Melbourne, July 30 : By making "drastic" changes in the diet, women in their 40s and 50s can increase their chances of having a baby, it has been claimed.
A new book on fertility claims that cutting out alcohol and sugar and eating more organic foods allows women to hit the "snooze button" on their biological clocks, thereby, maximizing their chances of having a baby.
Sarah Dobbyn, a nutritionist and author of The Fertility Diet, said the influence of diet on fertility was often overlooked in an age in which IVF often seemed the only answer to pregnancy problems.
"Huge amounts of money are being spent on assisted conception techniques by hopeful couples who do not know that alcohol and caffeine are liquid contraceptives, sweeteners can prevent ovulation and seemingly innocent foods such as peas, rhubarb and soya all inhibit fertility," the Daily Telegraph quoted her, as saying.
Aimed at those trying to conceive naturally as well as those going through IVF, Dobbyn advised cutting out smoking, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, caffeine and soya in the first month.
Peas and rhubarb were also banned following studies linking them to infertility.
By month two, couples should have given up all meat and cut out sugar and dairy. By the third month, consumption of eggs and fruit juices should be reduced.
However, it is not all about cutting back, with couples allowed unlimited quantities of beans, pulses, organic herbs, spices and nuts from day one.
Fruit and vegetables should be eaten raw to help balance the body's hormones.
Would-be parents are also to lose weight if overweight, keep stress to a minimum and try to get a good night's sleep.