1. Which food items do you regularly consume?

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Food Group A
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Food Group B
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Food Group C
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Food Group D
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Food Group E
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2. Which of the following protein sources do you regularly consume?

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3. When you sit to eat, which of the following items are you most likely to find on your plate almost everyday?

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4. Which of the following sources of sugar do you consume almost everyday? (click all that apply)

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5. Which of the following do you indulge in regularly?

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6. Which of the following carbohydrate sources do you regularly consume?

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7. Which of the following food items do you consume in almost 3 days?

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Result



Thank you for trusting us with your Fertility Nutrition. Your {good_remark_iron} {good_remark_zinc} {good_remark_selenium} {good_remark_vitamin_d} {good_remark_folate} {good_protein_source} {good_most_likely_foods_score} {good_sources_of_sugar_score} {good_indulge_in_regularly_score} {good_carbohydrate_sources_score} {good_food_consume_in_3_days_score} is good.

Your {bad_remark_iron} {bad_remark_zinc} {bad_remark_selenium} {bad_remark_vitamin_d} {bad_remark_folate} {bad_protein_source} {bad_most_likely_foods_score} {bad_sources_of_sugar_score} {bad_indulge_in_regularly_score} {bad_carbohydrate_sources_score} {bad_food_consume_in_3_days_score} is not bad, but needs improvement. You can read what you can do about this, as you scroll down. Unfortunately, your {un_remark_iron} {un_remark_zinc} {un_remark_selenium} {un_remark_vitamin_d} {un_remark_folate} {un_protein_source} {un_most_likely_foods_score} {un_sources_of_sugar_score} {un_indulge_in_regularly_score} {un_carbohydrate_sources_score} {un_food_consume_in_3_days_score} is unsatisfactory, and we recommend that you address this.

We are here to help. You can consult our trusted experts for more guidance, join our exclusive community for personalised attention & support system, or write to us in case you have any more questions, and want us to customise a plan for you.

Scroll below for what actions you can take for optimising your fertility nutrition.


What you can do next:



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Fertility nutrition can be confusing. However, before incorporating any kind of lifestyle changes, make sure you know your body. Yes, some nutrients and food groups have a beneficial effect on the body but your body might react to it in a different way.

When we talk about nutrition around fertility, we come across a common term, “Mediterranean diet”. This can prove to be extremely beneficial for women who are trying to conceive as it is in complete sync with the diet that women anticipating pregnancy should intake. It does not guarantee conception but through a lifestyle change, it prepares your body for conception by providing an optimal environment. Many researches have pointed out towards the importance of incorporating this dietary change. Along with fertility, Mediteraranean diets are useful in managing cardiovascular diseases too, as pointed out by Cochrane review in 2013. Another research suggests that following this dietary pattern increases folate and vitamin B6 levels in the body which is directly related to a 40% increase in positive pregnancies. Karayiannis and colleagues pointed out that MedDiet was positively related to clinical pregnancies and live birth, particularly in women below the age of 35 years.

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MedDiet is an easy to follow routine. In brief, it requires the following modifications:

a) High consumption of legumes, vegetables and fruits, whole grains and nuts.
b) Moderate consumption of fish and dairy products
c) Low consumption of meat and meat products, wine and saturated products.

In the book, “The Mediterranean Diet: An Evidence-Based Approach” edited by Victor R. Preedy, Ronald Ross Watson, MedDiet has been elaborately explained. They say, “MedDiet is a part of lifestyle that considers the use of traditional ingredients as a characteristic way for meal preparation and cooking. It is based on a high intake of vegetable products rich in carbohydrates, olive oil and moderate amounts of fish and other food stuff”. In the same book, the editors have laid down some very easy points on how to maintain and follow a MedDiet and what are the required changes. They are:

a) High bread, whole cereals, nuts and honey consumption: Prefer consuming the refined cereals, like atta over their refined counterparts, like maida. In case of other cereals too, choose their unpolished versions. Take extra care while storing them. Along with that, try to substitute your sugar with honey. Make some dietary changes which reduces your intake of refined table sugar and instead use honey as your usual sweetener. When we talk about bread, choose the better options, like focaccia bread, whole wheat bread, etc. and if these options are unavailable, you can totally skip its consumption.

b) High consumption of legumes, vegetables and fruits: Legumes include all your dals and foods like rajma, chola, soybean, etc. prefer having your fruits fresh, i.e., with minimum cooking or processing. Add a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet and eat vegetables and fruits of all colours. Take care while cooking vegetables so that minimum nutrients are lost during cooking or pre cooking methods.

c) Culinary fat: olive oil for addressing and cooking. Typical cooking - frying: In MedDiet, olive oil is preferred for cooking and foodstuffs are usually fried. Frying here is okay because one, olive oil does not harm the body as much as the other oils and two, the body is taking in unhealthy oils and saturated foods in limited amounts and small amounts of fried foods does not harm the body. However, make sure that the oil you use for frying is not reused. Every time you fry something, use a fresh batch of oil.

d) Low intakes of saturated fats (cream, butter and margarine): saturated fats like butter, ghee, cream, etc should be avoided. In diet or otherwise, consumption of saturated fats should be as low as possible.

e) Frequent fish consumption: fish can be consumed in good amounts in the MedDiet. However, be very careful while cooking the fish. Raw fish should be consumed at all. Therefore, choose such a variety of fishes that require proper cooking for consumption. The preparation can be anything as long as it is not raw.

f) Moderate intake of dairy products, mainly as cheese and yoghurt: like in other food groups, milk and its products should be consumed in their least processed forms. For example, avoid having the flavourful cheeses like parmesan or mozzarella. Similarly, for things like paneer, prefer making them at your home with fresh milk rather than buying the one available in the market.

g) Low intakes of meat and meat products: any kind of meat, be it red or white, should be avoided. Occasional intake of meat can be enjoyed with proper cooking and preferably using the leaner cuts. Again, use fresh cuts of meat and not the packaged and stored ones.

h) Moderate consumption of wine during meals: alcoholic beverages and smoking should be avoided. In our out of diet, consumption of alcohol during or before the pregnancy can harm the foetus and can cause issues in the pregnancy. Having small amounts of wine is considered okay. But, smoking should be avoided at all costs.

i) High consumption of garlic, parsley, onion, basil, oregano, anise, sesame, cinnamon and other spices: MedDiet is an extremely flavorful kind of diet. It has strong flavours and uses a range of spices too. Therefore, use of spices is encouraged while following this diet.

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While talking about fertility and its diet, there are certain nutrients that are extremely crucial for a healthy pregnancy and childbirth to occur. And even within nutrients, the way and form in which the nutrient is being taken is also an important point to consider. For example, in a study by Chavarro and coworkers, a relationship was established between animal protein consumption and increased ovulatory infertility and plant protein consumption and decreased ovulatory fertility. Their study also showed the positive correlation between carbohydrate intake and ovulatory disorders probably due to the glucose spike caused by carbohydrates and its ultimate effect on androgens and oocyte maturation.

The kind of nutrients that should be consumed are:

a) Plant sources of protein:
Importance - prevents ovulatory infertility
Sources - cereals, legumes, milk and milk products, amaranth and chia seeds

b) Antioxidants, like vitamin C, Vitamin E:
Importance - reduce the oxidative stress that can cause unwanted variations in the DNA of the child
Sources - whole grains, nuts, seeds, citrus fruits, mango, papaya, cauliflower, potato, spinach, watermelon, tomato, broccoli, kiwi and green peppers

c) Folate:
Importance - reduces infertility and prevents spinal cord malformations in the child
Sources - liver, legumes, spinach, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and orange.

d) Iron:
Importance - Provide the mother and child with good amount of blood and haemoglobin and prevent anemia
Sources - liver, fish, meat, peas, legumes, green leafy vegetables, bajra and ragi along with cooking in iron laden utensils

e) Zinc:
Importance - affects ovulation and oocyte maturation
Sources - legumes, nuts, pumpkin and sesame seeds, eggs and dairy products

f) Selenium:
Importance - helps prevent inadequate supply of progesterone during luteal phase and thus, implantation
Sources - brazil nut, banana, fish, liver and eggs

g) Vitamin D:
Sources - fish liver oil, fish, butter and fortified milk and oil.

h) Omega-3 fatty acids:
Importance - only source of DHA for child in the womb and DHA has crucial role in brain development of the child
Sources - salmon, tuna, soyabean, black gram, bajra, green leafy vegetables, walnuts, flaxseeds and fenugreek leaves and seeds

One important point to note here is that according to a study by Showell and coworkers, excessive consumption of antioxidants can be harmful for the body. Therefore, consume them in moderate amounts and not in excess. Along with this, as explained in the MedDiet, avoid trans fat, saturated fats and alcoholic beverages. It is believed that the capacity to have a live birth is indirectly proportional to smoking, alcohol and poor diet, along with increased chances of a miscarriage. A decline in the ratio of conception has been seen in couples with increasing BMI (“The impact of maternal lifestyle factors on periconception outcomes: a systematic review of observational studies”, by Elsje C. Oostingh, Jennifer Hall, Maria P.H. Koster, Bola Grace, Eric Jauniaux, Régine P.M. Steegers-Theunissen).

What remains imperative is that the diet of the woman has a lot of variety in it. Same kinds of food or same kinds of cooking methods not only brings in monotony but deprives the body of the essential nutrients that many fruits and vegetables provide. Whenever you eat try to cover the maximum number of food groups. A typical plate should look like:

a) A cereal preparation
b) A pulse preparation
c) A vegetable preparation (curry or dry)
d) At least twice a week a non vegetarian preparation (curry or dry)
e) Meal followed by fruit or accompanied by salad

These can be included in any form and can even be mixed together, for example khichdi or biryani. Adding variety to the diet also covers key points of a MedDiet.

In conclusion, it can be said that enough studies in the recent past have pointed towards the importance of diet and food choices on fertility. Therefore, it is extremely vital to choose the right kinds of food for the body which can support pregnancy as well as a healthy growth and development of the child.