You Are What You Eat: Food And Fertility
Can diet affect fertility? Despite many studies, researchers still don’t know exactly why fertility rates are declining in Western nations. Between 1973 and 2011, the average sperm count decreased by 59.3%. While experts don’t know all the reasons for declining sperm counts, the answer could lie in lifestyle habits and dietary choices. Try incorporating these foods into a diet to increase sperm count.
What is normal sperm count?
Sperm count is the number of sperm present in one semen sample. On average, a healthy sperm count is about 15 million per milliliter. Anything under this 15 million/ml mark is considered low.
Get enough vitamin D
Some studies have shown a significant link between male factor infertility and vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D increases bone health and even has an impact on mental health. To get more vitamin D, try incorporating foods like oily fish, egg yolks, and fortified breakfast cereals. In some cases, a healthcare provider may recommend starting a vitamin D supplement.
Take D-AA supplements
Not to be confused with vitamin D, D-aspartic acid (D-AA) is a type of amino acid available in supplement form. Research has shown that D-AA levels are significantly lower in men who struggle with fertility. In one study, taking a daily D-AA supplement increased sperm count and motility by 60-100%.
Eat more citrus fruits
Ingredients like vitamin C have a significant impact on reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when the body doesn’t form adequate antioxidants. There’s some evidence that high levels of oxidative stress are associated with infertility in men. Some research found that taking a twice-daily 1,000mg vitamin C supplement increased sperm count by more than 100%. To get more vitamin C, choose citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruits. Berries like strawberries or blueberries are also high in antioxidants.
Try fenugreek supplements
Many people may not have heard of fenugreek. Fenugreek is an herb that men can take in supplement form. Some studies have shown that taking 500-600mg of fenugreek supplements every day can increase testosterone and improve sexual function. Fenugreek can be used in cooking or herbal teas, although most studies have shown that the herb is most potent in supplement form.
Don’t forget your zinc
Zinc is an essential mineral for immune health and neurological function. Low zinc is also associated with low testosterone and poor sperm quality. To get enough zinc, make sure to eat foods like meat, fish, eggs, and shellfish. In some cases, a supplement may be necessary.
Increasing fertility: there is hope
Dealing with infertility can be a struggle. But there is hope. Men dealing with low sperm count or poor sperm quality can try natural remedies, such as changing the diet, to increase sperm count and successfully conceive. If natural remedies don’t work, couples may consider starting fertility treatment. For more information, speak with a fertility specialist.