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Fertility Diet: 7 science based food tips for TTC

Which fertility diet tips actually work? Which fertility diet prevents endometriosis? Or helps with sperm counts? Dr Randy Morris MD-The BOARD CERTIFIED fertility expert with weekly TTC tips on InfertilityTV

Fertility diets – Are they fact or fiction? In today’s episode, we will discuss whether fruits, vegetables, fast food, seafood, trans fats and carbs can help or hurt your fertility. Stay tuned to the end for my specific diet recommendations. (more below)

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First, don’t get confused. There are many different types of diets for a variety of medical problems. A diet to lower cholesterol, for example, won’t necessarily help with your fertility.
Second, if you are overweight, ANY type of diet that will allow you to lose weight will improve your fertility. Let’s get into some specifics.

Fruits and vegetables — A new study found that women who eat fast food and little or no fruit take longer to become pregnant. For women who had with the lowest intake of fruit, the risk of infertility increased from 8% to 12%, and in those who ate fast food four or more times a week, the risk of infertility doubled from 8% to 16%.

Fast foods included burgers, pizza, fried chicken and chips that were bought from take-away or fast food outlets. These findings were true regardless of female weight (BMI ).

The LIFE (Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment) study of 501 couples planning pregnancy shows that couples consuming two or more servings of seafood every week enjoyed more sex and got pregnant faster than those eating seafood less often. After 1 year, 92% of couples with a seafood-rich diet had conceived compared with 79% of couples with diets that contained less fish and shellfish.

Another study found that a diet high in trans fats were 48% more likely to develop endometriosis than those with the lowest consumption. However women eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, seemed to protect against the disease as these women had a 22% reduced risk of developing endometriosis

A survey of women with and without ovulation problems found that women with ovulation problems were more likely to eat low fat dairy products, refined carbs, get their protein from animal products and consume trans fats. So if you have an ovulation problem avoid these things.

A typical Mediterranean diet contains a high amount of vegetables, fruits, olive oil, beans and cereal grains, moderate amounts of fish, dairy products, and wine, and only a small amount of red meat and poultry. A study from Greece of nearly 250 women found that those women who adhered most closely to this diet had 66% higher pregnancy rates during IVF.

Men who follow Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI guidelines) (a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products and a relatively low intake of refined grains, saturated fatty acids, and added sugars) showed significantly better results for concentration, total sperm count, and percentage of normal semen morphology compared with men who didn’t follow such a diet.

So to put this all together. My recommendations for a fertility diet. It seems reasonable to eat some fruits and vegetables every day. Seafood at least twice a week. Stay away from fast foods and foods that are high in trans fats. If you have an ovulation problem, try to switch from low fat dairy to high fat dairy. Get more of your protein from plants sources that from animal sources. Swap out your current vegetable oil for Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The Mediterranean diet takes most of these recommendations into account already. If you follow that diet closely you should maximize your fertility.

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Music: Divider – Chris Zabriskie (CC BY 3.0)

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