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The Mediterranean Diet seems to be the wunderkind in the weight loss world, ranked as one of the Top 10 most popular diets,, it has been studied extensively over the past several years and found to produce numerous health benefits. Among those are a lowered incidence of asthma and allergies in children, lowered risk of metabolic syndrome, possibly eliminating diabetes medication for Type II diabetics, and lessening the risk of cancer and depression. You can now add to that list the Mediterranean Diet may just increase the likelihood of a woman undergoing fertility treatments to become pregnant.

Recent research coming out of the Netherlands and published in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility, doesn’t actually prove that the diet alone boosts fertility, but in analyzing the diets of the 161 couples undergoing fertility treatment researchers found that that two common diet patterns emerged. Those women who adhered to the Mediterranean-style diet had a higher pregnancy rate following in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). In fact, the women who were consistent with the tenets of the diet were 40 percent more likely to get pregnant than those women whose diets were farthest from the Mediterranean Diet.

A typical Mediterranean meal includes generous amounts of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, pasta, cereals, nuts, seeds and olive oil, with lesser amounts of poultry, eggs, and dairy, and very little red meat. A glass of wine is almost always served with lunch or dinner. (Although this would not be recommended for women trying to conceive or who are pregnant.) The Mediterranean diet also emphasizes minimally processed, fresh, and preferably local foods. The total fat in this diet is 25 to 35 percent of calories. Actually, the dietary guidelines recommended by the American Heart Association are very similar to that of the Mediterranean diet.

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