Forget oysters and chili peppers. Dr. Melissa Lem shares some diet choices backed up by science that can have a huge impact on your fertility.
The most common cause of infertility in women is problematic ovulation. According to a study by a group from Harvard that looked at over 18,000 women to determine specifically how this issue relates to food, here's what you should eat and avoid to improve fertility.
What to Eat
Vegetable Protein: Replace one serving of meat with vegetable protein each day to cut your risk of infertility in half.
Iron from plants: Eating high amounts of non-animal-based iron trims risks of infertility by 40 percent.
Unsaturated fats: Not only are trans fats bad for your heart, but eating them instead of unsaturated fats can increase your risk of infertility by over 200 percent!
What to Avoid
Low-fat dairy: Women who eat more than one serving per day have 85 per cent more trouble getting pregnant. On the other hand, women who eat full-fat dairy are more fertile, so bring on the ice cream (in moderation)!
White carbs: These spike your blood sugar and insulin, interfering with ovulation. Women who eat a lot of simple carbs have a 92 percent higher risk of infertility, so choose sugar-stabilizing whole grains instead.
Sugary soft drinks: Women who down two or more sodas per day have almost 50 percent more trouble conceiving.
When it comes to infertility, many people tend to blame these issues on the woman. However, based on studies conducted by infertility clinics, 50 percent of cases are actually caused by the man. Take a look at the recommended foods to avoid and to eat when trying to get pregnant.
What to Eat
Chicken, fish and whole grains: Sperm motility gets an 11 per cent boost when you enjoy these regularly, but eating a lot of red meat can reduce your chances of conceiving.
Fruits and veggies: These supply your body with plenty of minerals and antioxidants, optimizing your sperm quality. Celery in particular contains androstenone, which is a natural aphrodisiac.
What to avoid
Canned food: Almost all can linings contain Bisphenol-A, a chemical that mimics estrogen. Guys with high levels of BPA torpedo their sperm concentration by 23 per cent.
Junk food: Men who gobble up large amounts of saturated and trans fats slash their sperm counts by over 40 per cent.
Alcohol: Although moderate drinking doesn't appear to affect overall fertility, alcohol does make sperm cells lazy, slow and funny-looking. Because sperm take about 75 days to mature, some recommend men ditch the booze well ahead of trying to conceive.
Keep in mind to change up your diet at least 3-4 months before you try to get pregnant. Happy baby making!