Difficulty conceiving a child? Did you think the possibility of nutrition having a direct impact on the potency of sperm? Studies show that having a poor diet and drinking too much alcohol can lower the quality and quantity of sperm. And since infertility is just as much a man’s issues as a woman’s, eating a healthy diet and living a healthy lifestyle can significantly boost your chances of conceiving a child.
Causes of Male Infertility
Following factors could deteriorate the quality of a healthy sperm in males:
- Reduced sperm count (The concentration of sperm cells in a given sample is of much importance in sperm quality)
- Abnormal sperm morphology (The average shape and size of sperm cells in a sample is an indicator of fertility)
- Slow sperm motility (Motility refers to movement. Sperm cells not being able to swim to reach and fertilize an egg cell)
- Semen volume (A minimum volume of semen is required to carry sperm cells through the female reproductive tract)
Nutrients that Can Boost Fertility
According to the studies, a healthy diet including fish, vegetables, and whole grains leads to more active sperm. Unhealthy eating habits, smoking or high alcohol consumption, diet high in trans fats can lower the number of healthy and viable sperm.
The following is a guide on how to boost fertility though nutrition:
- Vitamin C and other antioxidants
It helps in avoiding sperm defects and boost motility. Try to get at least 90-100 milligrams (mg) a day. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps in male fertility. Good vitamin C intake has been shown to improve sperm motility, count, and morphology. Have plenty of citrus fruits and their juices, fruits, like kiwi, strawberries, and cantaloupe, vegetables, like tomatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, potatoes.
Zinc plays a vital role in regulating sperm count and quality. Males who are infertile tend to have lower zinc levels than men who are fertile. Consume foods like nuts and beans, whole wheat grain products, dairy. You may need 11mg per day which can be found in oysters (16mg in six medium oysters), baked beans (3.5mg per 1-cup serving).
Folic acid is critical for fertility not only in females but in males too. Studies suggest that men with low levels of this B vitamin have trouble producing healthy sperm. To get the daily minimum of 400 micrograms, have leafy greens like spinach, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus, legumes, dairy products, such as eggs and milk, fruits, especially oranges and orange juice, nuts, beans, and peas, whole grains. You may also want to take a folic acid or a multivitamin supplement as well after prescribing it from a doctor.
Vitamin E may help improve sperm quality as it has antioxidant properties that protect sperm from damage. You can up your intake by eating plant-based oils, such as corn, safflower, sunflower, and soybean oils, nuts and seeds, green vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach.
D-aspartic acid is an amino acid required to regulate male sex hormones, such as testosterone. You can increase your intake by eating eggs and dairy products, including low-fat milk, and yogurt, grains, such as oat bran, rice, fresh and dried fruits.
L-arginine, an amino acid that appears to play several different roles in male fertility helps as inside the body, it transforms into nitric oxide, which promotes sperm function. You should talk to your doctor about how L-arginine may affect you before adding more to your diet as too high of a dose of L-arginine decreases sperm motility. Try adding nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin seeds and peanuts, beans and lentils, and dairy products.
Limiting the booze could help
Researchers say that drinking wine, beer, or hard liquor daily can significantly reduce testosterone levels and sperm counts. It may also lead to an increased amount of abnormal shaped sperm.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, up to two drinks per day is considered moderate for men. High soy intake has also been linked to low sperm count so limit your intake of soy-based foods, such as soy milk, soy sauce, miso and more. Restricting smoking can also be helpful
Over to you
Living a healthy lifestyle is just as important for men as it is for women when it comes to conceiving, and just making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking, can also help improve sperm health. Consult a doctor about what you can do to increase your chances of making healthy sperm. If you and your spouse have been having problems conceiving, seeking medical help is never a bad idea.