Diet & Fertility
From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac.DNBAO…
Although I have previously posted my Diet & Fertility worksheet that I review with each of my fertility patients, I felt that it deserved another post this week given the theme of a healthy new year. I customize these diet recommendations for each of my patients trying to conceive as the nutritional habits of my clients are as varied as their diagnoses. However, these general rules are an excellent starting point and have the potential to benefit many health conditions. Give it a try!
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.
Eliminate fast foods from your diet & avoid all other trans-fats.
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.
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.
Eat more vegetable protein such as beans and nuts and less animal protein.
Choose whole grains and other sources of carbohydrates that have lower, slower effects on blood sugar and insulin rather than refined carbohydrates.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Here's an additional recommendation as a bonus: Aim to eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day, choosing from a variety of all colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & purple).
David, Sami S. M.D., Blakeway, Jill. Making Babies. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company, 2009. 121.
David, Sami S. M.D., Blakeway, Jill. Making Babies. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company,2009.115.
Chavarro, Jeorge E. M.D., Willett, Walter C. M.D. The Fertility Diet. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. 2008.143
Want to try acupuncture this year for fertility? Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more about how acupuncture can benefit your health this year. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO
Jessica L. Molleur is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She first became interested in acupuncture as a soccer player searching for an alternative to knee surgery and discovered the many benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis and a Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Jessica is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine and Chinese Herbology through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). She is also a Diplomate of Acupuncture Orthopedics, a specialty certification held by fewer than 500 acupuncturists in the United States.
Jessica currently maintains a private acupuncture practice on the South Shore in Duxbury and Boston's Back Bay neighborhood. The center was awarded Best Acupuncture Center by Boston Magazine. Areas of specialty include women's health, pregnancy, infertility, pediatrics, and sports medicine. If you are interested in learning about the benefits of acupuncture for fertility and IVF, please visit the acupuncture + fertility page. New patients can book online to schedule any acupuncture service including a complimentary consult. Jessica also serves as a health care consultant for a number of integrative medical institutes. Her clients include IVF and infertility centers, functional medicine offices, orthopedic facilities, concierge practices, and green spas. Please contact OMBE for more information about these services.
Prior to her consulting work, Jessica founded an integrative health center in Boston. The eco-friendly center was one of the first twenty-five companies certified as a Sustainable Business Leader in Boston. During its ten-year tenure, the center provided services including acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, naturopathy, nutritional counseling, personal training, Pilates, and yoga. Studio offerings included mom and baby programming, Mongan Method Hypnobirthing, natural childbirth education and the Holistic Moms Network. The center was the recipient of several awards, including Mayor Menino's Green Business Award, a multiple recipient of Boston Business Journal's Best Workplace, Boston Magazine's Best of Boston Award for Massage Therapy as well as Best Eco-Friendly Massage, Eco-Beauty Bar, Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, Pilates, and Workout.