The ultimate fertility diet.
I get asked this question all the time. Obviously, in the clinic we have discussions about your individual circumstances and give advice based on what’s best for YOUR body. But overall, the science tells us there’s one style of eating that has the most benefit when it comes to reproductive health, and that’s the Mediterranean diet.
Even when I give other dietary advice, the Mediterranean diet is the underlying foundation for eating well. Why? Because it’s very heavy in good fats and fresh fruit and vegetables (ie nutrient dense).
An observational study in 2018 found that in women <35 years old, adhering to a Mediterranean diet, resulted in more clinical pregnancies and live births than women who didn’t eat a Mediterranean diet. The results were not seen in women >35 or obese women.
“To eat figs off the tree in the very early morning, when they have been barely touched by the sun, is one of the exquisite pleasures of the Mediterranean.”
Alternatively, a 2019 study found slightly different results, where both adherence and non-adherence to the Mediterranean diet resulted in similar clinical pregnancy and live birth rates, however the women who ate the Mediterranean diet had a larger number of oocytes (eggs) and more fertilised embryos.
In men, a 2020 study in Italy concluded that a Mediterranean diet results in an improvement in sperm concentration and total sperm count compared to men eating a low fat diet.
The “good fats” in the Mediterranean diet – think avocado, olive oil, fish, nuts etc – are helpful in fertility because they support healthy hormone production. Hormones are actually transported throughout your bloodstream attached to cholesterol. Obviously the type of cholesterol is important too, because we don’t want “bad fats” likes trans fats to be in our bloodstream, so the Mediterranean diet is ideal with its propensity for good quality dietary fats.
If you want to discuss your eating habits and how diet may be affecting your fertility, you can book in to see one of our talented practitioners. Appointments are available at St Leonards, Dural, and online (ie anywhere in the world!). We would love to help support you on your journey to parenthood.
oily fish eg salmon, mackerel, sardines
eliminate poor quality food by filling your plate with nutrient dense foods first, without feeling like you’re sacrificing enjoyment