Lose weight; implement a conscious diet Mediterranean type rich in seasonal fruit and vegetables and many good ones fibre; make a controlled use of simple sugars and pay attention to quality of raw materials: the realization of the dream of becoming a mom or dad could also depend on what we put at the table.
To say it are the experts of Italian Society of Human Reproduction (SIRU): “A 2019 study showed that a correct diet can improve the outcome of a treatment of Pma or even increase the rate of spontaneous pregnancies, ”she explains Maria Giulia Minasi, head of the Reproductive Medicine laboratory of the Villa Mafalda Center in Rome.
“Since 2010 – confirms Annalisa Liprino, gynecologist of the HERA UMR Center in Sant ‘Agata Li Battiati (Catania) – WHO promotes maternal and child health starting even before pregnancy. Healthy nutrition in preconceived epoch significantly reduces the risk of so-called Adverse Reproductive Outcomes (EAR) and lays the foundations for the health of the child and then of the adult ”. “To increase the chances of pregnancy it is necessary not only to avoid smoking and alcohol, but also to commit to improve your nutrition, also combining regular physical activity ”, he adds Antonino Guglielmino, gynecologist and President of SIRU. “It is not rare, in fact, that some couples about to access treatment for assisted fertilization then manage to achieve their goal spontaneously following only a few simple dietary advice “.
The World Health Organization (WHO) considers infertility a pathology and defines it as the absence of conception after 12/24 months of regular unprotected targeted sexual intercourse. A condition that in Italy it affects about 15% of couples while, in the world, about 10-12%. This pathology can affect men, women or both (couple infertility). However, it may also happen that there is an impossibility for that particular union between individuals to conceive life.
Excess weight can have important consequences that can undermine ability to conceive of a woman, either spontaneously or through assisted fertilization. It can in fact cause ovulation abnormalities and hinder embryo implantation.
“The patient’s weight is the first parameter to be evaluated to understand if it is necessary to change her diet”, explains Maria Giulia Minasi. “If the woman is overweight or even obese one should intervene with a diet capable of bringing his body mass index (BMI) to values considered normal “.
The body mass index (abbreviated BMI or BMI, from the English body mass index) is a biometric data given by the ratio between weight and square of the height of an individual and is used as an indicator of the state of healthy weight.
“It has been shown – underlines Minasi – that women with a High altitude who manage to reduce their weight by 10% compared to the starting value, even without reaching their ideal weight, they can benefit from a significant improvement in fertility “.
However, a healthy diet is equally important for people of normal weight.
Follow the Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet it is the most effective for improving the nutritional status of future parents, experts assure. “There are no single nutrients or single foods that increase the chances of conception – specifies Liprino – for years scientific evidence has shown that the diet as a whole, associated with healthy lifestyles reduces the risk of chronic degenerative diseases and proves to be an ‘ally’ of fertility “. Therefore, it would be ideal to follow the Mediterranean diet with some small precautions: a lower intake of simple sugars, much more seasonal fruit and vegetables and particular attention to the choice of raw materials. “You don’t necessarily have to give up on pasta”, Says Minasi,“ But prefer the wholemeal one, rich in fiber, and avoid consuming it daily ”. As an alternative to pasta, you can opt for rice, barley, spelled, etc. “When it comes to choosing fruit and vegetables, it’s always better to go for that one Seasonal which, in general, has a higher content of micronutrients and vitamins ”, explains Minasi. More field products, therefore, and fewer greenhouse products.
“Furthermore, scientific evidence is accumulating recently which suggests that we can go further. A more drastic reduction of carbohydrates, typical of chetogeniche diet, in fact, it would seem to favor weight loss, rebalance the ovulatory structure and therefore improve fertility. Obviously in this case an adequate integration is necessary and do-it-yourself is banned ”, adds Minasi.
More fish, less meat
Also pay attention to the protein intake. “A fertility ‘friendly’ diet also provides alternation between different protein sources, preferring fish to meat whenever possible rossa”, Adds Dr. Minasi. Yes also at egg, an important source of noble proteins, preferably choosing those that come from free-range hens.
Yes to dried fruit
Also recommended the consumption of dried fruit, which is rich in essential fatty acids omega 3 known to be beneficial for fertility. Particularly, lo studio “Prolonging the female reproductive lifespan and improving egg quality with dietary omega-3 fatty acids” has shown that omega 3 fatty acids can provide an effective and practical way to delay ovarian aging and improve egg quality even in old maternal age.
No to crash diets
But be careful not to exaggerate your eating habits: every now and then the sneak is allowed and represents a way to resume your path with more determination. “That is fine one free meal per week, without exaggerating ”, Minasi suggests. Sweets, he adds, are not banned: “by now low-sugar foods are quite common, such as, for example, peanut butter or dark chocolate “. Establishing a nutritional program together with your doctor or nutritionist is very important to reduce the risks to general health and improve your physical condition before facing the delicate path of pregnancy.