Fertility Nutrition – The Common Myths when Trying to Conceive.

September 2, 2020

When it comes to seeking advice, the internet seems to be our go-to. Not only is it free, but it can be a fantastic source of information — especially when it comes to fertility, nutrition and trying to conceive.

But as the saying goes, there are two sides to every coin and information that may not be factual or helpful to our fertility journeys can find itself on our web browsers. Below, we debunk some of the most common fertility nutrition myths, so that you don’t have to.

The Pineapple Myth

The pineapple has been the symbol for the trying-to-conceive community (TTC) for years. Many people wear items of clothing with pineapples prints on them when undergoing fertility treatment. They’re also worn by those supporting the TTC community, such as friends and relatives.

So, why has the pineapple been adopted as the symbol of fertility? For some time now, it’s been believed that the fruit itself, (particularly when consuming the core), can increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
However, there is no concrete evidence to support that eating a pineapple core or drinking litres of pineapple juice will aid this. But that’s not to say they have zero health benefits; pineapples contain bromelain, a group of enzymes that help to reduce scar tissue and inflammation.

But apart from being a delicious fruit and the symbol of hope and ‘being stronger together’, consuming pineapple cores won’t help you become pregnant.

Other common nutritional-related myths we’ve come across in the fertility world are:

Brazil nuts
While brazil nuts contain Selenium, (which is needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle), there is also no evidence to support that ingesting brazil nuts helps you to conceive.

McDonalds French fries
The thought process behind this one is that the high salt content in fries helps with conception. Again, there is zero evidence to suggest this helps and instead, high salt intake can be harmful to the body.

Cough medicine
There have been talks that drinking cough medicine can help with conceiving. Some cough medicines contain an expectorant (a medication that helps to loosen mucus) and it’s believed that by drinking this, cervical mucus will loosen and aid the passage of the sperm.

However, this theory is just a myth. Cough medicines and expectorants should only be used for the reason they are intended.

A vegan and low-carb diet
There’s nothing wrong with adopting a healthy balanced lifestyle, especially when trying for a baby. But there is no research to suggest that going vegan will increase your chances.

While there is some evidence to suggest that adopting a low-carb diet may help people who suffer from Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), both a vegan and low-carb diet is unlikely to increase the chances of conception.

Pumpkin seeds
As they contain zinc, pumpkin seeds are great for a healthy, balanced diet and good sperm production. Luckily, there are tonnes of foods out there that contain zinc and you can also take multivitamins to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need.

But again, there is no real evidence to suggest that by consuming pumpkin seeds, you’ll achieve a pregnancy.

A final word

At Peppy, we’re often asked about the myths or ‘top tips’ that surround conception. Our advice is that lifestyle factors play an essential role.

We advise you to get plenty of exercise and maintain a healthy, balanced diet. This will include limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption, quitting smoking and taking a folic acid supplement.

However, we understand that there’s information out there that can be misleading and sometimes pose a risk on our physical and emotional wellbeing on our fertility journeys.

As always, advice should come from a validated source and if people have questions surrounding fertility and their next steps, they should always speak with a healthcare professional.