Fertility isn’t just a female issue. Sure, it is the woman who must get pregnant; grow a healthy baby and then give birth, but if her partner doesn’t have quality (or enough) sperm to fertilize her egg, then no pregnancy can happen. What does this mean? In short, men are just as important as women when it comes to conception.
Now, that you men understand how important you are in the baby making process consider this startling fact: more than 40% of all infertile couples can not conceive because of the male factor. Yes, that’s you! Almost half of those failing to conceive can link that failure to something gone awry with the man sperm count, mobility, strength or even form.
There sure is a lot that can go wrong with a sperm. It has been estimated that at least half never make it past the cervix on their journey towards that egg, mostly because they either aren’t strong enough to make the trip; swim in the wrong direction or they have some other deformity that prevents them from getting where they need to be. This is bad news for the thousands of couples trying to get pregnant and can’t.
But wait! There is some good news. Many of those men could boost their sperm counts and improve the health of their sperm simply by giving their body the right mix of vitamins and minerals. While some men do indeed suffer with some serious fertility issues that need medical intervention, many problems can be treated with some old fashioned good food.
What You Eat Really Does Matter
It isn’t just the woman who is eating for two. Study after study proves that nutrition has a direct impact on the quality of a man’s sperm. Unless you give your body the right nutrition, it is unable to manufacture enough healthy sperm, making conception harder to attain than it needs to be.
A Smart Fertility Diet for Men
There are a lot of things that you should be eating for a healthier you – not to mention healthier sperm. Most nutritional experts agree that when following a fertility diet and trying to improve your eating habits everyone should:
- Opt for a colorful plate. The more colorful foods on your plate, the healthier the meal. Try and get at least some yellow, orange or red foods on your plate at each meal.
- Eat fresh. Always opt for fresh fruits and vegetables instead of frozen or canned. Fresh offers the most nutritional value than any other variety.
- Go organic. Our food supply is ravaged with toxic chemicals these days. From the pesticides sprayed on our produce, to the hormones and antibiotics given our produce, it’s no wonder our health and fertility has begun to suffer. Organic foods that are free of these toxic ingredients are always best.
- Avoid processed foods. They are high in sugar, salt, saturated fat, preservatives, while being sapped of their nutritional value. Stay away from prepackaged and processed foods for better health and better sperm.
Trying to stick to the basic rules above is great, but if you fail to add a few key fertility diet ingredients to your menu, your sperm may remain deformed, slow and weak. Here are some important nutrients to make sure that you get in your daily diet to give your sperm count and quality a big boost.
The #1 most important fertility diet tip for men is to take in more antioxidants. Antioxidants are the chemicals found in our foods that help to protect our cells from all of those free radicals we come in contact with everyday. Remember, sperm are cells too, and when free radicals have the chance to play havoc with your sperm, they become sluggish and slow. This can make it difficult to get your partner pregnant.
There have been numerous studies to support the claim that antioxidants not only boost sperm counts in men; but they boost sperm movement. So, what are antioxidants for a fertility diet and where can you find them? Here are the ones researchers believe bets improve sperm health:
Selenium: found in tuna, cod, chicken and beef, selenium is an essential ingredient to warding off sperm deformities. Here’s an important tip: eating just one ounce of Brazilian nuts will give you nearly 800% of your recommended daily value of selenium.
Lycopene: found in tomatoes, watermelon, apricots and grapefruit, lycopene is a wonderful cell protector.
Vitamin E: shown to dramatically boost sperm counts, Vitamin E are usually founds in seeds and nuts, as well green leafy vegetables.
Zinc: a deficiency in zinc has been found to directly decrease a man’s sperm count and even decrease testosterone levels, so eating shellfish like oysters an, shrimp and crab as well as beans, sesame seeds and red meat are essential to keeping levels high.
Vitamin C: most commonly found in citrus fruits like oranges, Vitamin Can help to boost the entire immune system, giving every cell in the body the protection it deserves.
Women are strongly encouraged to get enough folic acid during pregnancy to decrease their baby’s chance of getting any type of neural tube defect. But, did you know that it is equally important for men to get enough folic acid? Well, it is. Research shows that men who consistently do not get at least 400 micrograms of folic acid in their daily diets have significantly lower sperm counts than those who do. Brussel Sprouts are bursting with folic acid and making them a super ingredient in a fertility diet.
A research report released by the University of Wisconsin recently reported that consuming at least 1,000 mg of calcium each day accompanied by 400 IU of Vitamin D) helped increase a man’s overall fertility.
What Not to Eat
Now that you know some of the things that you should be adding to your fertility diet when trying to get your partner pregnant, let’s talk about two things you should avoid at all costs:
Research consistently shows that even moderate alcohol use (less than two drinks per day), taken a month before conception caused a decrease in the babies overall weight by almost 7 ounces, and that’s assuming your partner even gets pregnant in the first place. More and more evidence is being discovered that proves that drinking any type of alcoholic beverage on a daily basis increase abnormal sperm and reduces testosterone levels in the body.
Soy is supposed to be good for you, but too much can be harmful to your fertility. Soy contains an estrogen-mimicking chemicals that can cause havoc with your hormones, thus reducing sperm production. One study indicated that men with the highest soy intake had 41 million less sperm upon ejaculation than men who did not eat soy products.
Lest you think that you don’t eat any soy because you aren’t a tofu lover, watch out. Soy is commonly found in energy bars and health drinks, as well as meat alternative products.
Who knew that a man’s diet could have such a dramatic impact on a couple’s ability to conceive a child? Well, it does, and now that you know you can make the changes needed by following these simple fertility diet tips to ensure that you are not thwarting your efforts at parenthood simply by eating the wrong mix of foods.
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