If there’s one eating plan Swan loves for reproductive health, it’s the Mediterranean diet (and given its plethora of health benefits, we’re not surprised). You know: “Lower in meat, higher in fruit and vegetables, olive oil instead of butter, and so on and so forth,” she adds. Research backs it up, too: One study found that “Mediterranean-type” eating patterns were associated with enhanced reproductive health when compared to “Western-type” patterns.* For men in particular, one study shows that a high MedDietScore (which measures how closely they followed the Mediterranean diet) was associated with a higher sperm concentration, total sperm count and sperm motility.*
As we mentioned up top, many of the factors that help support reproductive health are also ones that optimize overall longevity, so it makes sense a Mediterranean diet (which is associated with increased life span) would tick both boxes. And if you do eat animal products—hat-tip to Mediterranean diet staples, like omega-3-rich fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt—Swan recommends finding less-processed options, if you’re able.