I have long believed that a good diet would enhance fertility. When I was asked by a friend to write
down my thoughts on the subject, I started by looking on the Internet for articles on fertility diets. Here's
what I found.
"A new book, The Fertility Diet, may offer a low-tech, low-cost solution for some. It's based on research
from the well-respected Harvard Nurses' Health Study suggesting that diet may play a role in women's
efforts to conceive. The book identifies particular nutrients they should be getting, such as iron, or
avoiding, such as trans fats, to improve their chances of getting pregnant." (Deborah Kotz, "The Fertility
Diet: Eat Right to Get Pregnant," US News and World Report, November 30, 2007).
"We looked at nearly 19,000 female nurses who were actively trying to get pregnant to see if there was
any link between what they ate and whether they became pregnant. We found some very interesting
statistical associations. Those who took multivitamins containing folic acid, for example, were more
likely to become pregnant. So, too, were those who had a high intake of iron, but it had to come from
fruits, vegetables, beans, or supplements, not red meat. Trans fats from doughnuts, margarine, and
other processed foods seemed to have a particularly detrimental effect on fertility." (Ibid).
"The Nurses' Health Study found that a daily serving of a full-fat dairy food, such as whole milk, ice
cream, or cheddar cheese, increased a woman's pregnancy odds." (Ibid).
For overweight women, losing a little weight can help. "Numerous studies have shown that they (obese
women) can frequently jump-start ovulation by losing a modest amount, about 5 to 10 percent, of their
starting body weight." (Ibid).
For all women, moderate exercise is required. "What's more, several studies, including ours, have
shown that women who exercise moderately, about 30 minutes every day, are less likely to experience
ovulation-related infertility than those who don't." (Ibid).
All this is true, but nothing I found goes quite far enough. I have a few more specific recommendations.
First, in case you have some unknown sub-clinical infection, eat a whole grapefruit or two oranges
every day until you get pregnant. This will take care of any minor infection and also give you folic acid,
which protects against birth defects as well as increasing chances of pregnancy.
Second, stop eating any kind of canned or processed foods, particularly if you have been trying to get
pregnant for a long time. Not only are trans-fats a problem, there are numerous chemicals in processed
foods. People's sensitivities to chemicals vary greatly, if you are eating a lot of processed food, who
knows how it might be affecting you.
Third, cut white flour and white sugar completely out of your diet. Substitute whole grains and honey or
raisins or dates. The whole grains not only clean your body, they also provide you with B vitamins, tune
up your system and give you energy to exercise.
Fourth, forget the no fat nonsense of most diets, you need some fat to get pregnant. The best place to
get your fat is full fat cheese, milk or yogurt. Eat your cheese, drink your whole milk and buy plain full fat
yogurt and eat it with mashed bananas or tart fruit and honey.
Fifth, after you have cleaned your body with good diet and exercise, so that you are likely to produce a
healthy baby, (this takes at least two weeks), start eating a few raw (not roasted, raw) tree nuts with
every meal. Raw tree nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts), added to a good diet, contain all the nutrients
that your body needs to make hormones. Adding tree nuts to your healthy diet will boost your hormone
levels and should start you ovulating regularly.
(This is very close to the diet that got me pregnant in one night when I was 44. Sample menus from that
diet are on my website in article No. 105, "Why Diets Don't Produce Long Term Results, And What To Do
Instead." If you have imperfect health and want to have a child anyway, see No. 104, "Kitchen Medicine"
for some tips on solving your health issues.)
In conclusion, do it all, fresh fruits and vegetables and beans and all my specific recommendations as
well. If it doesn't work within a few months, go to a doctor to rule out fallopian tube scarring, low sperm
count, etc. Note that tree nuts should boost your mate's sperm count as well as his libido. Convince him
to share your baby diet.
Amo Paul Bishop Roden