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Women who want to conceive a baby girl should cut out bananas and go on a diet of hard cheese and beans according to the latest research.
Scientists, from Maastricht University in Holland, have discovered that a combination of the timing of sex and the right food are the key to whether you have a girl or a boy. Women trying to become pregnant should cut out sodium and potassium-rich foods, like olives, bacon, salami, smoked salmon, potatoes, prawns, blue cheese, processed meats and even bread and pastries.
Instead they should eat foods containing high amounts of calcium such as yoghurt, hard cheese, canned salmon, oranges, rhubarb, spinach, almonds, oatmeal and broccoli. They should also eat magnesium-rich foods like brazil and cashew nuts, whole wheat cereals, beans and figs.
Dad's diet, apparently, has no effect on what sex the baby will be the sex of the baby. Previous studies of women who have only ever given birth to boys indicated that their diet had contained mainly potassium and sodium-rich foods. If prospective mums-to-be want a daughter, the scientists also recommend having regular sex - but not on days immediately prior or after ovulation.
The scientists' conclusions come after a five-year study involving 172 Western European women aged from 23 to 42. The women had all previously given birth to boys and wanted girls. They were told to cut out salt and eat at least a pound of dairy products a day. Their diet also included bread, vegetables, fruit, meat, rice and pasta. So actually quite a balanced diet.
21 of the women stuck it out to the end as the others dropped out as they found the diet too difficult to stick to. Of the 21, 16 gave birth to daughters which was an amazing success rate of almost 80%.
A spokesperson for the research project said: 'The results show that both diet and timing methods increase the probability of a girl - the impact of the diet being the most pronounced.....It shows a substantial success rate when both methods are applied correctly.'
Other studies claim that sperm carrying the female gene is stronger and likely to last longer than the lighter, faster but more short-lived male sperm - hence the need to avoid sex around the time of ovulation when the male sperm will be more dominant.
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