Pucker up for vit C rich foods (bell peppers, oranges, kale, papaya) and use healthier oils like olive and virgin coconut oil to prevent sperm clumping due to oxidative stress. Nibble on raw pumpkin seeds; eat oysters to help improve sperm motility. Add tomatoes, pomegranates to your diet to help replace the antioxidants depleted by smoking or alcohol consumption.
The daily rigor and stress of work and life can take their toll on your body, the reproductive system included. But is there some way you can improve your fertility if you’re a man? Eating the right food can ensure your body is well supplied with all the nutrients it needs to keep your sperm production, libido, and testosterone levels healthy.
Of course, some foods are better than others, so be sure to include these in your diet!
1. Pucker Up For Vitamin C-Rich Foods
Protect your sperm with some help from the vitamin C in bell peppers, oranges, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, or papaya. The key is to consume them raw if possible (or lightly cooked) to avoid loss of the protective effects of the vitamin. Vitamin C helps prevent oxidative damage to the sperm cells. It can even offer protection from sperm clumping due to oxidative damage and help replace the antioxidants depleted by cigarette smoke.1 Researchers have found that low antioxidant levels can actually cause your sperm DNA to be exposed to increased oxidative damage.2
2. Add A Tomato To Your Meal
The lycopene in tomatoes helps keep sperm protected from free radical damage. Since it is also an antioxidant, it can help improve sperm concentration, count, and motility. One research study looked at whether tomato juice too could benefit male fertility in patients with motility or sperm concentration related fertility problems. Each test subject consumed a can of tomato juice containing about 30 mg of lycopene daily for a 12-week period. This regular tomato juice intake was found to improve sperm motility of infertile patients.3
3. Get A Vitamin D Boost Through Fatty Fish
Eat lots of fatty fish like sardines, salmon, herring, mackerel, or tuna to keep your levels of vitamin D up. Alternatively, you could get the nutrient through eggs or vitamin D fortified cereals or milk. A deficiency of the vitamin is said to cause testosterone levels to drop. Studies have shown that supplemental intake of vitamin D in overweight men can help improve testosterone levels in about a year.4
4. Nibble On Seeds
Research shows a link between zinc levels and fertility. In one study, the seminal plasma zinc concentration of men with a fertility problem was found to be lower than in those without a problem. Researchers also noted that taking zinc supplements helped improve sperm motility, semen volume, and the concentration of morphologically normal sperm in semen. You can up your intake through zinc-rich food like raw pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds, which make a handy snack at work or home. You could eat more crab, lobster, shrimp, oysters, beef tenderloin, and lamb – all known to be rich in the nutrient.5
5. Eat Your Beans
Ensure you get adequate levels of folic acid. Men with low dietary folate intake show higher chances of having sperm with chromosomal abnormalities. This may cause birth defects like Down’s syndrome or miscarriages if the abnormal sperm fertilizes an egg.6 Low seminal plasma folate also adversely impacts both sperm density and total sperm count.7 The B vitamin is available in a variety of beans (kidney, navy, black, pinto, lentil, or garbanzo) as well as in spinach, collard greens, and asparagus.
6. Enjoy A Pomegranate
Pomegranate consumption can improve your mood, but, more importantly, it can also increase testosterone levels in the body. Having some pomegranate plain as a fruit, drinking some as a juice, or adding it to your meals can bring a pop of fresh sweetness and also boost your libido. One study found a 24 percent rise in testosterone levels after 2 weeks of regular pomegranate juice consumption.8
7. Go Mediterranean With Olive Oil
Monounsaturated fat olive oil needs to replace other fats and oils in your diet. Research has found regular daily intake of this oil can help increase levels of testosterone in the body. In one piece of research, it was found to bump up levels of the male sex hormone by 17.4 percent in just 3 weeks.9
8. Try Exotic Virgin Coconut Oil
If you develop a palate for it, virgin coconut oil can help your fertility too. It can counter the oxidative stress the body (including your sperm cells) experiences, particularly from heavy alcohol consumption. As a result, it helps boost serum testosterone levels even in those with testicular injury due to heavy drinking.10
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Song, Gyun Jee, Edward P. Norkus, and Vivian Lewis. “Relationship between seminal ascorbic acid and sperm DNA integrity in infertile men.” International journal of andrology 29, no. 6 (2006): 569-575.|
|2.||↑||Fraga, C. G., P. A. Motchnik, A. J. Wyrobek, D. M. Rempel, and B. N. Ames. “Smoking and low antioxidant levels increase oxidative damage to sperm DNA.” Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 351, no. 2 (1996): 199-203.|
|3.||↑||Inakuma, Takahiro. “The effects of tomato juice on male infertility.” Oct 2015.|
|4.||↑||Pilz, S., S. Frisch, H. Koertke, J. Kuhn, J. Dreier, B. Obermayer-Pietsch, E. Wehr, and A. Zittermann. “Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men.” Hormone and Metabolic Research 43, no. 03 (2011): 223-225.|
|5.||↑||Zhao, Jiang, Xingyou Dong, Xiaoyan Hu, Zhou Long, Liang Wang, Qian Liu, Bishao Sun, Qingqing Wang, Qingjian Wu, and Longkun Li. “Zinc levels in seminal plasma and their correlation with male infertility: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Scientific reports 6 (2016).|
|6.||↑||Folate intake linked to genetic abnormalities in sperm, says new study, UC Berkeley.|
|7.||↑||Wallock, Lynn M., Tsunenobu Tamura, Craig A. Mayr, Kelley E. Johnston, Bruce N. Ames, and Robert A. Jacob. “Low seminal plasma folate concentrations are associated with low sperm density and count in male smokers and nonsmokers.” Fertility and sterility 75, no. 2 (2001): 252-259.|
|8.||↑||Al-Dujaili, Emad, and Nacer Smail. “Pomegranate juice intake enhances salivary testosterone levels and improves mood and well being in healthy men and women.” (2012).|
|9.||↑||Derouiche, Abdelfettah, Ali Jafri, Issam Driouch, Mohammed El Khasmi, Ahmed Adlouni, Nada Benajiba, Youssef Bamou, Rachid Saile, and Mohammed Benouhoud. “Effect of argan and olive oil consumption on the hormonal profile of androgens among healthy adult Moroccan men.” Natural product communications 8, no. 1 (2013): 51-53.|
|10.||↑||Dosumu, O. O., F. I. O. Duru, A. A. Osinubi, A. A. Oremosu, and C. C. Noronha. “Influence of virgin coconut oil (VCNO) on oxidative stress, serum testosterone and gonadotropic hormones (FSH, LH) in chronic ethanol ingestion.” Agriculture and Biology Journal of North America 6 (2010): 1126-1132.|