It’s a well-known fact that a woman’s fertility declines with age and this is connected with the quality of her eggs. The chances of a woman in her early 20s conceiving and delivering a child are much higher than a woman in her late 30s.
Generally speaking, a young woman, even with a poor diet, has much more resilient eggs although it is possible that a really deficient diet could be the source of infertility, miscarriage and preterm labour.
But an older woman who has more marginal fertility due to the age and quality of her eggs, should take advantage of every practical measure to optimise her egg quality. As more and more women want to have babies in their 30s and 40s, paying attention to a pre-conception diet, is more important than ever.
Marje Isabelle, CEO of the fertility analysis service, Fertile Matters, is passionate about woman taking care of their fertility, not just when they are thinking of having children, but also because women, up until the menopause, are meant to be fertile and having a poor diet which disrupts hormone levels and therefore your fertility, is not good for overall health.
Eating for optimum fertility is also eating for good health and so every woman should try to adopt these guidelines. Here she gives some tips on foods that are generally considered to be a poor choice for fertility and how you can improve your diet by making better choices.
1) Number one on the BAD list are Transfats: these are bad for fertility and are found in processed foods like fast food. Instead you should be getting healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats from foods like avocados, nuts (almonds are a great choice as they also have high levels of Vitamin E) and seeds as well as oily fish like mackerel and sardines. As well as doing wonders for your fertility, eating these kinds of fats are incredibly good for your skin.
2) Red meat is also on the BAD list, and although it can be eaten in moderation, you should be looking to get protein from lots of vegetable sources including beans, soya and nuts.
3) Low-fat dairy is BAD, so avoid skimmed milk and low-fat yogurts, and eat in moderation full fat dairy products like milk and yogurt (Greek is particularly good as it has high protein levels in it).
4) Fizzy drinks are definitely on the BAD list, so instead drink plenty of water, a moderate amount of coffee and tea and the odd glass of wine.
5) ??‘White carbs’ are also on the BAD list so instead fill-up on whole grains like brown rice and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Some foods are particularly beneficial, like the avocados we have already mentioned, but other super fertility foods include figs, pomegranates, kiwifruit and asparagus.
This diet will have a positive impact on your hormone levels and fertility and combined with keeping at a healthy weight and taking moderate exercise, you are giving your body the best chance to be healthy and in the best shape to conceive.