A Plant-Based Diet Increases Fertility in Women, Study Finds

Women who avoid fruits and eat lots of fast food take longer time to get pregnant

Women who eat fast food-four or more times a week were less likely to conceive within a year and more frequently experience infertility than those who consume a healthy diet, according to a new study.

A journal on Human Reproduction states that almost no-fruit diet compared to one loaded with three or more pieces per day add about two weeks, on average, to the time of conception.

The study was conducted after data was gathered through questionnaires by midwives between 2004 and 2011 in Australia, Britain and New Zealand for the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) survey. The study defined fast food as meals such as burgers, pizza, fried chicken and fries purchased from a restaurant, but not similar meals cooked and eaten at home.

All the women studied were first time mothers and 340 of them had received some type of fertility treatment before getting pregnant. But those who ate fruit less than one to three times a month took half a month longer to conceive.

The results indicated a clear connection between the lack of fruit in-take or liking for fast-food on the one hand, and a longer "time-to-pregnancy" and higher risk of infertility, on the other side.


Similarly, compared to women who never or rarely ate fast food, women who consumed fast food four or more times a week took almost a month longer to become pregnant.

"We recommend that women who want to become pregnant should align their dietary intakes towards national dietary recommendations for pregnancy", said Jessica Grieger, a post-doctoral research fellow at Adelaide. Time to pregnancy (TTP) in months, was based on the question "duration of sex without contraception before conception with the father of baby".

When the researchers looked at the impact of diet on infertility, they found that in women with the lowest intake of fruit, the risk of infertility increased from 8 per cent to 12 per cent, and in those who ate fast food four or more times a week, the risk of infertility increased from 8 to 16 per cent.

"For any dietary intake assessment, one needs to use some caution regarding whether participant recall is an accurate reflection of dietary intake", Grieger said.

Green leafy vegetables and fish had no impact on time to pregnancy.

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