The Mediterranean Diet and Fertility
Eating healthy means you’re more likely to be in better health. Most people realize this. However, many people don’t realize that your diet can have a major impact on your fertility. It’s true. Sometimes meaningful lifestyle changes that improve wellness can prevent the need for fertility procedures, even popular and effective treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF). These lifestyle changes can also increase the success rates of IVF and other procedures.
Dr. Janelle Dorsett and here team here in Lubbock, TX would like to consider the potential fertility benefits of the Mediterranean diet. We can discuss other matters related to general wellness and fertility during an in-person visit to the Centre for Reproductive Medicine.
What Is the Mediterranean Diet?
Simply put, the Mediterranean diet refers to the traditional sorts of foods eaten by people who live in Greece and Italy. A number of studies have noted that people from these regions tend to have better overall health than Americans, which includes a lower risk of obesity and heart disease.
The basics of the Mediterranean diet are as follows:
- Primary Foods: Vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts, whole grains, seafood, extra virgin olive oil
- Foods to Eat in Moderation: Poultry, cheese, eggs, yogurt
- Foods Eaten Only Rarely: Red meat
- Foods to Be Avoided: Soft drinks, sweetened beverages, added sugar, processed meats, processed foods, white bread, refined oils (i.e., canola oil, soybean oil)
A Study on Fertility and the Mediterranean Diet
In 2013, dietitians at Loyola University Health System studied whether or not a Mediterranean diet would boost fertility in women suffering from infertility.
Findings from the National Infertility Association have linked 30 percent of infertility cases to women being overweight or underweight. Weight problems can impact hormone levels, which is why maintaining a healthy weight is so important. Since the Mediterranean diet is known to help promote weight loss among many other benefits, perhaps it can increase fertility in the process.
The researchers found that women who eat healthy and adhere to a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fruits, fish, and beans can potentially increase their chances of becoming pregnant. Even a weight reduction of just 5 percent can have a meaningful impact on your fertility.
The Mediterranean Diet and IVF Patients
A more recent study by researchers at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology found that the Mediterranean diet can also benefit people undergoing IVF treatment. Women who adhered to the Mediterranean diet six months prior to IVF treatment were 65-68 percent more likely to experience pregnancy than women who were not on the Mediterranean diet.
This study really points to the importance of health eating habits and healthy living for people who want to have children, whether through natural means or through assisted reproduction procedures.
The Bottom Line: The Mediterranean Diet Is Good for You
Even if you’re not trying to have a family, the Mediterranean diet is a great option for general wellness, and a common sense way to stay healthy. Cut back on refined foods, focus on whole foods like fresh vegetables and fruits, and make sure to keep red meat to a minimum.
Contact an Experienced Fertility Specialist
For more information about fertility treatment and how you can boost your fertility through natural means, be sure to contact an experienced fertility specialist. The Centre for Reproductive Medicine is here for you. You can reach us by phone at (806) 788-1212.