THE OPTIMUMFERTILITY DIET: Trying for a baby?

Trying for a baby?

Make sure your male partner has a handful or two of nuts daily. Men who ate about two handfuls of mixed almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts daily for 14 weeks increased their sperm count and had more viable ‘swimmers’, shows a study in the journal European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. It’s the latest in a long line of evidence that diet is vital tor fertility. While couples can’t control all the causes of infertility, they can control their eating habits, so here are some of the other top baby-making tips:

Choose higher fibre and plant-based foods – research shows women who eat plenty of high-fibre, slow-releasing, carbohydrate-rich foods (such as whole grains), more monounsaturated fat (olive oil and avocados), and a higher ratio of plant to animal protein were more fertile. Women are also more likely to conceive if they take a multivitamin. AAround a third of infertility cases are due to weight extremes’.

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Choose more veggie-source iron. According to results from The Nurses’ Health Study, a diet rich in iron from vegetables and supplements (but not meat) lowers the risk of ovulatory infertility, which affects 25 per cent of infertile couples.

Get in trim – around a third of infertility cases are due to weight extremes, which in women can alter hormone levels and throw ovulation off schedule. In men, carrying too much weight lowers testosterone levels and can make sperm sluggish.

SCANIDI SENSE

From the countries that brought us hygge and Ikea, the Nordic diet – a way of eating claimed to be healthy and waistline friendly – is gaining fraction with nutritionists. Based on the traditional Scandinavian diet, staples include healthy omega-3 oily fish, whole grains, berries, and cabbage, along with root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots, and pulses such as peas and beans.

Despite being from chillier climes, the Nordic diet shares many elements with the sunny Mediterranean diet – widely considered the best eating pattern for preventing heart disease. But, with its more wintery feel, the Nordic diet has more of a comfort element – think lentils, cabbage and mash with a lean pork chop, or a slice of whole grain rye toast topped with smoked salmon – and is good value for money too. You can buy frozen berries all year and the diet calls for rapeseed oil instead of olive oil, which is equally high in monounsafurafes but much cheaper.

HUNGER MAKES ME GRUMPY

My mood is really affected by hunger – what snacks will stop me being ‘hangry’?

Feeling so famished that you’re angry is often to do with the types of meal you eat. A common trigger is eating a small breakfast with insufficient calories and too many refined carbs (for example, a bowl of corn flakes or some sugary granola). This is likely to lead to a sugar crash and a negative effect on your mood by mid-morning. Rather, have something substantial with a good amount of protein, such as a biggish bowl of porridge with Greek yogurt and fruit, or two poached eggs on whole grain toast. If you’re still crashing and grumpy, something with protein and fibre such as apple and cheese, or some peanut butter on a slice of whole grain toast should set you right again.

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