The Mediterranean Diet Can Boost your Fertility
Part 2 of our 4-part Preconception Series!
The Mediterranean diet is a dietary recommendation based on the traditional dietary patterns of Crete and the rest of Greece, southern Italy, and southern France. The diet emphasizes an abundance of plant foods, especially fruits and vegetables, and a low intake of red meat. Generally, fat makes up 25-35% of total calories, with low intake of saturated fats and high intake of monounsaturated fats, such as that found in olive oil and omega-3 fats, as found in cold-water fish.
The primary fats consumed in this diet come from fish, poultry, and olive oil. (We'll talk more about healthy fats, for SURE, as this is a place where my summary of the research shows a BIG difference from the "published" Mediterranean diet. See, the Med diet research came out around the time of a big famine in that area, so it's likely that the diet patterns had changed slightly away from animal foods. But, we know the Italians love their cured meat! Animal fats, I believe, CAN be and SHOULD be a big part of the PF diet!) . The diet is high in legumes and whole grains, and suggests low-to-moderate consumption of dairy products and red wine.
The Mediterranean diet has, of course, been studied for its positive effects on cardiovascular disease and overall mortality. It has been researched for its effects on diabetes, depression, cognitive function, cancer, weight loss, and so much more.
What you care about, though, I know, is the diet’s effect on fertility.
There are some great studies showing the impact of the Mediterranean Diet on Fertility- in one observation of 2154 Spanish women aged 20-45 years, women with the greatest adherence to a Mediterranean diet pattern (versus a Western diet) had the least amount of difficulty in getting pregnant. (YAY!)
Another study following 161 Dutch couples undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or in-vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF with ICSI) found that when couples stuck to a Mediterranean diet, they increased their probability of pregnancy by 40%!!!! That's HUGE! In the same study, adherence to the Mediterranean diet was also associated with higher folate and vitamin B6 levels in red blood cells and in follicular fluid, a small sign that the nutrients in the diet were getting into the bloodstream and even into the follicles, where they could do their good work.
So, the Mediterranean diet concepts are HIGHLY integrated into the Perfect Fertility Diet, fo sure!
Some of the biggest learnings you can pull from the Mediterranean Diet that we integrate into the Perfect Fertility Diet are:
- Flood your diet with colorful plants- these should be the foundation of your diet!
- Eat lots of healthy, low-mercury fish
- Eat less sweets & refined sugars (or none, if you can swing it!)
Making these 3 changes will get you started on your path to Perfect Fertility, but if you want more info, enter your email and I'll send you the FREE PF Diet Guide, right now!