Can Foods Increase Your Fertility?
Separating fact from fiction
However, while zinc is known throughout the medical community as a helpful mineral that keeps reproductive systems in good working order, no studies show that downing a dozen oysters or gobbling up a 20-pound turkey every day will transform you into a baby-making factory. As a matter of fact, taking excessive amounts of any type of vitamins or minerals can decrease fertility.
Then there are the coffee advocates. A couple of studies suggest that when some men drink coffee before sex, their sperm becomes more energetic. Because sluggish sperm is a primary cause of male infertility, java fans believe coffee could be the answer to their conception problems.
On the other hand, a study conducted by Yale University School of Medicine claims that the risk of reduced fertility is higher in women who consume caffeine—especially in women who drink more than three cups off coffee a day. So don’t join your man when he indulges in a cup of coffee before a baby-making session—if you choose to believe this somewhat contradictory research, that is.
A number of nutritionists also believe that apricots, clams, shrimp, prunes, and tofu can enhance your fertility due to their high levels of iron. Some studies indicate that women with low iron reserves are less likely to conceive, so many people assume that consuming more iron must increase fertility. These fertility food advocates also say this rule holds true for foods containing vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, and calcium.
Separating Fact from Fiction
Although there are many fertility-boosting food believers out there, many nutritionists don’t buy the notion that eating certain foods ensures you’ll be a mother within the next year. However, dietitians and nutritionists do recommend a balanced diet complete with all of the necessary nutrients.
Cynthia Sass, a registered dietitian, licensed nutritionist and national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, doesn’t believe that specific foods can increase a man or woman’s fertility. On the other hand, Sass says, “An overall balanced diet can help greatly.” She explains, “Studies have shown that being overweight is linked to infertility, as well as following a too restrictive diet or a diet deficient in key nutrients such as zinc. Researchers at the University of Adelaide have found that diet and exercise changes can help women struggling with infertility become pregnant.”
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