A healthy diet lets your reproductive system perform at its best during fertility treatment. When you are struggling to achieve conception, every little bit that you can do to increase your chances of getting pregnant is a good thing. But a healthy diet does not mean that you have to give up all the treats. Experts believe that a little bit of chocolate (in moderation) can be a good thing for getting pregnant.
In general, dark chocolate tends to have more health benefits than milk chocolate, particularly if it is 70 percent cocoa content or higher. It is considered a good fat, which means that it is a kind of fat your body needs to perform at its best. In addition to the good fats found in chocolate, it also has arginine and flavonoids. Arginine is important in helping arteries relax and improving blood flow through the body. Flavonoids are antioxidants that can help the body and mind free themselves from free radicals, which are harmful to healthy cells.
Chocolate does contain caffeine, however. Because caffeine is known to increase the risks in some women for miscarriage and other conception complications, it is important to watch out for how much you get in a day. Most doctors agree that having a cup of coffee a day is not a problem for women who are trying to conceive.
But if you have a cup of coffee, be mindful when you start eating things like chocolate that also have caffeine. Most doctors recommend that you get no more than 100 mg of caffeine a day, although there is no “safe” level currently documented by medical science. A chart of common foods and drinks that contain caffeine and the amount they have is provided at Resolve.org.
But most importantly, let’s not forget that chocolate tastes wonderful. It not only has health benefits, but it has comforting powers as well. Who doesn’t need a little lift when riding the emotional roller coaster that is infertility treatment? Who couldn’t benefit from a little treat to reward getting through another hard decision, difficult workout or milestone for weight loss? Chocolate has several benefits, even if they all aren’t documented by scientific research.
Fertility treatment to achieve conception can be challenging to anyone. When you are working on getting pregnant, there is no question that a little chocolate once in a while can be a great reward. As long as it is consumed in moderation, chocolate can be good for your health and might even help you get closer to starting a family.
“Go Ahead! Have Some Chocolate!” www.fertilityauthority.com. Web. 3 February 2014. < http://www.fertilityauthority.com/content/go-ahead-have-some-chocolate>
Pauli, MD Samuel a. et al. “Caffeine: Does it Affect Your Fertility and Pregnancy?” www.resolve.org. Web. 3 February 2014. < http://www.resolve.org/infertility-overview/optimizing-fertility/caffeine-does-it-affect-your-fertility-and-pregnancy.html>
“Arginine: Health Benefits and Side Effects” www.webmd.com. Web. 23 January 2014. < http://www.webmd.com/heart/arginine-heart-benefits-and-side-effects>
Strand, Erik. “Flavonoids: Antioxidants Help the Mind.” 8 July 2003. Web. 23 January 2014. < http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200307/flavonoids-antioxidants-help-the-mind>