"When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need."
As someone who is dealing with the effects of infertility, I have found myself asking both my OBGYN and my Reproductive Endocrinologist, "What is the best diet I can be on to improve my fertility?" Both of my physicians have recommended a Mediterranean diet, as well as a Keto diet. In this article I would like to focus just on the Mediterranean diet and the benefits that can be found by applying this diet to our lives.
According to a obervational research study, the Mediterranean diet may include all the foods and nutrients the female body needs for optimal fertility. This study was completed by researchers at the University of Navarra in Spain. There seems to be a connection between the Mediterranean diet and fertility, based on the bodies insulin response. According to researchers, the Western diet (American Diet) is full of simple sugars and processed foods. In order for the body to digest and utilize these foods, the body requires and increase of insulin. When our body has too much insulin other hormones in the body, including fertility and reproductive hormones don't get released properly. The Mediterranean diet is filled with fruits, vegetables, healthy oils and whole grains. These foods help our bodies to control the blood glucose or insulin response. As a result, or fertility and reproductive hormones can maintain a healthy balance.
“Everyday is a new beginning, take a deep breath and Start Again.”
One study, published in Fertility and Sterility in 2010, found that the Mediterranean dietary pattern, when applied in six months before the conception, significantly increased the chance of pregnancy in 166 Dutch couples undergoing IVF treatments.
The couples were asked to answer questions related to their nutrition and lifestyle; on analysis, it turned out that a high intake of mediterranean food (vegetable oils, vegetables, fish, legumes), and a low intake of snacks during preconception time, positively correlated with their blood folate and B6, and increased the probability of a couple conceiving a baby.
Six months of delicious meals alone was enough to significantly increase a couples chance of concieving how awesome is that?
The benefits from eathing a Mediterranean diet with regards to getting pregnant were again comfirmed in a Spanish Study from 2012. This study looked at 485 women who reported difficulties conceiving and concluded that having adopted and following a Mediterranean diet pattern enhanced their fertility.
Many question is it the high levels of antioxidants in the fruits and vegetables found on the Mediterranean diet? Or is it a higher folate level from these foods?
A Mediterranean diet is focused mostly on fresh foods with minimal to no processing. The typical vegetables on this diet are; tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes, onions, peppers, peas,artichokes, celery, lettuce, eggplant and mushrooms. The fruits recommended are; apples, grapefruit, melons, grapes, cherries, peaches, dates, and strawberries. For dairy; milk, yogurt and chesses are ok. The items that are not recommended on this diet are processed carbohydrates such as white bread and pastas. Instead it is recommended to eat whole grains such as rice, oats, couscous, barley and bulgur.
In the Mediterranean diet, it is suggested to drink wine in moderation, meaning not to drink the entire bottle in one sitting, but to have a single glass of wine with a meal. Therefore, it is thought that wine in conjunction with a Mediterranean diet may be benificial to fertility. There is a Danish study that examined the association between drinking habits and the waiting time until pregnancy in 29844 women, found women that comsumed wine were getting pregnant faster than the group that were non-wine drinkers, or who were drinking other alcoholic drinks. In relation, moderating wine consumption is linked to a decrease in stroke and reducing the risk for several types of cancer.
One of the main suspects for the effects of wine and the success of the Mediterranean diet in relation to getting pregnant is resveratrol. Whether reseveratol acts alone or if the mixture of foods and compounds consumed that makes the Mediterranean magic, science still needs to study this further. Resveratol on its own is an amazing and has wonderful anti-oxidative properties that improves cellular energy. Many of the studies on resveratol have shown that intake over a long period of time protects against age-associated reduced fertility, therefore, meaning an impoved egg and embyro quality.
As well as the benefits found drinking wine and adapting a Mediterranean diet, the nutrients from the diet can assist your body to clear sugars from the bloodstream, while using less insulin to do this job. By doing this it makes it easier for the body to keep the balance of reproductive hormones in check
“Don't confuse your path with your destination. Just because its stormy now doesn't mean you aren't headed for sunshine.”
In conclusion, it may be beneficial to try this diet. What do you have to loose? I will be hoping to post a meal plan soon for the Mediterranean diet so please continue to look back for more information regarding the Mediterranean diet.
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