It turns out that eating a Mediterranean diet is not only good for your heart and brain, but it may also boost fertility and IVF success. A recent study from Human Reproduction concluded that women who consumed a Mediterranean diet had significantly higher success rates of IVF compared to other women.
The researchers, led by Associate Professor Nikos Yiannakouris of Harokopio University of Athens, analyzed the dietary patterns of 244 women between ages 22 and 41 years, who were asked to complete food questionnaires based on their diet from the previous 6 months.
“The important message from our study is that women attempting fertility should be encouraged to eat a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, because greater adherence to this healthy dietary pattern may help increase the chances of successful pregnancy and delivering a live baby,” concluded Professor Yiannakouris, Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Harokopio University of Athens. He also added that a healthy Mediterranean diet can improve semen quality in men.
So, what is the Mediterranean diet? And how can we follow it to improve health and fertility?
- The Mediterranean diet emphasizes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, olive oil and fish.
- Eat fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Eat lean meats, poultry, eggs and dairy in moderation.
- For women wanting to boost fertility and egg quality, Dr. Yik recommends they eat at least 5 portions of vegetables a day, 2 of which should be dark green in colour.
- Snack on nuts! Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, etc.- Grab a handful for a boost in fiber, protein, good fats, vitamins, minerals and various antioxidants. Click here to read more about the benefits of nuts.
- Try replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil.
- Instead of using salt to flavour foods, try using herbs and spices.