The Fertility Diet: Tip the Scales in Your Favor


If you’re trying to get pregnant, you may wonder if certain foods could boost your chances of conception. the majority of infertility cases due to ovulation disorders may be preventable through diet and lifestyle modifications.

Here are the fertility diet recommendations:

  • Eat a higher monounsaturated to trans fat ratio. Getting just 2 percent of calorie intake from trans fats rather than from omega-6 fatty acids was associated with an increase in the risk of ovulatory infertility. Trans fats, which are found in processed foods like doughnuts, pastries, margarine and cookies, are thought to disrupt the hormonal pathway. On the other hand, vegetables, fruits and whole grains have a beneficial effect on ovulation.
  • Eat a high percentage of vegetable protein rather than animal protein. Replacing animal protein such as red meat with vegetable protein may reduce the risk of ovulatory infertility. Healthy vegetable protein includes sources such as beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.
  • Eat carbohydrates that are low on the glycemic index. Simple carbs like potatoes, white bread or pasta, and sugary drinks may boost the chances of ovulatory infertility. Eating slowly digested complex carbs that are high in fiber may improve fertility.  These complex carbs are low on the glycemic index (GI), a numerical system that ranks carbohydrates on a scale of 0 to 100, according to the effect on blood glucose (sugar) levels.
  • Eat high-fat dairy products instead of low-fat dairy. The fertility diet recommends drinking one glass of full-fat milk (or yogurt or ice cream) daily. In the Harvard study, these high-fat dairy foods were found to possibly decrease the risk of anovulatory infertility.
  • Eat foods high in iron and take a supplement with folic acid. The fertility diet study revealed that women who ate fruits, vegetables, or beans high in iron and women that took iron supplements were more likely to get pregnant.

A supplement with folic acid is important to help your body make healthy new cells. All women must get enough folic acid before and during pregnancy to prevent major birth defects related to the baby’s brain, heart and spine. Also, some newer studies report that taking folic acid a year before getting pregnant may help prevent preterm births (before 37 full weeks of gestation).

It’s recommended that women of childbearing age get at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily. Your doctor may recommend as much as 800 mcg daily for pregnancy. (Most standard multivitamins contain 400 mcg.)


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