Do Fertility Diets Really Work? New Science Offers Answers


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Getting pregnant doesn’t always come easily for some women and couples, leading them to try everything from oysters and eggs to sunflower seeds and grapefruit just to conceive. A newly-released diet for fertility may have answers—and they’re based in science instead of old Facebook Groups’ tales.

Harvard School of Public Health’s Drs. Jorge Chavarro and Walter Willet recently released a nutrition-based book, The Fertility Diet: Groundbreaking Research Reveals Natural Ways to Boost Ovulation and Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant. So what do these Harvard docs have to say about eating to conceive?

photo: via Pexels 

The pair reviewed the diets of over 18,000 women. Not so surprisingly, they found that women with better quality diets, those who were more active and those who didn’t smoke were more likely to get pregnant. Chavarro and Willet aren’t only experts who believe that healthy eating is tied to fertility.

In an interview with CNN, Dr. Marie Menke, assistant professor and director of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said, “If you are going to be searching for a fertility diet, this is a good place to start. Research shows an association between this dietary pattern and a reduced risk of infertility in some women.”

When it comes to specifics, Chavarro and Willet recommend avoiding trans fats, using unsaturated vegetable oils (such as olive oil), eating vegetable protein, choosing whole grains, drinking one glass of whole milk a day, getting iron from fruits and veggies and aiming for a healthy weight. Along with diet, the doctors also suggest getting some physical activity (but not overdoing it) and if you smoke—quit right now.

—Erica Loop



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