Estimates are that male infertility affects up to ten percent of men. However, many of those men may be successful in treating male infertility with proper nutrition and other simple practices.
Why Male Fertility Nutrition is Important
Healthy nutrition helps a man produce healthy sperm, making it easier for his partner to conceive. His diet should provide sufficient amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin D and calcium, which are important for sperm production.
For healthy fertility nutrition, a man should eat six to eleven servings of bread, grains and pasta, three to five servings of vegetables, two to four servings of fruit, two to three servings of meat and protein and two to three servings of dairy products daily.
Fruits and vegetables supply antioxidants, which aid in keeping sperm healthy with increased mobility. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables in different colors will ensure getting a healthy range of antioxidants.
Caffeine makes sperm sluggish, so limiting coffee, tea and soda can help increase sperm motility.
To help prevent birth defects, prospective fathers should get 400 micrograms of folate or folic acid daily. Good sources of folic acid are fortified breads and grains, chickpeas, lentils, fruit, beans and leafy green vegetables.
Either too little or too much selenium can harm sperm levels, so men should aim for approximately 55 mcg of the nutrient daily.
Some studies show that soy may interfere with male hormones and increase estrogen activity, so men trying to become fathers may want to cut back on soy foods.
A deficiency of zinc may affect testosterone and reduce sperm count, so men who do not eat meat, which is high in zinc, should get the nutrient from foods like nuts, yogurt and beans.
Should Men Use Fertility Supplements?
Men who believe they may not be getting enough vitamins and minerals by eating nutritional foods can benefit by taking high-quality supplements to enhance fertility. These fertility supplements may include L-carnitine, L-arginine, grapeseed extract, vitamins C, E and A, selenium, zinc, co-enzyme Q and betacarotene.
Top Fertility Foods for Men’s Health
Garlic has plenty of selenium and vitamin B6. Selenium is an antioxidant that boosts sexual virility, and vitamin B6 fortifies the immune system and regulates hormones.
Cashew nuts are a good source of zinc, which may increase testosterone levels.
Bananas contain magnesium, protein and vitamins B1, A and C, which improve and stimulate sperm production.
The high vitamin E content in avocados boosts sperm motility, and the folic acid and vitamin B6 in the fruit help regulate the function of sexual hormones.
Asparagus has an abundant supply of vitamin C, which helps increase the motility and viability of sperm.
Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, an antioxidant carotenoid that increases sperm count and motility and helps keep it healthy. Pink grapefruit, watermelon and other tomato products like ketchup and tomato juice are also good sources of lycopene.
Apples are a nutritionally well-balanced fruit, and in vinaigrette form like fruit cider vinegar, particularly effective.
Pumpkin seeds contain a good supply of zinc, the most important mineral for increased testosterone levels and sperm count. The omega-3 fatty acids in pumpkin seeds enhance sexual function by motivating blood flow to the sexual organs.
Oysters are another good source of zinc and can help repair sperm damaged by chemicals in the environment.
Pomegranate juice may help with erectile dysfunction, sperm concentration, motility and cell density as well as with reducing abnormal sperm.
Fertility Nutrition Effect on Male Sperm Health
Diet does not have an effect on a man’s sperm count, but a healthy diet can be a valuable aid in producing healthy sperm. Free radicals can cause sperm DNA damage and poor motility. Additionally, if conception takes place, a child may inherit genetic problems from damaged DNA. Men should eat a healthy, balanced diet and limit alcohol consumption to less than ten glasses a week. High doses of alcohol at one time can be toxic, so any drinking should be done in moderation. Cigarettes also contain toxins, so men who want healthy sperm should attempt to stop smoking as well.
Acupuncture may help improve sperm quality, motility and morphology, boost the number of normal sperm and diminish structural abnormalities. It can also support male fertility by increasing libido and reducing the stress and anxiety associated with trying to conceive. Timing acupuncture treatments to correspond with the partner’s cycle can make them even more effective. Acupuncture can provide synergistic health benefits by increasing blood flow and relieving stress.