To Your Health
January, 2023 (Vol. 17, Issue 01)
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The Fertility Booster

By Editorial Staff

If you're struggling to conceive a child with your partner, listen up: what you eat (or don't eat) could make a big difference. So before you turn to fertility drugs, hormone therapy or in-vitro fertilization (IVF), learn how the Mediterranean diet can increase your chances of conception – naturally.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole grains, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, olive oil and fish. It's high in plant-based foods commonly eaten by people who live near the Mediterranean Sea. Not part of the Mediterranean diet: red meat, refined grains, processed foods, butter and refined / processed oils. Previous research links those types of foods with increased inflammation, which can negatively influence fertility.

According to a new study, "[A]dherence to anti-inflammatory diets such as the Mediterranean diet (specifically, increased intake of monounsaturated and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, flavonoids, and reduced intake of red and processed meat) improves fertility, assisted reproductive technology (ART) success, and sperm quality." Findings appear in the journal Nutrients and are based on a review of the existing research on the topic.

Infertility (failure to conceive after more than one year of unprotected intercourse) is a global problem, affecting an estimated 48 million couples and 186 million individuals, according to the researchers. If adopting the Mediterranean diet can make you and/or your partner more fertile – and increase your overall health in numerous ways, as suggested by previous research (lower risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc.), what do you stand to lose? Talk to your doctor to learn more.