More and more couples trying to have a baby are struggling with reduced fertility or infertility, which can affect both men and women. Although the reasons for this are sometimes different, it is worth knowing that in the prevention and treatment of infertility, an important role is played by, among others, a properly composed diet.
Experts estimate that the problem of infertility currently affects about 10-16 per cent of people of reproductive age. As a result, about one million couples in Poland struggle with it! Fortunately, infertility is a reversible condition (as opposed to infertility) – that is, with appropriate therapeutic management, it is often overcome.
It is worth recalling that infertility refers to the inability to get pregnant within 12 months – despite regular unprotected sexual intercourse.
“There is growing evidence that diet can have a significant impact on fertility, in both men and women. Infertility caused by ovulation disorders can largely be prevented by maintaining healthy body weight. “Underweight and, to an even greater extent, overweight and obesity are associated with an increased risk of infertility,” we read in a specialized study on the relationship between diet and fertility published in the scientific journal Developmental Age Medicine
Specialists explain, for example, that ovulation disorders are a frequent cause of female infertility, which in turn can be a “side effect” of the so-called insulin resistance (insulin resistance – a metabolic disorder that involves a reduction in the sensitivity of body tissues to insulin). Meanwhile, as we know, insulin resistance very often develops in people with excessive body weight. This is why, in their case, changing their diet and shedding excess weight can help solve the infertility problem.
When it comes to male infertility, for example, experts estimate that a large part of its cases may be caused by damage to sperm as a result of oxidative stress (i.e., the imbalance between oxidizing factors – the so-called oxidants / free radicals and reducing factors – the so-called antioxidants/antioxidants in the body, and also in the semen, in favour of the former).
Besides, according to a consensus of experts, a diet rich in natural antioxidants also benefits women’s reproductive health.
In this context, it is worth paying attention to, among others, berries, which many nutritionists and doctors – due to the extremely high content of substances with antioxidant properties, but also anti-diabetic properties – include in the category of so-called superfoods. Experts emphasize that berries are a rich source of various types of health-promoting polyphenolic compounds (e.g., anthocyanins), as well as many vitamins, microelements and fibre.