In the latest AJOG jouranl Drs Gaskins and Chavarro reviewed what we know regarding how diet may either contribute to infertility, or, on the contrary be the route to getting pregnant. Here’s a summary of what they said.
The studies that include guys, what is good for us, for the most part, also associated with higher sperm counts. Excellent for meal plans!
The best news is that many types of diets can be healthy for you, no one diet type, not even Mediterranean, was superior in actual studies of time to getting pregnant. Generally however, diets high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and inclusive of some poultry, fish were associated with the best fertility.
Adding antioxidants to the diet, did not help women get pregnant, but interestingly, and contrary to my second point, antioxidants do help guys achieve a better sperm count! The antioxidants tested were mostly proprietary (secret) blends; however some of the compounds tested included pentoxifyline, N-actyl-cysteine, melatonin, L-arginine, vitamin-E, myoinositol, vitamin C, Calcium, omega-3, and vitamin D (many of which are not antioxidants, but studied together)
Folic acid may help you get pregnant, in the same dosages your gyno recommends to prevent neural tube defects.
No current evidence clearly establishes that vitamin D supplements would help you get pregnant, but some small studies have shown a positive effect of D supplementation on getting pregnant, and succeeding in IVF. You will hear more about this however as now Vitamin D research has now shown that there are vitamin D receptors on the ovary, in the endometrium (uterine lining) and in the placenta.
Good fats, bad fats, in getting pregnant it’s really the same story as in getting fit, fighting cancers, and living long:omega-3 and PUFA (polyunsaturated fats) are good for you and trans fats ultimately harm fertility as they can adversely affect ovulation due to the increase insulin resistance in those who have diets high in trans fats.
Dairy food consumption, high or low, had no relationship to getting pregnant.
Meat, organic meat, is an excellent food source of protein. Much American meat has high levels of ‘containments’ that are harmful. Fish has the same issue, fish itself is so healthy, but much fish you will get has high levels of harmful chemicals and toxins, that over time are not beneficial to you. Plant based meals are ultimately, extremely healthy for us.
Soy has plant estrogens, regardless of that, soy is excellent food, and helpful to a couple trying for a baby. In large enough quantities, over long enough time, there was data to show animals were not as fertile if they were fed high quantities of soy. Not so with people, soy is good for you.
No actual studies show conclusively whether alcohol consumption nor caffeine intake can affect fertility. It goes without saying that these ‘foods’ have to be consumed in proportion to the overall diet, not to the exclusion of actual nutrients!
These advice were for people TRYING to conceive. Once you have that + pregnancy test, then you need to switch to baby healthy diets, and for that, consultation with your personal health care provider is very important!