- Advertisement -Newspaper WordPress Theme
Getting PregnantMediterranean Diet for Fertility Could Help You Get Pregnant

Mediterranean Diet for Fertility Could Help You Get Pregnant

If you regularly scan health news headlines, you’ve likely seen articles professing the nutritional benefits of the Mediterranean diet. It’s known to keep your brain, heart and metabolism healthy. It’s been linked to a lower risk of cancer and may even extend your lifespan. And now, you can add improved fertility and pregnancy outcomes to the list. There’s no single fertility diet, but this pattern may come pretty darn close.

The primary reason the Mediterranean diet is so helpful for just about any health condition is that it lowers inflammation in the body. Researchers suggest that following the Mediterranean diet for fertility is a simple way to improve your chances of conception—even benefiting sperm health.

The good news is that following the Mediterranean diet for fertility has nothing to do with counting calories or removing entire food groups. You can even adapt it to include foods that may be important for you culturally. It’s a win-win for women trying to become pregnant and better their health before, during and after pregnancy.

Related: A nutritionist’s guide to the best foods for pregnancy

What is the Mediterranean diet?

If diet is a four letter word you’d like to avoid, think of a Mediterranean diet as more of an eating style or pattern. The Mediterranean pattern emphasizes plants—animal products are included, but they aren’t the priority. It includes nourishing fats like olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids, minimally processed ingredients, and foods high in polyphenols (chemicals found in plants with health benefits).

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory fats found in fatty fish like salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax (and are also associated with improved fertility). Polyphenols give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors, like blueberries, oranges, spinach and purple cabbage. Research links polyphenols with lower inflammation, reduced oxidative stress, and hormone balance—all factors important for fertility.

Related: Pressured to lose weight before fertility treatments? One study shows it’s not necessary

The Mediterranean diet could boost fertility for both partners

Studies on fertility and nutrition often focus on inflammation because of its close tie to reproductive health. Sperm and egg cells are particularly vulnerable to damage from inflammation and oxidative stress, so anything that cools things down could support fertility.

Chronic inflammation in the body can stem from a range of causes (think illness or environmental exposures, for example), but diet is a major culprit. Diets high in saturated fat, refined sugars and red meat while low in fruits, vegetables and fiber are all linked to menstrual irregularities and infertility.

Following the Mediterranean diet for fertility has been shown to increase the chances of conception, improve sperm health, and even improve outcomes for assisted reproductive technology (ART). It’s naturally high in foods that lower inflammation and keeps foods that may cause problems to a minimum—making diet a non-intrusive way to enhance fertility.

Related: The 5 best prenatal vitamins, according to a nutritionist

The Mediterranean lowers gestational diabetes and preeclampsia risk

Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a complication where blood sugar levels get too high while pregnant, and preeclampsia causes high blood pressure during pregnancy. Both can be serious and scary for mama and baby if not controlled.

A study that examined more than 7500 pregnant women found that following the Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of developing preeclampsia by 28%. The risk reduction was even higher for women over 35, where advanced maternal age (the phrase no pregnant woman wants to hear) can increase the risk of both conditions. GDM risk also dropped by 37%, and the odds of adverse pregnancy complications decreased by 21%.

Another study found women who followed a Mediterranean diet reduced preeclampsia risk by 20%. In this study, Black women—who are more likely to be diagnosed with preeclampsia—saw even more benefit with a 26% reduced risk.

Related: Pregnant or TTC? New research shows just how important heart health is in pregnancy

Here’s what to eat on a Mediterranean diet

Whether you’re following a Mediterranean diet for pregnancy or just want to boost your health in general, here are the foods to add to your grocery list:

  • Fiber-rich grains like quinoa, oats and brown rice
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes and beans
  • Lean proteins like fish and poultry
  • Healthy fats like olive oil, avocado and nuts
  • Herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary

And maybe just as important is that food on the Mediterranean diet is meant to be enjoyed, especially with friends and loved ones. It’s about nourishing your body with healthy foods you love and savoring every bite.


Bahr LS, Franz K, Mähler A. Assessing the (anti)-inflammatory potential of diets. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2021;24(5):402-410. doi:10.1097/MCO.0000000000000772

Ly C, Yockell-Lelièvre J, Ferraro ZM, Arnason JT, Ferrier J, Gruslin A. The effects of dietary polyphenols on reproductive health and early development. Hum Reprod Update. 2015;21(2):228-248. doi:10.1093/humupd/dmu058

Makarem N, Chau K, Miller EC, et al. Association of a Mediterranean Diet Pattern With Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Among US Women. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(12):e2248165. Published 2022 Dec 1. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.48165

Martini D. Health Benefits of Mediterranean Diet. Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1802. Published 2019 Aug 5. doi:10.3390/nu11081802

Minhas AS, Hong X, Wang G, et al. Mediterranean-Style Diet and Risk of Preeclampsia by Race in the Boston Birth Cohort. J Am Heart Assoc. 2022;11(9):e022589. doi:10.1161/JAHA.121.022589

Makarem N, et al. Association of a Mediterranean Diet Pattern With Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Among US Women. JAMA Network Open, 2022; 5 (12): e2248165 doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.48165

Alesi S, et al. Anti-Inflammatory Diets in Fertility: An Evidence Review. Nutrients, 2022; 14 (19): 3914 doi:10.3390/nu14193914

Skoracka K, Ratajczak AE, Rychter AM, Dobrowolska A, Krela-Kaźmierczak I. Female Fertility and the Nutritional Approach: The Most Essential Aspects. Adv Nutr. 2021;12(6):2372-2386. doi:10.1093/advances/nmab068

Stanhiser J, Jukic AMZ, McConnaughey DR, Steiner AZ. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and fecundability. Hum Reprod. 2022;37(5):1037-1046. doi:10.1093/humrep/deac027

Weiss G, Goldsmith LT, Taylor RN, Bellet D, Taylor HS. Inflammation in reproductive disorders. Reprod Sci. 2009;16(2):216-229. doi:10.1177/1933719108330087

s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)}(window, document,’script’,
fbq(‘init’, ‘1106024069411107’);
fbq(‘track’, ‘PageView’);

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe Today





Get unlimited access to our EXCLUSIVE Content and our archive of subscriber stories.

Exclusive content

- Advertisement -Newspaper WordPress Theme

Latest article

More article

- Advertisement -Newspaper WordPress Theme