Diet and male fertility
Sperm quality has declined significantly over the past twenty years, a fact that has been confirmed by recent studies. Tobacco, alcohol and drug consumption, being overweight, exposure to toxic substances, air pollution, stress… these are all the main causes of spermatozoid deterioration and, in general, are elements that are harmful to fertility.
However, diet also plays an important role when it comes to improving sperm quality and that’s what we want to talk about today.
We are used to reading all types of articles about diet and health, but it’s hard to find information that really helps us to improve our chances of conceiving. For that reason, in this article we want to start making a list of some foods that help us, one way or another, to improve male fertility, making it clear just how important the sperm factor is in fertility treatments.
What foods improve male fertility?
You’ve probably already heard all sorts of things. In some cases you may have even read articles which claim that certain foods have almost magical properties when it comes to fertility.
As you might imagine, this article is not one of those types of articles; rather, we are going to talk about maintaining a balanced diet that includes consuming products such as the ones listed below:
- Vitamin C: consuming 200 mg of this vitamin contributes to gamete “rejuvenation” by improving growth and repairing damaged tissue thanks to this vitamin’s strong antioxidant power. These 200 mg can be obtained through the intake of two oranges daily, though vitamin C can also be found in mandarins, kiwis, grapefruit, berries, mango, strawberries, pineapple and papaya, for example.
- Vitamin E: we know that this vitamin increases antioxidant defences by repairing cell damage and improving sperm motility. This vitamin can be found in avocados, broccoli, cabbage, etc.
- Vitamin A: carrots are well‑known for being an excellent source of this vitamin, but if you don’t like this vegetable then you can also get this vitamin from spinach, eggs, melon… This vitamin helps to prevent premature aging of sperm and also encourages new sperm production.
- Calcium and vitamin D: these nutrients improve male fertility by increasing sperm count, concentration and motility. Vitamin D helps the body to use the calcium found in milk, which is why this vitamin is often added to it. You can also find these two nutrients in yogurt, cheese, eggs…
- Selenium: this mineral is a powerful antioxidant, meaning it helps to prevent damage to spermatozoids. There are also studies that suggest that this nutrient improves sperm quality by strengthening sperm tails, thus encouraging sperm motility. Selenium is a naturally occurring oligoelement that is found in the ground and in water, and as a result in the foods we eat.
- Zinc: low levels of this mineral can lead to decreased levels of testosterone and less ejaculate, two factors which both have a negative impact on fertility. Foods rich in zinc include oysters, asparagus and eggplant.
- Folic acid: folic acid helps to improve sperm quality by increasing the motility of spermatozoids. This vitamin is found in legumes, whole grains and leafy green vegetables.
- Arginine: this nutrient stimulates the immune system and the secretion of different hormones, thus improving fertility. Foods rich in arginine include garlic, peppers, onion, oats…
- Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids: fatty acids are beneficial to sperm maturation as they help to make sperm stronger and healthier. Foods rich in omega include nuts, oily fish, flax seeds, etc. A recent study showed that a diet supplemented with 75 grams of nuts considerably improved sperm motility, vitality and morphology.
When we talk about assisted reproduction it is important to remember that male fertility also matters, and it has been confirmed that these foods improve male fertility.
It is of course important to follow a healthy diet in order to prevent certain causes of male and female infertility, but it is also important to maintain certain habits to boost male fertility.
Do you have any questions about this matter? Ask us!