Fertility Food Facts: Getting Down to Basics

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What do avocados, olive oil, and bee jelly (yep, bee jelly) have in common? Possible fertility food.

They might make an interesting salad—they’ll also pop up in the results if you ask Google, “What should I eat if I am having in-vitro fertilization?”

It takes more than pregnancy-friendly nutrition to boost your chances of successful IVF, but adjusting your diet can complement the clinical and pharmaceutical care you’re getting.

One of the most recent studies of which foods can increase egg production and promote conception says the Mediterranean diet is the the way to go. Women who fill their plates with fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and complex grains for six months are nearly three times more likely to get pregnant on their first IVF trial, according to research published in the journal Human Reproduction. (The fine print in this study is that the benefit applies only if you are between 22 and 35 years old and have a body mass index of less than 30.)

Still, that study jibes with research from the Harvard School of Public Health, which found that food high in monounsaturated fats—like some oils and avocados—and low in saturated fat (found in butter and red meat) promotes fertility.

Other researchers say you should boost your vitamin D but lay off the coffee. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine says more of your eggs will be successfully fertilized if you eat more protein and fewer carbohydrates.

Here’s the bottom line: The healthier and more balanced your diet, the healthier your body. A healthier body should produce healthier eggs (and sperm—some of these diet tips work for men, too). And healthier eggs and sperm are more viable in the IVF process.

At Spring Creek Fertility, our dietary recommendations focus on balancing proteins and carbohydrates to create insulin levels that are most conducive to ovulation. Combined with a specific exercise regimen and, as always, the emotional support to keep your mind in a positive space, this diet can be one of the keys to your success with IVF.

By all means, Google and read the research—but before you make that avocado, olive oil, and bee jelly salad, talk to one of our fertility specialists. We’ll help you make the best choices for you.

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