When you decide that you’re ready to have a baby, you usually want to get pregnant, like, yesterday.
Now, a new Harvard review published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology says that the foods you eat might actually make a difference in how fast you see that posi pregnancy test.
Though the study’s authors didn’t call it a “fertility diet,” per se (that’s an actual diet co-created by one of this study’s authors in 2007), you can follow the study’s findings to put together a meal plan that’s heavy on pro-prego foods, and lighter on the stuff that’s not really going to help.
Can Eating Certain Foods Really Help You Get Pregnant?
Yes-ish. Your diet isn’t going to magically help you get knocked up—there are a lot of other factors at play, like your age, underlying health conditions, etc.
To be clear: You could be the healthiest eater on the planet and still struggle with fertility issues. You could also eat like total crap and get pregnant just by looking at your S.O.
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Still, the study’s researchers found some correlation between certain foods and a lower frequency of infertility and greater success in infertility treatments like IVF.
Foods That Are Good For Fertility
There are a few foods that might help you out if you’re trying to get pregnant:
- Fatty fish (tuna, salmon)
- Fish oil
- Whole grains
- Fruits and veggies
All of these are linked to better fertility in women and better semen quality in men. The researchers also point out that taking a folic acid supplement to prevent neural tube defects—birth defects of the brain, spine, and spinal cord—is also a good idea.
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Foods That Probably Don’t Do Anything For Fertility
The study didn’t say that certain foods will totally derail your fertility, but it did point out some that probably won’t help:
- Cheese (bummer alert)
- Egg yolks
- Vitamin D-fortified cereals
- Antioxidant supplements
Don’t get us wrong—antioxidants are great for you, but taking an antioxidant supplement doesn’t seem to help women who are going through IVF.
The researchers point out that dairy and soy, which were once seen as bad for fertility, weren’t consistently related to fertility issues. Ditto for moderate amounts of alcohol and caffeine. (The researchers specifically say that the research to support the idea that alcohol and caffeine can mess with fertility seems “less solid that it once did.”)
As far as those vitamin D-rich cereals, unless you’re deficient in the vitamin, getting more than your recommended daily allowance doesn’t seem to help boost your fertility.
Again, eating a good diet is just one part of the larger puzzle that is your fertility. If you’ve been struggling to conceive, talk to your gynae. They should be able to help guide you on next steps.
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