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Diet not only plays a significant role in pregnancy but also when you are trying to conceive. Improper and irregular diet, along with several other factors, can cause infertility in both men and women. What you eat has a direct impact on the quality and quantity of the eggs or the sperm. Men face about one-third of fertility problems in today’s age. And the increasing stress levels doesn’t make it any easier for them either. However, consuming a well-balanced diet can pep up their chances of conception by increasing fertility. Here’s all that you need to know about fertility foods for men and how you may effectively include them in your diet! But first, let’s take a look at which nutrients can help boost fertility in men.
Which Nutrients Boost Fertility in Men?
Once you and your partner are ready to conceive, it is essential that you not only make positive lifestyle changes but also include food items which are rich in essential nutrients that may boost your fertility.
Following are some of the vital nutrients that you may add to your diet:
1. Vitamin D
It has been scientifically proven that Vitamin D may increase sperm motility. Therefore, men who have Vitamin D deficiency have lower sperm motility in comparison to men who have adequate amounts of this vitamin in their bodies. Sunlight is an excellent source of Vitamin D, but it is also present in red meat, oily fish, egg yolks and other fortified foods which are loaded with this vitamin. You may include any of the sources mentioned above in your diet.
For healthy sperm, selenium plays a vital role. It is believed that including selenium in your diet may improve the quality of the sperm, thus helping treat infertility problems. There is a scientific study that states, taking selenium in combination with Vitamin E promotes not only sperm motility (movement) but also its morphology (shape). Selenium can be found in eggs, meat, fish and Brazilian nuts.
A zinc-rich diet is effective for conception. Adding zinc to your diet will increase the sperm count in each ejaculation and thus increase chances of conception. It is also helpful in enhancing the movement of the sperms. You can get adequate amounts of zinc from food items such as shellfish, meat and dairy products.
4. Folic Acid
In the dearth of folic acid in the body, the body may not be able to produce healthy sperms. Therefore, to enhance the quality of your sperms, you may include food items that are rich in folic acid such as, orange juice, leafy vegetables, legumes, etc. You may also take folic acid supplements after consulting your doctor.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is beneficial in eliminating sperm defects and increasing sperm motility. A glass of orange juice (8-ounces) that can provide 124 milligrams of Vitamin C a day is a good way of including Vitamin C in your diet.
6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids can lead to an improvement in sperm motility and sperm count too. Fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Go for salmon and sardines which have low mercury content and are safe to consume. Vegetarians can try chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts to include this nutrient in their diet.
7. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is not only said to improve sperm quality, but it also protects sperm damage. Including sunflower oil, soybean oil, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds in your diet can help you improve fertility.
The nutrients, as mentioned above, may enhance fertility in men; however, there is limited scientific evidence to prove the same. But, a good diet and healthy lifestyle changes can help you lead a healthy life. They can also help improving fertility, and increase your chances of conception if tried along with certain sex positions that increase chances of conception.
Best Foods to Increase Male Fertility
There are certain food items that you may add to your daily diet plan to increase your fertility. Following are some foods to boost male fertility:
Walnuts can help enhance sperm motility, morphology and vitality. These nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. You may consume approximately 75 grams of walnuts every day. Though these nuts can be had separately as a mid-morning or post-lunch snack, you can add them to your salads, desserts and other food items also.
Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, which is an antioxidant that can help improve male fertility by improving sperm motility, structure and activity. Lycopene is found more in processed or cooked tomatoes. Therefore, you may add tomatoes in your curries and gravies.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, quercetin and resveratrol. These anti-inflammatory antioxidants have been found to be beneficial for improving sperm health. You may add a handful of blueberries to your daily diet. You can eat them as a snack, make shakes from it or add it to your desserts too.
Lentils are perfect for improving fertility in both men and women. Lentils are a rich source of natural folic acid or folate. Vegetarian men can get ample amounts of folate from lentils. Including adequate amounts of lentils in your diet reduces the chance of having chromosomal abnormalities in your sperms.
Various scientific researchers have shown the benefits of pomegranate in improving overall sperm health. High amounts of antioxidants present in pomegranates surge the testosterone levels in the body, enhance sex drive in both men and women, and also help in improving the quality of sperm.
6. Pumpkin Seeds
For pepping up your testosterone and sperm production, pumpkin seeds play a vital role. Pumpkin seeds are rich in folic acid and thus effective in boosting male fertility. You can add pumpkin seeds to your diet by sprinkling some over salads, shakes, etc.
7. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is one of the best male fertility foods that can help increase sperm motility and sperm count. There are various types of dark chocolates available in the market. The darker the chocolate, the better it works to improve fertility.
Drinking water is not only important for a healthy body, but it also helps in maintaining good sperm health. Not having enough water can hamper sperm production as semen majorly comprise of water.
If you plan to take recreational drugs or supplements to improve fertility, do it with caution and only after checking with your doctor. Now you know what you can eat to enhance the quality of sperm and improve fertility. And while we are at it, let’s also take a look at some foods that you must avoid, especially when you are trying to improve fertility.
Which Foods Should Men Avoid to Improve Fertility
We discussed vital food items that should be included in the diet to improve male fertility. However, certain food items should be avoided, as their consumption can hamper the quality and quantity of sperms. Some food items that you need to avoid are as follows:
1. Alcohol and Aerated or Carbonated Drinks
Various scientific studies have shown that consuming high amounts of carbonated beverages and alcohol can affect sperm production. Consuming high amounts of alcohol may lead to the abnormal production of sperm. Also, the diet variety of carbonated drinks contains aspartame, which is known to affect the sperm count and quality. Therefore, it is essential to keep the consumption of these kinds of drinks under check.
2. Processed and Junk Food
Junk food not only adds kilos and inches to your body, but it also hampers your fertility. Consuming fatty, starchy, fried, and highly processed food can take a toll on your health and your fertility. Have such food items sparingly when you are planning to have a baby.
3. Fish With High Mercury Content
The high mercury content in fish like swordfish, tilefish, tuna, etc. may lead to infertility issues in both men and women. Do not consume fish that could carry moderate or high mercury content if you are trying to conceive. You may, however, include fish like salmon and shellfish as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and zinc, and have comparatively low mercury content.
Smoking is terrible for your sperm health. Smoking leads to a reduction in sperm count, and thus it may cause infertility problems in men.
Diet is an integral part of a healthy body. Therefore, if you are planning to have a baby, it is vital that you pay heed to what you eat. A well-balanced diet will ensure good sperm health and thus will improve your chances of conception. It is recommended to get in touch with your doctor if you plan to make major dietary changes. Your doctor will help you make an informed decision about your diet and other aspects related to conception.