Is There a Healthy Fertility Diet?

It’s frustrating trying to get pregnant only to discover your body will not cooperate. This frustration only increases if your doctor can’t find any reason you can’t conceive.   

Before trying a medical reproductive solution like in vitro fertilization, consider changing your diet to improve your health.

Although this may sound like a glib solution, new studies suggest that a healthy diet may work wonders in improving fertility.

Harvard Studies Suggest Positive Effects

Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reviewed the research literature on the impact of diet on fertility.

They found that healthy diets like the Mediterranean diet, and nutrients like omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin B12, and folic acid had a positive effect.  

They also found that many dietary ideas commonly believed to improve fertility had no effect at all. This list included foods like soy and dairy products and nutritional supplements like vitamin D and antioxidants.   

Meanwhile, other foods assumed to reduce fertility, like alcohol and caffeine, had no effect at all.

The researchers also confirmed that sweetened beverages, potatoes, and red processed meats had a negative effect.  

The Effect of Diet on Male Fertility  

Diet also affects male sexual health. Semen quality improves with a healthy low trans-fat diet and gets worse with an unhealthy diet rich in saturated fats.  

Like women, alcohol and caffeine had no noticeable effect on fertility, and unlike women, antioxidants improved fertility.  

Other Studies on Diet and Fertility  

Many studies now examine the effects of diet on fertility.

Here are some of their general conclusions:  

  • While sugar-sweetened beverages like energy drinks and sodas reduce fertility fruit juices and diet sodas have no effect on it.
  • Women who eat fast foods take a longer time to get pregnant compared to women who eat a healthier diet.  
  • Couples who eat low-mercury seafood tend to be more fertile than couples who rarely eat seafood.

Optimize Your Chances of Success  

The plethora of studies on the relationship between a healthy diet and pregnancy has allowed doctors to create a checklist of the do’s and don’ts for improving fertility.  

Here are some of their general medical recommendations:

  • Eat a healthy diet.   
  • Take prenatal vitamins.   
  • A higher dosage of folic acid may be beneficial if it does not conflict with other medications.  
  • A healthy body weight improves the chances of conception while obesity increases the risk of complications.   
  • Although vitamins are good, an excessive amount may be harmful for pregnant women.  An excessive amount of vitamin A, for example, may slow down the development of the fetus.  
  • Since some medications may stop a woman from getting pregnant while others may harm the developing fetus, a woman who wants to get pregnant or who is pregnant should check with her doctor.  

A Good Diet May Be All You Need  

Although it can frustrate you not to get pregnant despite a medical bill of clean health, the solution may be closer than you think: a change in your diet. By substituting healthy foods for the standard American diet, you may find it easy to conceive.

It’s always a good idea to find out what foods you should eat and what foods you should avoid eating if you hope to get pregnant. It’s also a good idea to research nutritional supplements and learn about any side effects of medications you may be taking.  

Since studies in nutritional science suggests that a change in diet can lead to a wide spectrum of benefits, including increasing fertility, speaking to a nutritionist and adopting a healthy diet may be just the solution you need.

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