The common health concern of infertility affects millions of individuals and couples worldwide. Those who try to conceive but are given the news that there are complications, turn to many options, mainly medicinal or hormonal. But now, there may be a way to combat such a concern in a holistic, non-invasive way – FOOD! Largely consisting of fruits, vegetables, and legumes, the Mediterranean diet has been found to assist with infertility, among having a plethora of other health benefits.

Researchers from Monash University, the University of the Sunshine Coast, and the University of South Australia have conducted a review that has found this specific diet aids to improve infertility, assists in reproductive technology success such as fertility treatments, and improves sperm quality in men. They found that the main positive contributor was the anti-inflammatory ingredients in said diet. Their research shows that inflammation can affect fertility in both men and women, affecting sperm quality, menstrual cycles, and implantation.

This diet consists of foods of healthy fats, leafy greens, and a limited amount of protein. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, these qualities can be found in other protein rich foods such as: the previously stated legumes, so lentils, beans, and peas; and seeds such as hemp, chia, and flax. Certain spices such as turmeric, garlic, red pepper, and basil are also fantastic holders of anti-inflammatory properties.  

"Deciding to have a baby is one of life's biggest decisions, but if things don't go as planned, it can be very stressful for both partners,” stated UniSA researcher Dr Evangeline Mantzioris. "Encouragingly, we found consistent evidence that by adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet -- we can improve fertility."

Foods to keep in mind that adhere to the Mediterranean diet are: whole grains, leafy greens, extra virgin olive oil, legumes, nuts, herbs, yogurts, cheeses, and lean proteins such as fish, chicken, and eggs. This diet is ranked among the healthiest outline of eating and consists of substantial, hearty ingredients. If looking to conceive, modifying your diet is a viable, non-intrusive and affordable option.

The research team acknowledges and states that there needs to be more research and evidence completed, but this diet will not only improve your general health but increase the chances of conception.