When you think of foods that boost fertility, you might think of zinc-rich oysters, ginseng, or even champagne, but in fact, none of these are nearly as effective as the foods we will discuss today. This information about what can really boost fertility come from the landmark Nurse’s Health Study.
The results were published by Harvard University in the book “The Fertility Diet”. The Nurse’s Study followed nearly 18,000 women over 8 years. The researchers carefully tracked the womens’ diets and lifestyle factors, and correlated those with how likely they were to have problems becoming pregnant (those trying to conceive).
The Harvard researchers came to some conclusions about what couples can do, regarding diet and lifestyle, to maximize their chance of becoming pregnant. Here is a summary.
For fertility: normal weight helps a lot
If you are either underweight or overweight, menstrual cycles and ovulation can be disturbed or even stop completely. Try to gain or lose weight to get into the “fertile zone”, with a normal Body Mass Index of 20 to 24.
Lose weight gradually
If you want to lose weight, do it gradually. Being on a “crash” diet makes you less likely to conceive. Your body needs to sense that you have adequate food available before it will allow a baby into your life.
The man should have a normal BMI too
In many cases of infertility, the cause is a problem with the man’s sperm. An overweight man will tend to have lower testosterone levels, along with decreased and less mobile sperm. So the male partner may need to lose weight to get into his “fertility zone” as well.
Less animal protein
The Nurse’s Study showed that problems related to ovulatory infertility were nearly 40 percent more likely in women who ate the most animal protein.
More plant protein and healthy fats
Try to replace animal protein with more plant proteins, such as beans, legumes, soy, tofu, nuts, seeds, fish, and olive oil. The women who ate healthier, with a more plant-based diet, had a 66% lower risk of ovulatory infertility.
Less fast-absorbing carbohydrates
Less soda, white bread, white pasta, cookies, cakes, etc.
More slow-absorbing carbs
Such as whole wheat bread and pasta, legumes, fruits and vegetables All these have lots of fiber that slows carbohydrate absorption.
Full-fat dairy daily
One or two servings per day of whole milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, or ice cream seem to boost fertility. The dairy fat may stabilize reproductive hormones.
Avoid processed food and trans-fat
More high iron food (or supplements)
Such as spinach, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, and beets.
Especially important is iron and folic acid, that helps prevent neural defects in developing fetuses.
Alcohol will dehydrate you and not a good idea if you become pregnant.
Lots of water
Keeps your metabolism and digestion moving, helps keep hunger under control, and thins cervical mucous to make conception more likely.
Of course none of these measures will guarantee pregnancy, but they can help. As a plus, these things will help you keep fit overall, and help you avoid obesity!
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