Over the years, I’ve come across all kinds of strange advice about what you should and shouldn’t be eating to get pregnant – and particularly during the two week wait. I’m often asked for dietary advice, and what people really want is a list of super fertility foods which will hugely boost their chances of getting pregnant. There’s certainly no shortage of advice about this but some of it is completely contradictory – so should you drink masses of milk or avoid dairy foods altogether? And there’s no end of conflicting advice about pineapples and which bits you should eat and which you should avoid.
That’s why this article by nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed is so welcome as it is full of sensible practical advice and focuses on the things that actually will make a difference rather than those which probably won’t.
New research from Italy suggests that a healthy diet is linked to fertility. A study of more than one thousand people found that those who were fertile ate more fruit, vegetables and eggs than those who were not.
The research was carried out over a period of a year, asking those involved about their diet and lifestyle. If found that those who were fertile were less likely to smoke, to consume excess alcohol or to use recreational drugs. They also ate vegetables, fruit and eggs more frequently.
Why does diet make a difference to fertility?
The research team suggested that excessive consumption of artificial fats could disrupt ovulation, conception and early embryonic development and advised eating more healthy fats found in avocados, eggs, olive oil and salmon. For men, they advised food which is rich in zinc and antioxidants, such as fruit and vegetables, as well as selenium which is found in eggs.
When you are trying to conceive, it is easy to get very carried away about what you eat and don’t eat – but the general advice here is that you should follow the basic principles of healthy eating. There is no need to panic about an occasional glass of wine or piece of chocolate or to follow a hugely restrictive diet, but rather to make sure that most of what you eat is good for you.
You can read more about the research here