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Here's what to eat if you're trying to get pregnant

Certain foods can either improve or weaken fertility and sperm quality.

fertility-diet

When beginning the journey of trying to conceive, many women wonder about starting a fertility diet.

What you eat affects everything in your life, from your body and mood to your risk of certain diseases. But, it turns out, that's not all nutrition can impact: New research has shown that the types of food you consume can also play a role in your fertility.

A study published May 2018 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has found that certain foods can either improve or weaken fertility and sperm quality. In particular, in reviewing extensive data on nutrition and fertility, researchers from Harvard University have been able to link diets rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, poultry and fish to better fertility and sperm stock, according to ABC News.

While no diet is going to reverse infertility due to certain physical issues, eating the right diet may help people who are trying to conceive.

What foods may improve fertility for a woman?

Specifically, researchers found that these foods can help boost the chances of pregnancy for women:

  • Salmon
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans
  • Spinach (or produce in general)

What foods may improve fertility for a man?

To benefit male fertility, men should consume:
  • Dark chocolate
  • Berries
  • Citrus fruits
  • Chicken
  • Fish

Whole grains can have a positive impact on fertility for both women and men, according to the study's findings.

What foods can harm fertility?

Trans fatty acids, which are found in processed foods, on the other hands, have been linked to lower fertility, the researchers found. Dairy, alcohol, caffeine and soy have been shown to have a neutral effect, meaning eating or drinking those food products do not hurt or help couples trying to conceive.

Soy, though, may have a positive impact on in-vitro fertilization. Same goes for folic acid, which is found in spinach and other leafy greens, as well as breads, beans, cereal and pasta, according to the study.

What is a fertility diet?

The idea that our diet impacts our chances of conceiving is definitely not new, but the new research builds upon a foundation previously outlined by Harvard researchers Drs. Jorge Chavarro and Walter Willett in their book The Fertility Diet: Groundbreaking Research Reveals Natural Ways to Boost Ovulation and Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant.

Chavarro and Willett used data from a massive study of women's dietary habits known as the Nurses' Health Study, which tracked 18,000 women who were trying to conceive over eight years. Much like the new research, that study indicated that a diet with plenty of plant protein, veggies and "good" fats can boost conception rates, while diets high in processed food, refined carbs and soda don't boost our chances of making a baby.

"Add in more vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and cold water fish such as salmon and sardines. Cut back on saturated fat," the doctors note, also suggesting moms-to-be cut trans fats and choose slowly digested carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables, whole fruits, and beans instead of refined, quick carbs.

The main difference between the two studies is in the dairy category. While Chavarro and Willett say "skim milk appears to promote infertility" and suggest whole or full-fat dairy for women trying to get pregnant, the more recent research was neutral on dairy.

Despite the work that's been done at Harvard, additional studies into the connection between food and fertility are needed, but the science to date at least gives hopeful parents insight into how their everyday food decisions can impact their fertility health. Plus, maintaining a nutritious diet even before you conceive can have tremendous effects on your baby's long-term health, so eating healthy foods has its benefits no matter what.

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They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

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Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

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Balance board

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Detective set

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Wooden doll stroller

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Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

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Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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