More fresh fruit, less fast food, improves fertility


More fresh fruit, less fast food, improves fertility

A steady diet of McDonald’s burgers and fries appears not to be the way to eat to conceive quickly.  This news is from a study at the University of Adelaide in Australia which showed that women who frequently eat fast food take a longer time to become pregnant then women who eat more fruit. 

This finding is another notch in the belt of healthy indicating healthy food choices can make a difference in trying to conceive.

The research team studied more than 5,500 women in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Britain, all of whom had not conceived prior to the study. Almost all of the women conceived with fertility assistance.  Most were of average weight and were 28 years old on average.  Only 12 percent of the women studied were considered infertile, which was defined as taking 12 months or longer to conceive.

The specifics of the study showed that women who ate fruits less than one time a month took about two weeks longer, on average, to get pregnant than women who ate fruit three times a day or more.  The recommended guideline for fruit consumption in the United States is two to three servings a day. This recommendation supports the requirements for an optimal fertility diet. 

When the women were 15 weeks pregnant, each were asked to indicate what foods they ate and how often.  This used included fresh fruit, leafy green vegetables, and specific types of fish, burgers, fried chicken, tacos, pizza, and fries.  Other information gathered was on when they began trying to become pregnant.

Findings of the study showed that women who reported they ate more fast food and few if hardly any fresh fruit, took two to three weeks longer to become pregnant than women who ate the least amount of fast food but more fresh fruit. 

This study was the first time the specific dietary components of fast food and its relationship to fertility had been studied.  Researchers with the study theorized that the reason the women whom consumed a higher intake of fresh fruit conceived quicker than the women consuming more fast food, is simple.  Fruits contain a range of important antioxidants and phytochemicals which appear to be beneficially impactful for fertility.  On the other hand, fast food may negatively affect fertility because of its high saturated fat content.  Not only are fast foods high in fat, they also contain a lot of calories with high amounts of sodium and sugar. 

Another factor is that fast foods are particularly high in certain fatty acids that may be affecting the egg cells.  Due to the nature and amount these fats found in fast foods, it’s possible that a woman’s diet may affect the balance of these fat components.

The diets of the women’s male partners were not studied or questioned. However, other studies have shown that a diet high in fruits and vegetables are linked with healthier sperm.  Other factors that can interfere with fertility in both women and men are smoking and obesity.

Even though the average age of the women included in this study was 28, age is also a major factor in how long it takes a woman to conceive.  About one-third of couples in which the woman is older than 35 years, have fertility problems.  If it takes a couple trying to conceive more than a year to do so, they are said to be infertile or to have fertility problems.  Excessive drinking, extreme weight gain or loss, and extreme physical or emotional stress can also negatively affect pregnancy.