Posted: May 24, 2012 11:10 AM by NBC News (CC)
The dream of having a healthy baby starts long before the infant is brought home.
The website www.whattoexpect.com has narrowed down the key foods to help women and men up their baby-making odds.
They include minerals, starting with calcium for women. Three servings a day -- and not just in milk and cheese, but also broccoli, soy products and leafy green veggies.
"Calcium is good for the person and for the baby because it's a key component of bone. It also is involved in muscle contraction and the nervous system as well," said OB-GYN Joseph Walsh, M.D.
Another mineral for women - manganese, required for reproductive health and found in spinach, carrots, whole grains, nuts and bananas.
Zinc, good for women and men, can be found in meats, almonds, yogurt, eggs, and cooked shellfish. It is double duty when men eat oysters- an aphrodisiac- and full of zinc. It helps with sperm production.
Pomegranate juice and pumpkin seeds boost sperm count and studies show the more produce a man consumes, the more active his sperm.
Doctors said making the right choices at the grocery store can boost your odds of conceiving.