The diet that boosts fertility

Mediterranean-influenced nutrition may make it easier to conceive.

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Healthy women under the age of 35 who ate a Mediterranean diet for six months before undergoing in vitro fertilization were 70 percent more likely to become pregnant and have a baby than women who didn’t eat that way, according to a recent study.

Researchers found that the more closely someone adhered to the nutrition plan—eating five or more servings of vegetables a day, choosing fish instead of red meat, and consuming olive oil—the greater her chances were of becoming pregnant.

"This type of diet is rich in antioxidants and good-quality protein and lipids,” says study author Nikos Yiannakouris, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and physiology at Harokopio University in Athens. “Eating this way can help establish a healthy environment in the endometrium (the lining of the uterus), which can help women with pregnancy.”

And men can benefit too: Yiannakouris’s previous research found that guys who consumed the aforementioned foods had better sperm quality than those who didn’t.

“Forty percent of infertility is due to the male factor,” Yiannakouris says, so if you’re thinking about having a baby soon, both men and women should try a Mediterranean diet. The longer that you do, the more likely it is to boost your odds of getting pregnant. Try thissalmon salad recipe or rethink canned tuna with these elevated dishes.