Are you trying to fall pregnant? It may be very worthwhile considering going “Flexitarian”.
We all know that eating well is important when trying to become pregnant. A nutritious diet plus a folic acid supplement are seen as essential but did you know the type of protein you eat may affect your fertility?
A large ongoing study commenced by Harvard Medical School in the early 1970s has found exactly this.
The findings suggest women should aim to derive half their protein from plant sources and half from fish and eggs and only eat red meat occasionally.
Why? Well, put simply :
Each extra serve of red meat, chicken or turkey in the diet increased the risk of ovulatory infertility by one third, whereas every extra serve of plant-based protein such as beans, peas, tofu, soy-beans, or nuts, provided modest protection against ovulatory infertility. Each serve of fish or eggs had a neutral effect.
The study also looked at the effect of the swapping protein for carbohydrates in the diet. What they found only added weight to the argument that increasing plant protein was optimal.
They found if 25g of carbohydrates were swapped for animal protein it increased ovulatory infertility whilst the same swap for plant protein resulted in decreased (ovulatory) infertility.
In summary, the study found that deriving at least half of your protein from plant sources will provide modest protection against ovulatory infertility whilst swapping some of your current carbs for plant protein can also help decrease ovulatory infertility.
Want more information about fertility? yourfertility.org.au/