It may be helpful to avoid forms of processed soy in your fertility diet, particularly powders and energy bars, because research suggests that soy may have a negative effect on fertility. For instance, a study in the Journal of Nutrition found ovarian function can be negatively impacted by diets high in soy. Some experts believe that large quantities of soy protein isolate in these products contain estrogen-mimicking properties that can disrupt your hormonal balance.
"You get a huge dose of phytoestrogens that you would never normally be able to consume in one serving," Vitti says. "Males, in particular, should avoid them, as they may influence their testosterone levels." Whole soy products like edamame and tempeh are fine in moderation, as are fermented versions of soy such as miso paste or natto. "When we're eating soy in its most natural form like in other cultures like Japan and China, it's very healthy for the body," says Krieger.
Tips for a Successful Fertility Diet
In addition to the specific types of foods you are eating, it can also be helpful to incorporate other nutrition tips into your daily habits when you're trying to conceive.
Choose whole foods over processed options
To harness the power of whole foods in action, consider eating more foods from the Mediterranean lifestyle. Typical foods eaten in the Mediterranean include whole grains and vegetables with less processed meat, which may protect against ovulatory dysfunction. Research such as a study in Advanced Nutrition has shown a relationship between the Mediterranean diet and fertility health.
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