You may think that you've heard advice like this before. There are a few infertility diet books in circulation, and the Internet is rife with dietary advice for women who want to get pregnant. These are scattershot approaches based on wishful thinking and what seems like common sense. Our recommendations, on the other hand, are based on evidence from one of the most comprehensive long-term studies ever conducted.
At least for now, these recommendations are aimed at preventing and reversing ovulatory infertility. They may work for other types of infertility, but we don't yet have enough data to explore connections between nutrition and infertility due to other causes. Because the Nurses' Health Study doesn't include information on the participants' partners, we weren't able to explore whether nutrition affects male infertility. From what we have gleaned from the limited research in this area, some of the Fertility Diet strategies might improve fertility in men, too.
These 10 tips work on many levels. They are simple. They cost a few dollars at most. They don't have side effects, with the possible exception of twins. They are available to everyone, not just those with good health insurance. Best of all, they are every bit as good for your long-term health—and your partner's—as they are for improving fertility. In fact, a diet built around these strategies will serve you well all through pregnancy and into old age.
Excerpted from The Fertility Diet by Drs. Jorge Chavarro and Walter Willett, reprinted with permission from McGraw-Hill Professional.