Do you have a yearning for one brand of baby over another? If you’re already pregnant, the die has been cast. But next time you’re in the baby-making way, you might want to consider your menu. A new study says diet can radically alter your chances of having either a boy or a girl. The key, according to researchers at Maastricht University in The Netherlands, is the balance of minerals in the mother’s pre-pregnancy diet.
Jonesing for a girl? Eat a diet high in magnesium and low in potassium. For a boy, eat more potassium rich foods, and avoid magnesium. The study claims that women who adhered to these guidelines had an 80% chance of success in choosing their babies’ sex.
More info on the study, and exactly where you can find (or avoid) these minerals after the jump.
The idea of foods influencing babies’ sex is not so new. I drank cranberry juice before conceiving my daughter (in hopes of conceiving a daughter). The point there was to acidify the ahem, environment, making it less hospitable to those delicate boy spermies. There was also that study that came out a few years back about breakfast cereal upping the chances of boy babies. But the science here is somewhat different.
It’s also not entirely sound, depending on who you ask. On Time.com’s Wellness blog, Bonnie Rochman takes a closer look. According to her read, the study’s diet guidelines were so strict that only 21 of 172 women involved adhered to them entirely. Of this small sample, 77% of the women seeking to conceive girls were successful.
Which is, admittedly, a lot better than the odds of conceiving a girl using some of the more established methods of sex selection (The popular Shettles method, for example, boasts success rates that are arguably equal to the natural odds).
If you’re thinking of trying the mineral method of skewing your chances in one or another direction, here are some high magnesium foods:
green vegetables, spices, dairy products, coffee, tea, nuts, cereals
and some high potassium foods:
salt, tomatoes, bananas, orange juice, beet greens, white beans, potatoes
And from the Time.com piece, some other (probably equally unreliable) ways of supposedly stacking the sex deck:
Here are nine other tried (but not likely true) ways to select the sex of your baby:
-Have sex on the day of ovulation
-Avoid sex for several days before ovulation in order to concentrate the male’s sperm count
-Don’t spare the salt; eat meat and fish but steer clear of dairy
-Drink multiple cups of green tea daily
-Have sex several days before or after ovulation
-Have sex — lots of it — to decrease sperm count
-Stash a pink ribbon beneath your pillow
-Men, take a hot bath prior to intercourse because male sperm may be heat-averse
Read the whole Time.com post here.
photo: Nina Matthews Photography