For many couples who are trying to conceive (TTC), the period before pregnancy can sometimes be the most stressful. Many women often wonder if their daily habits can help or hinder their chances of getting pregnant. According to experts of the Nurses' Health Study, the commonly discussed "fertility diet" can be effective -if you follow 10 easy-to-follow tips for enhancing your chances of fertility. While the diet is not guaranteed to help everyone-- women experience infertility due to a wide variety of reasons-- it has been proven to help boost their chances in small ways, making it ranked as the 10th best overall diet by U.S. News and World Report.
The main benefit of the "fertility diet" is increased ovulation, which coincides with increased chances of pregnancy. Overall, the study relayed that a 66% lower risk of anovulatory infertility, along with a 28% lower risk of various other instances of infertility, correlated to women following the "fertility diet." According to Christy Brissette, president of 80 Twenty Nutrition, "This was a cohort study, meaning the women were followed over time and links were made between what they reported eating and their fertility. As such, the findings aren't cause-and-effect, but they are healthy recommendations that could be helpful in boosting fertility." Overall, the recommendations of switching your daily diet to one consisting of whole grains, healthy fats, full-fat dairy, and a higher amount of fruits and vegetables has its proven benefits to improving and maintaining chances of a successful pregnancy.
Among the ten top tips, the number one recommendation is to avoid trans fats while consuming more unsaturated vegetable oils instead. Vegetables can also provide protein and iron in place of unhealthy red meats. Other swaps when TTC include switching to whole milk to enrich your body with whole-fat dairy, and eating slow carbs instead of refined carbs such as white bread. General advice from the study includes taking a multivitamin, drinking lots of water, managing a healthy weight (maintaining a 20 to 24 BMI), and staying active to keep both your menstrual cycle and fertility odds on track.
Successful results from the diet include a decrease in refined carbs reducing ovulatory infertility, along with a multivitamin decreasing chances of birth defects. However, due to the countless reasons for a woman's infertility, the diet may not cover all aspects. The diet has been proven to help boost fertility amongst disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome, but will remain ineffective for other reasons, such as sperm defects. Regardless of your fertility situation, these simple steps can help put you on the right track for a healthy pregnancy!