Want a girl child? `Quit salt, bananas`

Combination of right food and sex timing are key to a prospective mother`s having a girl.

London: Want a girl child? Then you need to stop eating bananas, reduce your salt intake and go to bed together often, says a new study.

Scientists at Maastricht University in Holland have found that a combination of the right food and the timing of sex are the key to a prospective mother`s having a girl or a boy child, a newspaper reported.

All longing for a girl child have to refrain from eating sodium and potassium-rich foods, such as olives, bacon, smoked salmon, prawns, savoury rice, potatoes, bread and pastries.

Instead, women should concentrate on foods rich in calcium and magnesium. Foods containing calcium are yoghurt, hard cheese, canned salmon, rhubarb, spinach, tofu, almonds, oatmeal, broccoli and oranges. Brazil and cashew nuts, whole wheat cereals, figs and beans are rich in magnesium.

However, the scientists claim that the father`s diet has no effect on what sex the baby will be.

Moreover, if prospective mothers want a daughter, the scientists also recommend having regular sex, but not on days immediately prior or after ovulation.

They have based their findings on an analysis of the five-year study involving 172 Western European women aged from 23 to 42. The women had all previously given birth to boys -- in one case, four of them -- 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.

Although many of the women dropped out of the survey as they failed to adhere to the strict dietary requirements or rules on when to have sex, 21 women stuck it out to the end.

Of the 21, 16 gave birth to daughters - an astonishing success rate of almost 80 per cent.

"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," said a spokesman for the scientists.