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Fertility and diet: Is there a connection?

"If you’re going through infertility issues, eating as if you're already pregnant can actually help prime your body for conception," says a doctor

Fertility and diet, can diet affect fertility, diet and fertility, can healthy diet improve fertility, can balanced diet improve fertility, fertility, infertility, healthy diet, balanced diet, indian express newsEating certain foods and avoiding others is something you can do yourself to help improve your ovulatory function. (Photo: Canva)

Have you ever wondered whether your diet is packed with foods that increase fertility? According to a study of diet and fertility from Harvard Medical School, unlike other factors that you cannot control—such as age and genetics—eating certain foods and avoiding others is something you can do yourself to help improve your ovulatory function.

“If you’re going through infertility issues, experts suggest eating as if you’re already pregnant can actually help prime your body for conception,” said Dr Aswati Nair, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, New Delhi

Here’s how to deliciously dine your way to a happy, healthy pregnancy by following a conception diet, as suggested by Dr Nair.

Folic acid, Vitamin B12, Omega 3 fatty acids and healthy diets including the Mediterranean diet leave a positive impact on a woman’s body who is trying to conceive.

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On the other hand, antioxidants, vitamin D, dairy products, soy and caffeine appeared to have little or no effect on fertility. Trans fat and diets rich in red and processed meats, potatoes, sweets, and sweetened beverages are found to have negative effects. It is advisable to take only one cup of tea and coffee a day.

Men’s sperm quality improves with healthy diets, while the opposite has been linked with diets high in saturated or trans-fat.

For couples receiving assisted reproductive technologies, women may be more likely to conceive with folic acid supplements or a diet high in plant-based estrogens with antioxidant activity, while male fertility may be aided by antioxidants.


Carbonated beverages and hard drinks impair fertility. Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages especially sodas or energy drinks has been linked to decreased fertility level for men and women while drinking diet soda and fruit juice had no effect.

It has been observed that women who consumed high amounts of fast food and little fruit took longer to become pregnant than those with healthier diets.

Regardless of how virtuous your fertility diet plan seems, too much of anything is never good for the body. The more variety you have, the more likely you’re able to complete the nutrient gaps you may be lacking.


Avoid packaged and processed foods that contain certain preservatives which can harm your fertility

Papaya seed extract can lower fertility in men. It can lower the sperm count and impact sperm mobility. Avoid pineapple as it contains bromelain, an anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulation (blood-thinning) agent that can impact the immune system. It is recommended to completely avoid both fruits.

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First published on: 27-06-2021 at 12:15 IST
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