Written by By Emily Wunder
While there may be many other factors, food impacts fertility.
The Nurse’s Health Study, which began in 1976 and continues today with thousands of participants, has collected data on fertility and diet and lifestyle. The study found that these items can be used to promote fertility in women:
First is a low intake of trans fats and a higher intake of monounsaturated fats. Trans fats can be found in shortening, some margarine and vegetable oils. On food labels, look for hydrogenated oil in the ingredient list to avoid these.
Next is a greater plant protein intake and lower animal protein intake. To achieve this, start incorporating beans, lentils, nuts and nut butters, sprouts and whole grains such as oats, quinoa and amaranth into your diet.
Go for a greater intake of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates have vitamins, minerals and fiber, making them overall healthier and more slowly digested. This fiber helps with fullness, cholesterol control, blood-sugar control and bowel regularity. To get more, go for fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains.
Full-fat dairy rather than low-fat dairy may be a factor if you are trying to get pregnant. While being mindful of daily fat and calorie intake, whole milk, full-fat yogurt and the occasional bowl of ice cream can fit into your diet.
Lastly is a greater consumption of iron foods from plant sources such as spinach, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, beets and whole-grain cereals.
This fertility diet, in combination with water for hydration, a healthy body weight and physical activity, is a great place to start for women working on increasing their fertility.
Emily Wunder is a registered dietitian and licensed dietitian/nutritionist. She is a Berks County native and is a regional wellness director with Eurest/Compass Group out of New Jersey. The website is www.healthier-taste.com. Contact her at emilywunderRD@gmail.com.