New research, published in the proceedings of the Royal Society B, a British medical journal, suggests that what a woman eats before pregnancy influences the gender of her baby.

Eating a diet high in potassium-rich foods, like bananas and avocados, and eating breakfast appears to raise a woman’s chances of having a boy.

This research is the first to show that a woman’s diet could factor into her having a boy or a girl.

“It is not proof, but it fits with evidence from test tube fertilization that male embryos thrive best with longer exposure to nutrient-rich lab cultures,” said Dr. Tarun Jain, a fertility specialist at the University of Illinois at Chicago not involved with the study.

Because skipping meals can result in low blood sugar levels, the findings also fit with fertility research showing male embryos aren’t likely to survive in lab cultures with low sugar levels, said University of Exeter researcher, Fiona Mathews, the study’s lead author.

While male sperm determine a baby’s gender, certain nutrients or eating patterns make a women’s body more hospitable to sperm carrying the male chromosome, Jain said.

The research involved about 700 first time pregnant women in the United Kingdom who were unaware of their baby’s sex. They were questioned about their eating habits in the year before conceiving.

Among women with the highest calorie intake before pregnancy 56 percent had boys versus 45 percent of the women with lowest calorie intake.

Since cereal is a typical breakfast in Britain, women who ate at least one bowl of breakfast cereal daily were 87 percent more likely to have boys than those who ate no more than one bowlful per week.

Even more interesting is the fact that a woman would be considered to have skipped breakfast if she didn’t eat a bowl of cereal.

Women who ate an additional 300 milligrams of potassium on a daily average had boys.

Women who had boys also ate about 400 calories more daily than those who had girls, on average, Mathews said.

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Tamika M. Murray blogs at PJ’s and A Movie, Stop and Stare Photos, and Blogcritics.org.

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