Health Beat: 'Baby' food: Fertility-boosting bites

Posted: 11:44 AM EDT Mar 14, 2013   Updated: 5:36 PM EDT Mar 14, 2013
Pregnant mother

One in eight couples will have problems getting pregnant, but what they eat could increase their chances of having a baby.

"This one looks like me, and this one looks like my husband," said Laurie Elpers, as she pointed to her fraternal twins, Noah and Ben. They're double trouble their parents thought might never happen.

After months of originally trying, Laurie suffered a miscarriage at 10 weeks.

"That really, you know, kind of shook us a little bit," she said. 

Statistics show that 30 percent of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage. 

"The risk of miscarriage increases with age, so that women, for example, that are over 40 can have a one in three chance of miscarriage," said Dr. Sanjay Acerwall, reproductive endocrinologist at U.C. San Diego.

Harvard researchers have come up with a fertility diet. They say what you eat could improve your chances of getting pregnant and carrying your child to full term.

Women should avoid trans fats, cut back on saturated fats, and add more vegetable oils, nuts, and cold water fish like salmon, according to the study. They should also replace a serving of meat each day with beans, peas, soybeans, or tofu.

Skim milk appears to promote infertility; choose whole milk instead. For your vegetables, go for spinach, beans, tomatoes, and beets. Most importantly, skip the soda. It could slow ovulation.

For men, a 2012 study found eating 75 grams, or about two handfuls of walnuts a day, improves sperm quality. 

Oysters are not only an aphrodisiac, their high zinc content helps production of sperm and testosterone.  You can also find zinc in beef, eggs, and beans.  The antioxidants found in dried fruits, cranberries, and collard greens are also helpful.

One more fertility fact: As long as you don’t drink more than six cups a day, doctors said coffee and tea do not affect a woman’s fertility.

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