What You Eat and How it Affects Sperm Count
Reproduction ensures the survival of the human race. It is one main thing our bodies were made to do, reproduce. In order to do that properly, everything needs to be working correctly. Our one main source of good health and proper body function is a healthy and balanced diet.
Many studies have been done on diet and sperm count and the verdict is in: An unhealthy diet can lower your sperm count. According to recent studies, diets higher in unhealthy fats were shown to lower sperm count considerably. Men who eat diets that are higher in saturated fats suffer the chance of having a sperm count that is up to 40% lower than normal. The numbers are alarming since they are almost half the normal sperm count.
Figure 1: Unhealthy Sperm
Photo Courtesy of: Justmommies.com
The reason foods affect sperm count is the very fact that sperm are very fragile. Things like caffeine can actually affect how sperm move. Junk foods and foods high in fat are mild to moderately unhealthy for you, but severely unhealthy for a tiny sperm. (See Figure 1)
What Are Some Good Foods For A Healthy Sperm Count?
Studies have shown that diets high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids help to improve sperm counts. Also, it is important to lower the intake of saturated fats and junk foods. Caffeine should be withheld from the diet altogether, but if you must take caffeine in moderation.
Here is a list of good foods that can help to increase sperm count:
Salmon – Contains large amounts of Omega-3 Fatty Acids which are excellent for overall body health and improving sperm count. Eating just one serving weekly can help boost sperm count. (See Figure 2)
Figure 2: Salmon
Photo Courtesy of Primal-Palate.com
Oysters – Oysters have always been known as a food of “romance.” Not only has it been found to be an aphrodisiac, it has also been shown to help boost sperm count. Oysters are high in zinc, which has been shown to benefit men’s overall reproductive health. Zinc can also help to improve prostate health.
Oranges/Citrus- Foods that are high in Vitamin C can help increase sperm count. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and can help keep sperm healthy. It can also help sperm motility and repair damaged sperm. Vitamin C helps to build healthy tissue anywhere in the body and boost the immune system. It also helps the body absorb the proper amounts of folic acid, which is needed for reproductive health.
Beef/Turkey/Brazil Nuts- These foods are high in selenium, which helps the body produce large amounts of healthier sperm. Selenium protects sperm from damage and boosts male fertility.
Eggs/Avocados/Seeds- These foods contain the right amounts of Vitamin E. Vitamin E encourages the body to produce the right amount of sex hormones needed for sperm production. Reproduction is largely a hormonal process for the body and hormones must be in balance.
Spinach- That key nutrient needed for reproduction, folic acid, this is where you find the highest amounts. Eating spinach with a vitamin C food will increase its absorption and help to increase the sperm count.
What Other Changes Should I Make To My Diet?
Increasing healthy foods in the diet is important, as well as removing some unhealthy foods from the diet. There are certain foods and beverages that can kill off sperm and reduce sperm counts. If you really want to increase the chances of conception, certain lifestyle and diet changes are very important:
- Reduce or remove caffeine in your diet. Caffeine can damage sperm and reduce its ability to move. Even if you have trouble completely quitting caffeine, cutting back will help to increase sperm count.
- Eliminate soda and other sugary drinks. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are bad for your health and your sperms health. Switch to herbal iced tea, healthy juices and lots of water.
- Eliminate Junk Food and Fast Food. Saturated and Trans Fats affect overall body health and sperm counts. Start packing a healthy lunch for work and increase your sperm count.
- Try to avoid plastic bottled water. Chemicals in plastic are coming to light as containing chemicals that affect the body in many ways. New studies are showing that bisphenol A in plastic has an estrogen effect on men and can reduce sperm count. There are new reusable glass bottles to carry water with you.
- Take alcohol in moderation. A drink or two doesn’t hurt anything, but too much alcohol can reduce the sperm count. Limit drinks to one or two a day.
- Be wary of soy products and foods. Soy can act like an estrogen and may affect sperm levels. Check your labels because a lot of products sold at the grocer contain soy. (See Figure 3)
Figure 3: Soy in food products.
Photo Courtesy of: TheSoyDeception.com
Increasing sperm count with changes in diet can be an easy way to increase fertility and the chances of having a baby for most couples. This also sets the tone for healthy eating as a whole family once baby is born.