There are a number of environmental, physical and psychological factors that can have an effect on sperm health. However, did you know that what you eat (and what you don't eat) can increase sperm count and sperm motility? Use the below tips to change up your diet to increase your chances of having healthy sperm.
If you are planning a family and have had some trouble conceiving, you may need to consult a health professional. However, before you resort to medical treatment, there are some simple things you can do to give your reproductive cells the best chance of doing their job by eating a diet of sperm-boosting foods and avoiding things that are detrimental to sperm health. Try the following - with a little bit of time, they can increase overall health and lead to better probability of conceiving.
Deficiencies in vitamin A have been linked to sluggish sperm and lowered fertility. Eat plenty of red peppers, oats, carrots, dried apricots, sweet potatoes, spinach and broccoli to give you a vitamin A boost.
Vitamin C, found in good amounts in strawberries, asparagus, fruit and yellow veggies, has a positive effect on sperm viability and motility (the swimming ability of sperm).
Vitamins C, E and B12 are also great antioxidants that can help boost sperm production and motility by fighting harmful free radicals.
A good multivitamin supplement is a great idea if you feel that you’re not getting enough of the sperm-supporting vitamins from your regular diet. Whilst getting your nutrients from diet is important, taking a multivitamin is one way to top up any nutritional shortcomings in your diet.
Inadequate levels of zinc can cause lowered sperm counts. Natural sources of this mineral include eggs, turkey, oysters, seafood, pumpkin seeds, beef, oats, lamb, yoghurt, nuts and barley. Selenium is also thought to be beneficial to sperm motility and health. You can get it by eating Brazil nuts, red meat, cottage cheese, poultry and eggs. If you don't think you are getting enough zinc or selenium, a multivitamin may help. However, be sure to stick within the recommended dose, as high levels of both these minerals can become toxic.
Studies have shown that fertile men’s sperm tend to contain greater amounts of polyunsaturated fats, specifically omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, than that of infertile men. They’re found in walnuts, chia seeds, omega-3 supplements like calamari oil and fish like anchovies, sardines and salmon.
Some men who have been taking dietary supplements containing folic acid in combination with zinc have experienced increases in sperm counts of as much as 70% and research suggests that men with low folic acid levels tend to have more sperm cells with chromosomal (genetic) abnormalities. Keep your levels up by eating leafy green veggies, whole grain foods, avocados, beans and fruit.
Lycopene, a bright red carotene found in tomatoes, tomato sauce, carrots, watermelons and paw paw, has been shown to help increase sperm count.
By drinking plenty of water throughout the day you can counteract dehydration, which is one of the main factors associated with low semen volume.
Chemical pesticides can remain on the foods you buy from the shop and are known to have detrimental effects on sperm health and fertility. Always wash fresh produce thoroughly before eating it, or better yet, go organic.
Bisphenol-A (BPA), a hormone-disrupting chemical found in some plastics has been linked to decreased sperm health and many researchers believe that our biggest exposure to it comes from food packaging. The insides of many food and beverage cans are coated with BPA-containing resin and especially high levels are found in canned acidic foods including certain fruits and tomato sauce. Choose fresh food and food bottled in glass containers rather than canned items.
Excessive alcohol consumption can damage sperm. Keep your intake to moderate levels when you’re trying to be fertile.
Research suggests that a diet high in saturated and mono-unsaturated fats, such as those found in bacon, processed meats, sausages, ham and butter, can lead to poor sperm health.
There a number of other every-day substances and practices that are no good for your sperm, such as:
A number of drugs, both recreational and medicinal, are known to have harmful effects on sperm. These include opiates, steroids and cytotoxic drugs used in cancer treatment. Alcohol abuse can lead to infertility... if you must drink, do so in moderation.
Smokers have been shown to have diminished fertility compared to non-smokers.
As unbelievable as it may sound, high temperatures can have a negative effect on sperm production. Hot baths and showers, wearing excessive underwear and even sitting for prolonged periods (for example, sitting in traffic or at a desk) may have a detrimental effect on sperm production.
Tight underpants, especially ones made of synthetic materials have been linked to infertility. Wear boxers made of cotton that allow some freedom of movement instead.
This article was provided by our online partner Health365. For more information on male health, visit www.health365.com.au.
There is no 'cure' for the common cold or the flu, but eating well and leading a healthy lifestyle can definitely help prevent catching it one of these in the first place. By nourishing our bodies with a diet full of a range of foods that give it the right nutrients, you can make sure your immune system is at full strength when the next cold or flu does the rounds of your neighbourhood. Check out the following superfoods that boost immunity and contain the right nutrients to help your body avoid disease & infection.
Honey is a remarkable food with a number of health benefits. It has been used for thousands of years as a food source, and boasts numerous antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Honey is also a favourite traditional remedy for soothing a sore throat when you are sick, and is also traditionally used for indigestion and heart burn. Include honey regularly in your diet to support good health. Include it when you are sick to sooth and support.
This fruit from the Amazon contains an extraordinary amount of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for a variety of bodily functions, and is particularly important as an antioxidant - antioxidants fight the effect of harmful molecules called 'free radicals', which can cause cellular damage that results in disease. Include Camu in your smoothies, juices, yoghurt or cooking.
Spirulina is incredibly rich in vitamins and minerals: more so than any other plant source on earth. Spirulina stimulates the immune system and improves its ability to fight viral and bacterial infections. As with Camu, Spirulina is packed with antioxidants to fight the effect of damaging free radicals, which helps fight disease.
We may sound like a broken record, but antioxidants are important for protecting your body against a range of diseases. Acai berry is easy to include in your diet, and has 22 times more antioxidant power than antioxidant rich blueberries! The antioxidants and plant sterols of this super berry help to strengthen your immune system and prevent cellular damage.
Traditionally used for treating cold and flu once sick, black elderberry may also help bolster immunity in times when you have an elevated risk of catching cold or flu. Preliminary studies show that this superfood may also help people with the flu recover faster than those taking a placebo.