According to an article in The Irish Times, “Research study suggest fresh fruit, fish, olive oil improves chances of becoming pregnant”

The Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean diet consists of fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, fish and olive oil. According to new research women who follow a diet like this in the six months previous In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment have a significantly better chance of becoming pregnant and giving birth than women who did not.

The Results of the Research

The researchers at the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Harokopio University of Athens asked women about their food intake before they underwent IVF treatment and found that women that followed a Mediterranean diet were 65-68% more likely to have a successful pregnancy compared to those with the lowest adherence to the diet.

There were 244 women that took part in the research aged between 22 and 41. All of the women were classified as ‘non-obese’ and they were given the questionnaire when they enrolled in an Assisted Conception Unit in Athens.

Prof Nikos Yiannakouris said:

“The important message from our study is that women attempting fertility should be encouraged to eat a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet … It should be noted that when it comes to conceiving a baby, diet and lifestyle are just as important for men as for women. Previous work from our research group among the male partners of our study has suggested that adherence to the Mediterranean diet may also help improve semen quality, … Taken together, these findings highlight the importance of dietary influences and diet quality on fertility, and support a favourable role for the Mediterranean diet on assisted reproduction performance.”

Further Research is Needed

Prof Yiannakouris also said,

“Our results suggest the need for additional research not only among older women but also among women with obesity problems and in women conceiving naturally,”.

This comes from researchers not finding any correlation between diet and the chances of successful pregnancies among women aged 35 and older. The researchers believe this could be due to hormonal changes, fewer eggs being available and other changes women experience as they get older.