Can Diet Influence Fertility?
Oct 17, 2022
We discuss the medical consensus on how your food, drink, and nutrient consumption can impact fertility preservation. We’ve also teed up a handful of suggestions for delicious fertility-boosting meals.
At Monash IVF KPJ, we know that everyone wants to give themselves the best chance of healthy baby development. If you’re trying to fall pregnant, you may have been thinking about lifestyle changes that you can make alongside fertility treatment. One major consideration is diet.
So, does what you eat affect your fertility? The short answer is yes. However, we aren’t about to tell you that you need to start eating like you’re on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Lab. Instead, we’d suggest focusing on making balanced choices. In this article, we discuss the medical consensus on how your food, drink, and nutrient consumption can impact fertility preservation. We’ve also popped in a few suggestions for delicious fertility-boosting meals – you’re welcome!
Not About Calorie Counting
Diet and holistic fertility treatment
According to the My Health Malaysia recommendations, a healthy diet is a major factor that impacts on male and female fertility preservation. This means mixing and matching between the food group to ensure all food groups are included in your diet:
- Vegetables and legumes (beans)
- Grains and cereals
- Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts, seeds
- Milk, cheese, yoghurt, or alternatives
On top of actively seeking out plates of these key food groups, you should try to minimise your intake of highly processed, greasy, sugary foods and drinks. These contain saturated trans fats and bad carbohydrates, which can inhibit fertility – it is known that spikes in blood sugar caused by these foods can create high insulin levels, which have been shown to negatively affect ovulation. In other words, the developing embryo or baby prefers fresh chicken breast and steamed broccoli over fries and sugary drinks.
Alongside your food and drink intake, there are a few key nutrients which medical professionals advise women trying to have a baby increase their intake of. These are
- Folate/ folic acid
- Vitamin D
- Zinc and selenium
These can be taken as multivitamins, in addition to being found in specific foods which are high in each micronutrient. Generally, women will take supplements in the month or two before conceiving, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding. If a woman undergoes fertility treatment, she might also take multivitamins throughout the IVF process. Speak to your doctor about what is right for you.
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial
One of the key reasons why maintaining a balanced diet comes up in fertility preservation guidelines is weight. Have you checked your BMI recently? Our fertility experts recommend aiming for a weight considered healthy for your body (an ideal BMI is between 18.5-24.9), as this can be a major factor in supporting healthy pregnancies. Couple your nutritious meals with regular, medium-intensity exercise.
Good Eats! Tasty fertility-boosting meal suggestions
- Shakshuka (Baked Eggs) with Leafy Greens
- Quinoa and Broccoli Salad with Sunflower Seeds
- Salmon and Avocado Pasta
- Asparagus and Tomato Frittata
- Chicken Stir Fry with Brown Rice
- Fertility Treatments and Monash IVF Australia
If you have been living a healthy lifestyle, having unprotected sex for over a year, and haven’t fallen pregnant, it might be possible that you are struggling with infertility. This can be a real challenge for many couples but remember: you have options.
The team at Monash IVF KPJ are pioneers of fertility science who are here to guide you through all of the cutting-edge fertility treatments available today.
Want to come in and see us? Book a free nurse chat today.