When you and your partner are trying to start a family, the food you eat plays a critical role. Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet are the two most straightforward ways to improve your reproductive health. Furthermore, diet is one of the many factors that affect fertility you can control.
In addition, a diet plan can serve as a helpful guide when deciding what to eat, ensuring that you consume enough nutrient-dense foods to aid in achieving your fertility objectives. The Mediterranean Diet is just one of many options for healthy eating plans.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
The healthy eating habits of people living near the Mediterranean Sea inspired the Mediterranean diet. The diet's focus is on long-term health rather than quick fixes, so don't expect to see drastic weight loss results. In addition, there is a great deal of flexibility regarding what can be eaten on a diet. Many dishes are inspired by traditional Greek, Italian, and Spanish meals.
While there may not be a "miracle" food that will provide a hundred per cent of fertility success, eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients like folic acid, B6, B12, omega-3 essential fatty acids, zinc, and antioxidant vitamins C and E can have a positive impact on your reproductive health.
The high vitamin B content of the Mediterranean diet is beneficial for fertility.
Vitamins B6 and B12 (including folate) are essential in preventing neural tube defects, and sufficient amounts of these vitamins also help ensure that your body's cells are healthy and have strong DNA, which can affect your fertility.
Mediterranean Diet vs Paleo vs Keto
Eating quality sources of protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and fibre-rich vegetables is central to these diets. Every diet has its unique way of getting you to your healthy eating and living goal.
Let’s look at what makes the Paleo and Keto diet different from the Mediterranean diet.
The Paleo diet does a great job of eliminating processed foods from your diet, as many contain refined grains or added sugars, both of which are strictly forbidden on the Paleo diet.
Therefore, it will undoubtedly lead to a rise in protein consumption, reducing appetite, preventing binge eating, and facilitating the development of muscle tissue that speeds up the metabolic process. This is because it is not necessarily a low-carb diet, which means you can avoid the low-carb eating plan's fatigue, headaches, and other adverse effects.
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb eating plan that emphasises consuming healthy fats and high-quality proteins while consuming fewer "indirect" carbs from foods like vegetables and some fruits. You'll need a lot more fat and protein to meet your daily calorie needs.
The Ketogenic Diet is popular because it allows people to eat all the foods they love (meat, dairy, seafood, and a wide variety of vegetables) while reducing sugar and carbohydrates significantly. However, fibre and micronutrient deficiencies are risky if you go into keto without carefully considering your diet.
While avoiding processed foods benefits your health, keep in mind that increasing your consumption of foods like cheese, steak, butter, lard, and bacon can increase your saturated fat intake, which is still a concern for heart health. Many people experience the unpleasant symptoms of the so-called "keto flu" at the beginning of their ketogenic diet. These symptoms can include fatigue, nausea, and brain fog.
Mediterranean Diet Recipes for Fertility
Whole grains, olive oil, nuts, fruits, vegetables, high-quality fish, and legumes are just some of the ingredients recommended in the Mediterranean diet. Let’s look at some foods that are highlighted in the Mediterranean diet plan:
- Vegetables are rich in various antioxidants. Plant compounds are known as polyphenols, essential for maintaining a healthy gut and immune system and warding off oxidative stress, which is vital for sperm health. Snacking on bell pepper or carrot strips, drinking a smoothie made with a handful of spinach, and then making a side dish of vegetables for dinner is a great way to increase your daily vegetable intake.
- Fruits are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth and your need for fibre, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Honey is delicious on grapefruit, apples, and bananas, and a little brown sugar works well on pears. Stooking up on fresh fruit and bringing some to the office is preferable, so you always have a nutritious option available.
- Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, anchovies and tuna contain omega-three, which improve your egg’s quality. Consume at least 2-3 times per week as a critical source of protein.
- Nuts outweigh processed snack foods in terms of the amount of fibre and minerals they contain, especially potassium.
- Nuts, such as almonds, cashews, or pistachios, can be a surprisingly satisfying substitute for your typical snack.
As for the foods to avoid in your Mediterranean diet plan include:
- Sweetened carbonated beverages, ice cream, and white sugar
- Starchy foods, such as white bread, rice, and potatoes that are high in glucose-insulin levels
- Trans fats, like those in margarine and pastries, are bad for you – such as cakes and pies
- Refined cuts of meat, such as sausages
- Processed ready meals
Mediterranean eating is more than just a diet; it's a way of life. Slow down and enjoy your food with your loved ones at the table instead of wolfing it down in front of the TV. Eating slowly allows you to appreciate your meal and company more and helps you better recognise when you're full or hungry. To avoid feeling uncomfortable, you are more likely to stop eating when you are full than to eat until you burst.
Eat fish at least twice a week, preferably omega-3-rich varieties like salmon, trout, and sardines, and eat fruits and nuts as snacks. Eat at least two servings of vegetables at each meal, switch to whole grains from refined ones, snack on fruits and nuts, and eat fish at least twice a week, preferably omega-3-rich species like salmon, trout, and sardines.
While high in healthy fats, nuts and olive oil still have high-calorie content, so moderation is essential, a trait for which Mediterranean people are known. Furthermore, eat together with your loved ones more often, as is customary in Mediterranean cultures.