Originally, the Mediterranean diet was touted as the most fertility-friendly diet. Although following a Mediterranean diet does still improve live birth rates, the research found that the more you increased your compliance with the diet, didn’t necessarily continue to correlate with an increased chance of live birth; ie, the benefits seemed to plateau after a certain level of Mediterranean diet changes.
Live birth is the most important measure to pay attention to in infertility research because, yes you want to get pregnant; however, more important, to those struggling with fertility is that you want to stay pregnant and experience a live birth.
Research by Gaskin et al., (2019), identified 3 important dietary strategies that were associated with increased live births in those seeking Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) and they have labelled these additions the “pro-fertility diet.”
3 Important Strategies of a Pro-Fertility Diet
- The more fish the better. The study showed that people who ate 32-100% of their animal protein from fish (including shellfish), had the best results (highest live birth rate). What does that mean for you? Aim for at least 1/3 of proteins to be fish or seafood based.
- Soy, don’t be afraid! Those who ate the most soy had increased implantation, pregnancies, and live births. Aim for half a serving or more of soy per day. Sources include soy milk, miso, soy beans, tofu, tempeh, etc.
- Pay attention to pesticides. When comparing diets of people eating low pesticide residue fruits and vegetables to those eating high pesticide residue fruits and vegetables, those who ate more low pesticide produce had the best IVF outcomes. This makes common sense to me, but it’s nice to have it backed up by research.
PS: My mission is to help people increase their chances of conceiving, while not losing their sense of self in the process. I help people find more joy in the journey using evidence-based, heart-centred naturopathic medicine. Whenever you are ready, there are 4 ways to get started:
- Book your complimentary discovery call to apply for my signature program, the Nurtured Fertility Method here
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- Gaskin, et al. (2019). Dietary patterns and outcomes of assisted reproduction. Am J Obstet Gynecol, 220(6): 567.e1-567. PMCID: PMC6545142