There’s long been evidence to support the notion that a women’s diet before pregnancy impact her chances of conceiving, and reports continue to prove this point. The most recent was a study into the consumption of fast food and fruit pre-pregnancy, finding that excess consumption of fast food and too little consumption of fruit does in fact inhibit how quickly you can become pregnant.
The survey across women in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland asked 5,598 women a series of questions about their diet. The results showed that women who ate fast food four or more times a week took nearly a month longer to get pregnant than those who never or rarely ate it and had a 16% risk of being unable to conceive within a year.
The study also showed that women with the lowest fruit intake has a 12% risk of not conceiving within a year, with those who at fruit less than one to three times a month taking on average half a month longer to become pregnant than those who ate it three or more times a day.
However, the risk on not conceiving within a year was already 8% for the entire group, making the results seem less severe. The research methods of the study have also been called into question, as the results relied on women remembering their diet in the month before becoming pregnant once they were at 14-16 weeks.
The survey was gathered at this stage in the pregnancy by midwives, who asked the women how often they ate fruit, green leafy vegetables and fish, as well as fast food and various unhealthier options such as burgers, pizza, fried chicken and chips. Surprisingly, the experts found no association with eating fish or green leafy vegetables and the time it took to get pregnant.
Researchers have admitted that other unknown factors might have affected the result and acknowledge only a limited range of foods were incorporated- plus there was no information on the father's diet.
Despite this, the experts have confirmed that this research shows a correlation between the diet a woman has and the time it takes her to conceive. Prof Claire Roberts, who led the study, said, ‘These findings show that eating a good quality diet that includes fruit and minimising fast food consumption improves fertility and reduces the time it takes to get pregnant.’
Adding to the growing body of evidence that diet is an important factor in conception, other researchers not involved in the study have also confirmed the overall findings of the study. Dr. Gino Pecoraro, a senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland, said: ‘Generally, the study does support what most health professionals would intuitively believe - having a healthy diet is good for couples trying to conceive.
Click through to see healthy, high protein snacks you can eat on the go...
Chilli Garlic Edamame
Boil your edamame for 5 minutes and rain, then heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil with ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes and 2 garlic cloves, sliced. Stir in the edamame after 1-2 minutes and you've got yourself some delicious peas to snack on.