Foods for Fertility
May 27, 2018
More than 6 million women in the U.S. struggle with infertility.1 While many of the factors that contribute to how quickly you conceive are out of your control, there are some things you do have control over. For example, your diet and overall health.
An eight-year study conducted by the Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard Medical School followed 17,544 women who wanted to become pregnant. These women experienced absent or irregular ovulation during their menstrual cycle. Prior to the study, the participants didn’t generally have a healthy diet. Fewer than 5% were eating a diet made up of foods that could maximize their fertility, such as monounsaturated rather than trans fats, vegetable rather than animal protein sources, low glycemic carbohydrates, high fat dairy, multivitamins, and iron from plants and supplements.2 Making these dietary changes was linked to lower ovulatory disorder infertility.2 A combination of diet, healthy habits, and physical activity was found to explain nearly two thirds of the incidence of anovulatory infertility.2,3
Eating a healthy diet during preconception is important due to the effects of insulin resistance on polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is a leading cause of infertility in women. Insulin levels spike when the pancreas reacts to high blood sugar levels. Choosing to eat beans, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits instead of sugary drinks, white bread, cookies, and low-fiber cereals helps keep insulin levels steady.4 Protein is an important part of a healthy diet. Plant protein sources contain healthy unsaturated fats and are low in calories, which may be favorable over animal protein sources when trying to maintain a healthy diet for fertility.2,3 Women in a healthy weight range may have an easier time getting pregnant. The Nurses’ Health Study showed that a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5-24 is optimal for fertility.5
You don’t have to change everything in your diet to achieve maximum fertility, and the relationship between diet and fertility is complex. However, taking vitamins with folic acid and iron may help prevent ovulatory infertility. Over the eight-year Harvard study, participants who took a daily multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid were 40% less likely to struggle with ovulatory infertility.5
Talk to your doctor about whether taking a prescription vitamin specially designed to support the preconception nutritional needs of women is right for you. Prenate Pixie® is a small but mighty addition to your healthy diet. Folic acid is an important part of a healthy diet for women of child- bearing age according to The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Prenate Pixie® can help fill nutritional gaps prior to conception and throughout pregnancy.