Fertility & the Role of Diet: A Research Summary
From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO... In the recent news, there has been a lot of conflicting information on the role of diet for patients trying to conceive or manage endocrine-related disorders. Eat ice cream, don't eat ice cream. The truth is that no one cookie-cutter will be effective for every patient. That is why consulting with a nutritional counselor, naturopath, acupuncturist, or other related health profession with experience specifically in women's health, endocrinology, or fertility can be extremely helpful. A variety of factors will depend on the best diet for each person depending on their weight, overall health and nutritional status, health goals (e.g. to become pregnant or to manage PCOS symptoms).
The following list is a summary of ten findings that from the recent book, The Fertility Diet, compiled by Dr. Jorge E. Chavarro and Dr. Walter Willett) to help boost fertility for women with ovulation-related infertility:
1. Avoid trans-fats
2. Use more unsaturated vegetable oils such as olive oil and canola oil.
3. Eat more vegetable protein, like beans and nuts and less animal protein.
4. Choose whole grains and other sources of carbohydrates that have lower, slower effects on blood sugar and insulin rather than refined carbohydrates.
5. 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. They also suggest that this is optional if you have digestive difficulty with dairy.
6. Take a multivitamin that contains folic acid and other B vitamins.
7. Get plenty of iron from fruits, vegetables, beans, and supplements but not from red meat.
8. Beverages matter: water is great; coffee, tea and alcohol are OK in moderation; leave sugared sodas unopened. (Moderation is considered one-two cups coffee/tea and one drink)
9. Aim for a healthy weight... They suggest that making even small changes in this direction can make a big difference in fertility.
10. If you aren't physically active, start a daily exercise plan. If you already exercise, pick up the pace of your workouts. But don't overdo it, especially if you are quite lean---too much exercise can work against conception.
Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO
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.
If you are new to acupuncture or you have a question for our acupuncturist, please contact OMBE to schedule a complimentary consult at our Boston location.