More and more evidence links a healthy diet to increased fertility. One way to look at a fertility diet is to focus on what you can and should eat; this will help you crowd out other foods that don’t support fertility. A fertility diet includes foods that increase fertility and your chances of getting pregnant.
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet has been shown to increase the chance of IVF success in addition to a multitude of other health benefits. This diet is high in fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and olive oil and promotes eating fish over red meat and poultry. This diet lays the foundation to include many foods that would comprise a fertility boosting diet.
There is correlation between a plant-based diet and a successful outcome with fertility treatments according to a recent study. As the name indicates, plant-based foods come from plants and don’t contain animal products. They include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans and seeds.
A diet higher in plant-based protein rather than animal protein has been shown to reduce the risk of infertility, including ovulatory infertility. Good sources of plant-based protein include spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, beans, lentils and nuts.
Organically Raised, Fresh Produce
Fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense, whole foods, and by eating a rainbow of colors, you’re getting a wide variety of nutrients. Organic produce is best because these foods aren’t genetically modified or treated with hormone-disrupting chemical pesticides. Women with the highest pesticide intake had a 26% lower chance of having a live birth according to a recently published study. Organic, frozen fruits and vegetables are a good substitute when fresh fruits and veggies are not in season or unavailable.
Concerned about the cost of organics? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) provides two excellent resources, the annual “Clean 15” and “Dirty Dozen.” They list produce with the most and least amount of pesticides to help you decide what to buy organic.
Gluten-free Whole Grains
Whole grains appear to be a fertility booster. Because wheat is one of the eight most common allergic foods and can cause a number of reactions including constipation, gas, bloating and even hormonal imbalance, a switch to gluten-free grains makes sense. These include barley, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millet and amaranth.
Omega 3- and Omega-6 Fatty Acids
These healthy sources of fats may play a vital role in implantation and maintaining pregnancy. Omega 3s includes wild-caught salmon, halibut and sardines, walnuts, flax seeds and flax seed oil. Omega 6 fatty acids are found in walnuts, sunflower seeds, avocado oil, almonds and cashews.