Low cab meals, daily fruit smoothie raise chances of getting pregnant ••
Cutting down on carbohydrates can help couples increase the chance of starting a family, say fertility experts. Those trying for a baby are advised to eat only one portion of carbs a day.
The British Fertility Society says the food group increasingly appears to play a role in conception and egg quality.It follows evidence that a low-carb diet can almost double women’s chances of pregnancy, while too much stodgy food may stop them ovulating.
The latest advice came from British experts at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Geneva.Dr. Gillian Lockwood, of the Midland Fertility Clinic in Tamworth, Staffordshire, said couples are advised to follow a ‘fertility diet’ of one carbohydrate group a day, unlimited lean protein and leafy vegetables.
She added: “I tell my patients that if they are going to have toast for breakfast, then that is their carbs for the day. They cannot then have a sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner.”
Private clinic Leeds Fertility has also launched a pilot scheme to teach couples about nutrition, including a cooking class with a major focus on carbohydrates.White bread and pasta are banned in favour of wholemeal versions, while muesli or porridge, live natural yoghurt or eggs should replace processed breakfast cereals.
Also, a daily diet of smoothies has been found to help couples start a family. A fruit smoothie drink containing vitamin D and omega 3 raises the chances by almost five per cent, a British study has found.
The boost it gives sperm and womb quality helps the equivalent of an extra woman in every 23 becoming pregnant through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).Researchers say the drink, which contains the same omega 3 as a portion of salmon and a single supplement dose of vitamin D, will also work for couples trying naturally for a child.
Although the smoothie is made specially by scientists, men and women could get the same effect by eating salmon and a multivitamin.However a study of 102 couples led by Southampton University found the smoothies, taken for six weeks before starting IVF, were remembered by couples who might forget a tablet or be too lazy to follow a healthy diet.
The researchers hope the drinks could eventually be recommended by doctors and available for couples to buy.The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, also found people stuck to the diet plan, with more than 96 per cent of women and 94 per cent of the men consuming the smoothies every day.An Italian study published in the journal Andrology last year found that omega 3, found in the smoothies, helped sperm to swim faster, improving its chances of fertilising an egg.
Also, eating a sugary diet while pregnant can increase your child’s risk of asthma.Research found sugary diets seemed to increase damage to the lungs, making allergic asthma – which accounts for about half of asthma cases – more likely.
Researchers from Queen Mary University London, Bristol University and others used data from 9,000 mothers who were pregnant in the early 1990s and their children. The findings, in the European Respiratory Journal, said mothers who ate the most sugar were 101 per cent more likely to have children with allergic asthma than those with the lowest intake.
The team believes a high intake of the sugar fructose causes inflammation in the baby’s lungs, making allergic asthma more likely.Children with a sugary diet were not at any higher risk, suggesting the lungs are more vulnerable in the womb.