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Olive Oil In Women's Diets Can Boost Fertility

Katlyn Joy |16, February 2015


You know making good health choices can add up to an increased readiness for pregnancy, but can what you eat affect your fertility even more directly? According to some researchers, the answer is yes.

A group of researchers at the University of Southampton in Great Britain believe olive oil in the diet may increase fertility by up to 40 percent and are testing the theory by putting 100 couples on a diet while undergoing IVF treatment. The diet consists of using olive oil for cooking, using an olive oil-based spread and daily ingesting a supplemental drink enriched with vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids for 6 weeks. Another group will be using sunflower seed oil for cooking and using a sunflower oil-based spread and drinking a placebo drink, so the olive oil group's results can be compared to this control group's.

A recent Harvard University study looked into the type and amount of fat in IVF patients' diets to see what diets were associated with higher success rates with fertility treatment. What they discovered was that while those who ate a diet high in saturated fats, such as those found in beef, pork and dairy products had a reduced ovarian response. In addition, those eating a diet high in transfats, such as those found in fried foods and pastries like doughnuts, or polyunsaturated fats, which include most vegetable oils, had decreased embryo quality.

However, those who had a diet rich in monosaturated fats, like olive oil, had an increased delivery rate. The difference was notable, with women in the upper third of monosaturated oil use having a birth rate nearly 3 and a half times the rate of women in the lower third.

Olive oil is not the only healthy choice for fertility, though. Here are a few other foods you might want to consider adding to your fertility diet:


This nut is a great source of omega-3s and can boost fertility for both women and men. A study published in the journal Biology of Reproduction found that men who ate a couple handfuls of walnuts each day experienced improvement in sperm motility, vitality and morphology or shape.

Whole Dairy

Skip the low fat, and have dairy with full fat. May seem counter-intuitive, but low fat dairy is associated with infertility while whole milk products raise fertility. Make sure you pick products made with natural ingredients. Go for whole milk, ice cream, and regular fat cheeses.


This wonder food is high in healthy omega-3 fats, as well as vitamin K and folate. Yes, it is high in calories but it packs such a nutritional wallop, feel free to have one daily without worry. Use in salads, spreads, guacamole, whatever you desire.

Citrus fruits

You know they have loads of vitamin C, with helps ovulation, and folates, which aids fertility in men and women alike.


Yes, it used to be said to be "bad" food, but now we recognize eggs as being one of the best foods to boost your fertility. Remember the yolk is the healthiest part, so don't throw it out thinking those egg white omelets are best. For better health, choose eggs with DHA or other omega-3s. Eggs are also rich in choline, a nutrient that protects against birth defects.


These are antioxidants and raise yours and your partner's fertility. They are also full of vitamin C and folate.


This complex carb is gluten-free and will not mess with hormones the way processed and refined carbs in rice, white bread and pastries can. It also helps regulate ovulation. Plus, it will help baby's brain development once you are pregnant.


You have probably heard fish is brain food. Well, that is true, but it's more than just that. Fish contains the healthy omega-3 fat, and this fat helps regulate hormones and gets more blood flowing to those vital reproductive organs.

Related Articles

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Mediterranean Diet May Boost Chances of Conception

Lifestyle Changes Women Should Make When Trying To Conceive


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Guest Oct 5, 2016 08:04:13 PM ET

No one can really prepare you for the emotionally and physically draining journey that infertility takes you on. We tried so many natural approaches and modifications to our lifestyle, but we knew after a certain period of time we needed professional help. These are a GREAT place to start. But eventually, we went and saw our Dr. who is a leading doctor in the fertility field. Do try some of these though! It is all a part of the process. Wishing you all well. Blessings.

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