The Fertility Diet
From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO... The following recommendations are based on the Nurses’ Health Study, which began in 1989 and followed more than 18,000 female nurses anticipating a pregnancy of the duration of the eight-year study. Visit www.nurseshealthstudy.org to learn more details about the study and participants.
1. Eliminate fast foods from your diet & avoid all other trans-fats.
2. Stop smoking. Smoking has been linked to abnormal oocytes and heavy metals in follicular fluid. Smokers have been found to take longer to get pregnant and are more likely to miscarry.
3. Use more unsaturated vegetable oils and make sure to include omega-3 fats such as fish oil, olive oil, walnut oil, flax oil, and canola oil.
4. Eat more vegetable protein such as beans and nuts and less animal protein.
5. Choose whole grains and other sources of carbohydrates that have lower, slower effects on blood sugar and insulin rather than refined carbohydrates.
6. Drink a glass of whole milk or have a small dish of ice cream or full-fat yogurt everyday; temporarily trade in skim milk and low or no-fat diary products... for their full-fat cousins.
7. Get plenty of iron from fruits, vegetables, beans but not from red meat. Iron plays a key role in DNA replication and in the maturing of the egg in advance of ovulation. Research shows that women who get enough iron cut their risk of ovulatory infertility by about one half!
8. Take a multivitamin that contains iron, folic acid and other B vitamins. Studies show that regular use of a multivitamin decreases the risk of ovulatory infertility. Multivitamins have been shown to benefit men’s fertility as well, increasing sperm count, quality and motility.
9. Beverages matter: Remove sugary drinks and sodas from your diet. Drink coffee, tea and alcohol in moderation. High intake of caffeine is linked to infertility due to tubal problems or endometriosis but was not associated with ovulatory infertility. Water is great.
10. Overall-maintain a healthy weight: Losing or gaining 5-10% of your body weight can have a significant impact on ovulation. Women with a BMI between 20-24 were found to be least likely to have experienced ovulatory infertility.
11. Aim to eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day, choosing from a variety of all colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & purple).
1. David, Sami S. M.D., Blakeway, Jill. Making Babies. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company, 2009. 121.
2. David, Sami S. M.D., Blakeway, Jill. Making Babies. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company,2009.115.
3. Chavarro, Jeorge E. M.D., Willett, Walter C. M.D. The Fertility Diet. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. 2008.143
Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO Licensed Acupuncturist
Jessica L. Molleur is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her training also includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. Jessica first became interested in acupuncture as a soccer player searching for an alternative to knee surgery.
She is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine and Chinese Herbology through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Following her acupuncture licensure, she became a Diplomate of Acupuncture Orthopedics. This orthopedic specialty certification is held by fewer than 300 acupuncturists in the United States. Areas of specialty include women's health, infertility, pediatrics, and sports medicine. For patients interested in learning more about acupuncture for fertility and IVF, please click here.