When you’re trying to conceive, there are a couple of different reasons to add vegetables to your diet. Not only does it help your body be more “pregnancy friendly”, a veggie boost is beneficial to your health even if you don’t end up getting pregnant for a couple of months. Not only does it make it easier to conceive, but a healthy diet also gives your baby a head-start in the world – if you start improving your diet now, you can start nourishing him or her before you even know you’re pregnant.
How to craft a vegetable-friendly TTC diet
Adding more nutrients to your diet can be easier said than done, though, especially if you’re a picky eater yourself. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Reimagine your toast
When you’re at the beginning of your quest to bring more greens into your diet, breakfast is a great place to start. Avocado, which is full of nutrients that boost fertility, including folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin K, makes a great spread for your toast in the morning, and can be embellished with spice combinations as simple as salt and pepper, or as involved as lemon juice, red chili flakes, and garlic powder.
Savory oatmeal is another addition you can make to your breakfast, but it can really be a part of any meal or snacktime. Cook your raw oats in water, then add your boiled, roasted or sauteed vegetables to the oats, along with whatever condiments you feel go best with those vegetables. A good rule of thumb is that anything you can add to rice can also be added to savory oatmeal.
Leafy greens like spinach or kale are easy additions to your usual fruit smoothie. Depending on the fruit you use, the color of your smoothie might not appear the most appealing, but they pair well together, and add a nice boost of folate, iron, vitamin A and calcium to your routine.
Jazz up your salads
The leafy greens in a salad provide the same nutrients as that handful of spinach or kale in your smoothie, but to a much greater degree. On the other hand, though, salad isn’t always the most exciting meal. It is a versatile one, though, and the addition of grains or beans tossed with your greens can make any salad more interesting and more filling.
Pair with cheese
Adding vegetables into your diet doesn’t mean you have to let go of old favorites. You can add tomatoes, sauteed zucchini, roasted carrots or steamed broccoli to your grilled cheese sandwich or your macaroni and cheese and boost the nutritional value of your comfort food easily.
Roast and toast
Roasted vegetables are a great addition to any salad or pasta, and work just as well as a side dish. Plus, roasting vegetables leaves more of the nutrients intact than cooking them in water. Any vegetable without too much water content (think carrots and cauliflower, not celery and spinach) can be roasted. Just preheat your oven to 425 F, chop your vegetable into bite-sized pieces, brush them with olive oil and spice to taste, cook on one side till that side is brown, then flip.