Diet High in Fruit and Vegetables Linked to Lower Miscarriage Risk

Researchers at the University of Birmingham, analyzed 20 studies which explored women and birthing people’s eating habits in the months before and shortly after conceiving a baby to see whether these studies showed evidence of association with a lower or higher chance of miscarriage.

The Research team concluded that there is evidence to suggest a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, seafood, dairy products, eggs and grain reduces miscarriage risk.

The research review found that, when compared to low consumption, high intake of fruit may be associated with a 61% reduction in miscarriage risk. High vegetable intake may be associated with a 41% reduction in miscarriage risk. For dairy products it is a 37% reduction, 33% for grains, 19% for seafood and eggs.

Led by Dr Yealin Chung, researchers also looked at whether pre-defined dietary types, they found that a whole diet containing healthy foods overall, or foods rich in antioxidant sources, and low in pro-inflammatory foods or unhealthy food groups may be associated with a reduction in miscarriage risk for women.

A diet high in processed food was shown to be associated with doubling of miscarriage risk.

Dr Chung explains:

“Miscarriage is common, with estimates suggesting 1 in 6 pregnancies end in miscarriage, and there are many known causes, from problems with the baby’s chromosomes to infections in the womb.

“There’s a growing body of evidence to show that lifestyle changes before conceiving and in your pregnancy’s early stages may have an impact.

“We strongly encourage couples to consider the importance of making positive lifestyle choices when planning for a family, and to continue with these healthy choices throughout their pregnancy and beyond. By knowing that positive lifestyle choices can make a significant difference in reducing the risk of miscarriage, couples can feel empowered to take charge of their health and the health of their baby.”

Juliette Ward says:

“Advice on diet is one of the most-discussed subjects for us when talking with pregnant women and birthing people. We know that baby loss is very rarely the result of someone’s lifestyle choices, but many people want to know how to be as healthy as possible in pregnancy. Following a healthy diet, taking supplements like Vitamin D and folic acid, exercise and trying to lower stress are all things people can try to do, but there’s been a lack of clear evidence on the links between diet choices and miscarriage.

“Given this lack of evidence, there aren’t any evidence-based guidelines outlining dietary advice for women and birthing people or their partners — something the findings of this review suggest could make a real impact in helping people reduce their risk.”


Yealin Chung, Pedro Melo, Oonagh Pickering, Rima Dhillon-Smith, Arri Coomarasamy, Adam Devall. The association between dietary patterns and risk of miscarriage: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Fertility and Sterility, 2023; DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2023.04.011

University of Birmingham. “Diet high in fruit and vegetables linked to lower miscarriage risk.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 April 2023. <>.

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