Fertility boosting foods

Published On: Mar 13 2013 06:47:41 AM EDT
Updated On: Mar 13 2013 07:50:00 AM EDT

One in eight couples will have problems getting pregnant. But what they eat could increase their chances of having a baby.

Balls, bottles, and boys, that’s what fills Laurie Elper’s life.

“This one looks like me and this one looks like my husband,” said Laurie Elpers, mother of twins.

Fraternal twins Noah and Ben are double trouble their parents thought might never happen. After months of trying, Laurie suffered a miscarriage at ten weeks.

“That really, you know, kind of, shook us a little bit,” said Laurie.

In fact, 30 percent of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage.

“The risk of miscarriage increases with age. So that women, for example, that are over 40 can have a one in three chance of miscarriage,” said Sanjay Acerwall, MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist at the UC San Diego.

What you eat could improve your chances of getting pregnant and carrying your child to full term. Harvard researchers have come up with a fertility diet. Women should avoid trans fats, cut back on saturated fats, and add more vegetable oils, nuts, and cold water fish like salmon.

Also, women should consider replacing a serving of meat each day with beans, peas, soybeans, or tofu. Skim milk appears to promote infertility, so choose whole milk instead. When it comes to your veggies, go for spinach, beans, tomatoes, and beets. Most importantly, skip the soda, it could slow ovulation.

For men, a 2012 study found eating 75 grams, or about two handfuls of walnuts a day improves sperm quality. Oysters are not only an aphrodisiac, their high zinc content helps production of sperm and testosterone. You can also find zinc in beef, eggs, and beans. The antioxidants found in dried fruits, cranberries, and collard greens help protect sperm from cellular damage.

Read more about "The Fertility Diet" from Harvard Health Publications

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