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CONCEPTION Join the breakfast club

A new study has found that eating a big breakfast could help increase fertility. We’ve asked a fertility expert to bring you three breakfasts to help your baby-making potential

If you’re struggling to conceive, eating your biggest meal of the day in the morning could help.

Research was carried out at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University with 60 women aged between 25 and 39 suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This condition affects 6-10 per cent of women at childbearing age.

With PCOS, patients become resistant to insulin, which means there is an increase in androgens (male sex hormones), and it is therefore harder to get pregnant.

During the twelve-week study, 30 patients ate half of their daily calorie allowance of 1,800 calories for breakfast, and the other 30 patients ate it for dinner.


The results found higher levels of ovulation in the big breakfast group.  The authors say this could show eating a hearty breakfast leads to an increase in the level of fertility among woman with PCOS.

Dr Marilyn Glenville, a specialist in women’s health and author of Getting Pregnant Faster (£7.69, Amazon) says this is due to the women becoming more sensitive to insulin, and therefore producing less androgens, male hormones such as testosterone.

‘When the larger meal is eaten in the morning we are more active and the body can use the glucose (sugar) produced from the food to give us energy,’ says Dr Glenville.

‘Less insulin will need to be released to deal with that rise in blood glucose.’

However, in the evening when we are relaxing and are far less energetic, more insulin is needed to deal with the high rise in blood glucose, she says.

The study found no change in the big dinner group, whereas the big breakfast group’s insulin resistance dropped by eight per cent, and their androgen levels by 50 per cent.

If you’re trying to get pregnant, try these brilliant baby boosting breakfasts from Dr Glenville.

Poached or scrambled eggs on wholemeal/rye toast with grilled tomatoes 

Poached Egg

‘This is a low GI breakfast with good levels of protein from the egg white, fertility-boosting Omega 3 fats from the egg yolks and antioxidants from the tomatoes,’ says Dr Glenville.  ‘Good quality complex carbohydrates from the bread give sustained levels of energy’.

A large bowl of porridge with ground nuts and seeds


‘Oats give sustained energy (low GI) and the nuts and seeds add a protein to help lower the GI of the breakfast even more, so this breakfast is more valuable in terms of energy levels,’ says Dr Glenville. ‘You also get a good amount of essential fatty acids from the nuts or seeds’.

Kippers, grilled sardines or mackerel fillets served on wholemeal/rye toast


‘Serve the kippers with tomatoes and mushrooms, or roasted vegetables left over from the night before,’ suggests Dr Glenville. ‘This breakfast is a good protein with excellent levels of Omega 3, which are important for fertility. There are also antioxidants from the vegetables’.

Find out more in Dr Glenville’s book Getting Pregnant Faster (£7.69, Amazon)





lydia headshotLydia Jones blogs at

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