What is in this article?:
- Fertility foods
- Are women today having a more difficult time getting pregnant?
- What should women eat to boost fertility?
- What about fish?
- Are processed foods linked to infertility?
- Why is weight gain linked to infertility?
- What part do supplements play in fertility?
- What environmental toxins interfere with hormones?
Hope to get pregnant now or someday? The foods you choose—and avoid—can help ensure that all systems are go when you’re ready. Get the latest holistic wisdom in this Q&A with Victoria Maizes, MD, author of Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child (Scribner, 2013).
What should women eat to boost fertility?
DL: Avoid BPA-lined cans, check. So what should women eat to boost fertility?
VM: The Mediterranean diet, which reduces risk of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, also increases the likelihood of conception, both au naturel and in vitro. It focuses on abundant unrefined grains, legumes, fish, vegetables, and fruit; olive oil is the principle oil.
Studies also suggest that to improve fertility you should eat more vegetable protein and less animal protein, so frequently substitute beans and nuts for meat or poultry.
And here’s a surprise: Choose whole fat rather than low-fat or nonfat dairy products. When dairy companies remove the fat from milk, this alters its hormonal content. Estrogen and progesterone prefer fat, so when milk is being separated, those hormones go into that removed fat layer. Androgens (“male hormones”) prefer the watery layer—hence a glass of low-fat milk gives you more male hormones and fewer female hormones.
Dairy companies also usually add either nonfat milk powder or whey protein to cover skim milk’s naturally bluish tint. There is evidence that when animals’ diets are enriched with whey protein, the androgenic effects decrease fertility.