mucus at the critical time.
2. Pineapple. Once ovulation takes place, eat a whole pineapple including the core, as often as possible till implantation occurs (this usually takes place between 7 to 10 days post ovulation).
Pineapple (and especially the core of the pineapple), contains an enzyme called bromelain, which increases the flow of blood to the uterus and also has an anti-inflammatory effect. In order for implantation to occur successfully, the mother’s womb must not reject the fetus. To do that, there needs to be a shift from the TH1 immune cells to Th2 cells (this shift also prevents miscarriage). According to the following website, pineapple helps this shift take place, allowing for successful implantation to occur.
3. Manuka Honey. Manuka honey also containes anti-inflammatory properties. Manuka honey is honey produced from nectar from the manuka tree in New Zealand. Manuka honey pots come with a Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) on the front – you want to buy the pots with a factor of 10 or higher. Eat it spread on bread or toast in the morning.
To recap – from the first day of your cycle until ovulation, eat a lot of grapefruit to stimulate your body’s production of cervical mucus to aid the sperm to swim to the egg. Once ovulation has taken place, switch to eating whole pineapples (including the core) and manuka honey.
Foods To Avoid When Trying To Conceive
Of course while you are busily chomping through your grapefruit, pineapple and manuka honey, you don’t want to eat anything that hinders your chances of conception. Here’s what to avoid:
1. Alcohol has been known to impede implantation of the fertilized egg. Therefore from the date of ovulation onwards, avoid drinking any alcohol. If you have to drink, only drink small amounts and eat something fatty at the same time (to slow the rate the alcohol goes into the intestines, to give your liver a chance to metabolize it all before it hits your bloodstream and gets to the womb). Obviously as soon as you get a positive on your pregnancy test, stop drinking immediately.
2. Caffeine also impedes implantation, so give it up from the date of ovulation onwards. (Caffeine occurs in coffee, tea and chocolate). I actually found it easier to give up than I thought – it turned out that what I was craving in the morning was a hot drink rather than coffee – so a hot infusion of blueberry or apple worked (most supermarkets will sell fruit infusion tea bags to make it easier to brew your drink). Hot malted drinks (such as horlicks and ovaltine) provide the same function.