The Norman Transcript

Features

February 23, 2014

Healthy foods can help reproduction

(Continued)

NORMAN —

· Befriend folic acid. While it will not increase your fertility, when trying to get pregnant, it is important to increase folic acid to 400mcg a day to help prevent neural tube defects such as Spina Bifida, which often develops within the first month of conception before you may know you are pregnant. Food sources of folic acid include dark, leafy green vegetables and fortified grains. Many women add a supplement when approved by their physician.

· Research the “Fertility Diet.” Published by a team of Harvard researchers in 2007, researchers found that women with ovulatory infertility who followed this eating plan had a 66 percent lower risk of ovulatory infertility and a 27 percent reduced risk of infertility from other causes than women who didn’t follow the diet closely.

Women following the “fertility diet” chose, less trans fat and more monounsaturated fat (like avocados and olive oil), less animal protein and more vegetable protein, more high-fiber, low-glycemic carbohydrates (like whole grains), more vegetarian sources of iron and fewer meat sources, multivitamins and high-fat dairy instead of low-fat dairy.

In general, eating more vegetables, swapping healthy monounsaturated fats for saturated and trans fats, making at least half your grains whole and getting enough calcium-rich foods — like dairy — will help you meet nutrient needs and promote a healthy weight.

Men-specific diet adjustment:

One-third of the cases of infertility are related to the male partner. Some common causes of sperm-related infertility are low sperm count, slow-moving sperm, abnormal shape and size of sperm and problems with semen. Diet and lifestyle choices can affect the health of a man’s sperm.

Eating for fertility:

· Get your fruits and vegetables. Color your plate with at least 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit: leafy greens, purple and yellow vegetables, apples, oranges, kiwi, blueberries and melon.

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