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How to Reduce Exposure to Toxic Pesticides That Can Decrease Fertility

How to Reduce Exposure to Toxic Pesticides That Can Decrease Fertility

When it comes to starting your family-building journey, patients often look for ways to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. Whether you are starting fertility treatment or trying another IVF cycle, there are simple ways to improve your chances of a successful pregnancy by having an awareness of what foods you are putting into your body. For example, eating organic foods can help boost your fertility and increase the likelihood of a successful pregnancy because these foods, which are grown in soil that has no prohibited substances such as pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, limit your exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals. Here are helpful tips on how to reduce exposure to toxic pesticides that can decrease fertility.

Fertility Boosting Foods

Not sure where to start when it comes to making healthier choices? There are two different lists to keep in mind when grocery shopping: the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen. These are put together each year by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) based on testing conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Having an awareness of the produce from the Dirty Dozen and prioritizing purchasing those on the Clean Fifteen will help to reduce your exposure to toxic pesticides which negatively impact pregnancy rates. So, what food items are on these lists and what precautions should you take when shopping for them?

The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen list consists of produce items that have a higher chance of being contaminated with pesticide residues when grown conventionally.

The produce on the list are:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, collard, and mustard greens
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Cherries
  8. Peaches
  9. Pears
  10. Bell and hot peppers
  11. Celery
  12. Tomatoes

This doesn’t mean that you should avoid eating these foods altogether, but rather you should make sure to purchase organic produce to reduce your risk of exposure. Additionally, you should thoroughly wash your produce before cooking or eating it.

The Clean Fifteen

Conversely, the Clean Fifteen list features fruits and vegetables that aren’t as susceptible to absorbing these toxins, no matter what kind of soil they are grown in.

The produce on this list include:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet peas (frozen)
  7. Eggplant
  8. Asparagus
  9. Broccoli
  10. Cabbage
  11. Kiwi
  12. Cauliflower
  13. Mushrooms
  14. Honeydew melon
  15. Cantaloupe

With these fruits and vegetables, you can safely purchase conventional, or non-organic versions. That being said, it’s important to still take the same precautions—buying organic and washing them thoroughly before using them—in order to further reduce your risk.

These lists are a great starting point when it comes to incorporating more organic foods into your diet (which can be done on a budget). You may also consider following a diet that consists of more plant-based proteins rather than animal proteins, and avoiding processed, packaged foods. Both of these changes are beneficial when it comes to increasing your chances of conceiving.

Remember, the goal isn’t to add stress or overwhelm you with information but to help you make healthier choices when starting your family-building journey. If you have questions, please contact us to set up your initial consultation.

Contact Us

At Fertility Centers of New England, patients come to us because they are struggling with infertility and/or miscarriages. If you have more questions about fertility or how to reduce exposure to toxic pesticides that can decrease fertility, please contact us for a consultation.


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