Could a fertility diet boost your chance of conceiving? Experts weigh in on ...

When it comes to conceiving, couples are bombarded with advice on what they can do to boost their chances.

Turns out one of the easiest things they can do is change their diet, two Harvard nutrition professors claimed in a book which has been a top seller for a decade. 

The so-called 'Fertility Diet', which was published 10 years ago, is based on incorporating vegetables and whole-fat dairy - and cutting out red meats and trans fat - to improve ovulation. 

There are even certain foods that men can eat to increase their semen quality. 

The research has been contentious ever since, with many not believing that diet has any link to the chances of getting pregnant. spoke to an infertility and prenatal dietitian, who says that a lot of the diet's success depends on a woman's age, when she starts following the diet and if her partner is also adhering to it.

Lauren Manaker, an infertility and prenatal dietitian, told that a fertility diet can  be beneficial depending on a woman's age and when she begins following it (file image)

Lauren Manaker, an infertility and prenatal dietitian, told that a fertility diet can  be beneficial depending on a woman's age and when she begins following it (file image)

The original fertility diet, created by Drs Jorge Chavarro and Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health, was based on the Nurses' Health Study, which investigated the risk factors for chronic diseases in women.

They looked at more than 18,000 women who were trying to conceive, and found that changing the quality of their diets reduced infertility risk in those with ovulation problems.

Among the suggestions, Drs Chavarro and Willet advise cutting out red meats and trans fats, loading up on vegetables and nuts, and eating whole-fat dairy products over low-fat or skim.

They said this helps increase ovulation and improve chances of getting pregnant.

Experts say that it can be helpful - in certain instances.

'It shouldn't be an additional expense or effort where you're spending thousands of dollar to buy every single thing it tell you to eat,' Lauren Manaker, an infertility and prenatal dietitian, told

'Try to follow at least five. Pick some interventions and see how it works.'

Additionally, many other diets follow the same principles as the fertility diet and can be just as successful. 

A 2018 Greek study found that women who followed a Mediterranean diet had a greater success rate of becoming pregnant or giving birth after undergoing in-vitro fertilization. 


1) Cut out trans fats

2) Consume more unsaturated vegetable oils

3) Incorporate more vegetable protein and less animal protein

4) Eat slowly-digested carbohydrates 

5) Choose full-fat dairy over low-fat products

6) Take a multivitamin that contains folic acid and other B vitamins

7) Up iron intake either from foods or from supplements

8) Cut out soda and drink plenty of water. Caffeine is also allowed 

9) Achieve a healthy body mass index 

10) Boost fitness levels

The diet encourages followers to eat less red meat, sugar and saturated fats and to load

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