There are some foods that aim at improving the general over all-male health, and then there are other foods that are especially good for male fertility. Male fertility pertains to the sperm. There are foods that improve sperm volume and other foods that help to increase sperm motility and morphology. There are some foods that boost sperm vitality and in general, make the sperm healthy.
A male who is healthy in general usually also has good quality sperm. If a man has problems with his sperm quality, he has to question his health, and it is not as good as he assumes.
MALE FERTILITY PROBLEMS
When we mention male fertility, in a large percentage of cases it pertains specifically to the sperm. A male with good sperm is fertile. The quality of your sperm is defined by three major factors:
Sperm count: The sperm count is the concentration of sperm per millilitre of semen. A minimum of 15 million sperm per millilitre is required to get pregnant. Anything less than 15 million sperm per ml of semen is a low sperm count.
Sperm motility: The swimming skills or the movement capability of the sperm is called the sperm motility. Usually, a large percentage of the sperm have no motility. A certain amount of motility is required for the sperm to be able to reach the egg and fertilise it. It has been found that some sperm appears to be active but cannot do much more than go around in circles in the same spot. These sperm are not of much use when it comes to fertility. Sperm needs to have progressive motility for conception, which is the sperm ability to move in a forward direction. To get anywhere, you have to move in the forward direction.
Sperm morphology: The shape and appearance of the sperm are important for fertility. Abnormalities in the shape of the sperm are usually found in small quantities in general, but in excess, it can be a problem for fertility. Abnormally shaped sperm usually refers to an abnormally shaped sperm head or abnormalities in the tail formation. An abnormal head restricts the sperm from being able to penetrate the egg. Tail abnormalities lead to swimming impairment.
Hence the quality of the sperm depends on a number of factors which varies from the quantity of sperm to its swimming skills and its shape and size. Sperm that fails in any of these areas is deemed as poor quality sperm. To a large extent, the kind of food a man eats influence the kind of sperm his body produces.
FOOD BENEFITS FOR MALE FERTILITY
The food we eat has a lot to do with our health. A human body has a requirement for a certain proportion of vitamins and minerals on a daily basis. Different foods have different antioxidants. The vitamin and mineral content varies from food to food. There are particular foods which have the properties that can help improve sperm count, sperm motility, sperm morphology, sperm vitality, sperm volume, sex drive, testosterone levels and blood flow to the genitals which helps them to function better. Eating a diet which comprises of foods good for male fertility can help to boost it.
For better male fertility, it is advisable to alter your diet to include the foods that are good for fertility and eliminate those foods that are harmful to sperm quality and production. Some foods can lower sperm quality and quantity; they can kill the sex drive and severely reduce the production of sperm. It is important to eliminate these bad foods from your diet. The foods that are bad for fertility health are processed foods, pre-cooked foods, caffeine, alcohol, fast foods etc. Food prepared commercially, and pre-cooked packaged foods have large quantities of chemicals that are in the form of preservatives and taste enhancers. These ingredients can damage sperm quality and sperm count.
Men produce new sperm every day. When you change your diet to a healthy one, your body automatically starts producing better quality and quantity of sperm. A strict diet discipline is a strong requirement for this.
SUPER FOOD FOR BETTER SPERM
There are select foods that are essentially good for sperm production and sperm quality. There is no other way to increase sperm count and improve sperm quality than through food. Some of the foods that men should include in their diet more often are:
Red Meat: The age-old saying that ‘a man needs meat’ has a lot of truth to it. Red meat is a super booster for male health. Red meat is the best source of protein. It also contains leucine. This is an amino acid which is very helpful in building muscles. Muscles in a male are not just for showing off but constitute the very essence of a man body. A male body has been designed to contain large amounts of muscle. Hence a proper muscular development is important for male health irrespective of his lifestyle and job profile. Lean red meat has low proportions of fat and is similar to chicken. The high cholesterol red meat story is taking a back seat as it has been found that it is other lifestyle factors that lead to cholesterol and not the red meat they consume. A good daily diet that comprises of red meat ensures good fertility health as well.
Shellfish: Slurping oysters straight out of their shells are thoroughly enjoyed by some men and deemed disgusting by others. Oysters are pearls for male fertility. The high zinc content and the other material that oysters and other shellfish are made up of is probably the best food for a male suffering from poor sperm quality. So the next time you see a guy revelling in downing oysters you know for a fact he has no fertility issues. Including shellfish in your diet several times a week can greatly help to boost your fertility health. Shellfish is also good for the heart, muscles and reproductive health in general. If you are wondering how you can boost male fertility – shellfish is your answer, it boosts the production of sperm. Zinc supplements are also good for male fertility. Shellfish especially oysters, also act as an aphrodisiac. Crabs are another sperm booster and can be eaten in a number of ways.
Tomatoes: In some cuisines like Indian and Italian cuisines tomatoes are an essential ingredient. This red fruit that is used more like a vegetable and has multiple health benefits. Tomatoes are good for the heart; they are excellent for the blood and play a vital role in male fertility as well. Having a few tomatoes a day as salad and in your food is excellent for your health and wellbeing. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is an antioxidant with huge benefits for male fertility. It helps the sperm to swim better, makes them more active and improves their shape and structure. Men who eat a healthy portion of tomatoes on a daily basis will definitely not suffer from poor sperm motility.
Chocolate: As much as has been said about avoiding chocolates for the sake of your teeth and their fat content. There are many other positive aspects of chocolate, like helping with blood circulation. Chocolate is also believed to keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check. Good blood circulation also ensures good erection; in contrast, poor blood circulation could lead to erectile dysfunction. Dark chocolate can also increase your sperm count and your semen volume as it contains the required amino acids. Chocolate contains the right kind of flavonoids and eating an ounce a day is healthy. Overindulging in chocolate can lead to unwanted weight gain. So it is advisable to have chocolate on a daily basis but in a limited proportion.
Fish: Not just any fish but more specifically fatty fish like salmon, sardines, herring and halibut and a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids. These fish have healthy fat. Healthy fat is the kind which will protect you from heart disease. Eating fatty fish at least 2 or 3 times a week is excellent for health in general as well for fertility health as it increases the blood flow to the genitals. Omega 3 is good for male fertility and is known to increase sperm count. Fish also contains other minerals and vitamins which help in improving the sperm.
Walnuts: These nuts are good for you in numerous ways. Walnuts boost brainpower. It is no coincidence that a walnut looks like a brain. This has serious significance there. Walnuts are packed with omega 3 and many other vitamins that are very good for health. These nuts are also excellent for male fertility. Walnuts improve sperm shape, size, swimming abilities and vitality. Sperm with good morphology, which is the shape and size, are able to penetrate and fertilise the female egg easily. Walnuts are also good for increasing sperm count. A certain minimum number of sperm are required for fertility. Sperm with good swimming skills are able to reach the female egg in time for ovulation. Eating 7 or 10 walnuts a day can do you a world of good in many aspects. Other sources from which you can get Omega 3 fatty acids are salmon and crabs.
Garlic: Most Indian cooking contains a portion of garlic in the vegetable dishes and lentil preparations. Garlic has excellent health benefits, and some men even believe in eating a few garlic pods in the morning with water. The secret of garlic is in its two ingredients, allicin and selenium. Allicin helps to increase the blood flow, especially to the sexual organs. Good blood flow is essential for an erection. Allicin also has special properties which protect the sperm. The selenium is an antioxidant which plays an important role in improving the sperm motility.
Broccoli: A Vitamin A deficiency is the main reason for poor sperm motility and low male fertility. Vitamin A deficiency results in sluggish sperm with not much motivation to move. Broccoli is a rich source of vitamin A. Other foods with a good content of vitamin A content are spinach, carrots, red peppers, sweet potatoes and apricots. You can choose which form of vitamin A you would like to have. Or you could alternate your source of vitamins with a daily change. Broccoli has other antioxidants, which makes it a superfood and essential to include in a daily diet.
Lentils: Men also need folic acid as much as women do. Lentils contain high quantities of folate, which is a natural source of folic acid. A diet that is rich in folate can help prevent chromosomal abnormalities in the sperm. Men that have a high percentage of sperm with chromosomal abnormalities need to increase their intake of folic acid. When sperm have chromosomal abnormalities, the embryo that is formed is weak due to the abnormalities of the sperm and hence usually does not survive. A good daily serving of lentils can help to provide a regular supply of folic acid. Lentils also act as a source of fibre and are rich in proteins. There are a variety of lentils, and one can alternate between them to get all the different nutrition.
Asparagus: A high quantity of Vitamin C is found in Asparagus. This is a great tool to protect the sperm from damage. Asparagus also has properties to increase the volume of sperm and sperm motility. This means that the sperm will become more active and can swim better. Sperm needs to be good swimmers as they have a long way to swim in the female reproductive tract to find the female egg that they are supposed to fertilise. Asparagus also has some qualities that can help to protect the human body from harmful free radicles.
Blueberries: Eating a handful of blueberries as a fruit is the best way to get a good dose of the resveratrol antioxidant that is found richly in blueberries. You can also have blueberries with yoghurt, in a smoothie or with your cereal. These berries are an excellent source of quercetin, which helps to keep the sperm healthy and active. A regular diet of blueberries can increase sperm count and keep the sperm motility at optimum levels.
Pomegranate: For a surge in testosterone, you should eat pomegranates. Testosterone is a male hormone which helps to improve the quality of the sperm. Pomegranates fall into the category of superfoods due to its rich content of antioxidants. It helps to boost blood circulation and promotes an increased sex drive. You can eat pomegranate as it is. The pomegranate seeds also have a rich nutritional value. Some people prefer to have pomegranate juice. Pomegranate tastes great with salads as well.
Bananas: This fruit is rich in potassium besides a number of other properties. Bananas are known to boost libido. It has an enzyme called bromelain, which is a sex hormone. An increased sex drive is great for sperm vitality. Men who have a low sex drive tend to have sluggish sperm. The vitamins A, B1 and C found in bananas also helps with better sperm production. Including banana in your daily diet can be really good for your health. Bananas are tasty and can be eaten as is. You can also have a banana shake or chopped banana with yoghurt or cereal.
Ginseng: One of the best aphrodisiacsis ginseng. This root has been used down the ages for boosting male fertility. It increases testosterone levels and in turn, improves the quality of the sperm. Ginseng also increases the blood flow to the genital area, and some people believe it can help people with erectile dysfunction as well. Ginseng is had best with tea. One can add the dried, and powdered ginseng root to tea or the fresh root can be boiled along with the tea water. Ginseng is one of the most famous Chinese herbs and has many other health properties as well.
FERTILITY AT MEDICOVER
Sometimes eating the right foods are not enough to improve the quality of your sperm, and you may need medical assistance with getting pregnant. Medicover offers a range of fertility treatments for men that can help a couple to get pregnant easily. Combining a good diet to improve sperm quality and quantity, along with fertility treatment, can improve the possibility of getting pregnant faster.
Many couples who have changed their diet to include foods good for male fertility have had more successful results with assisted reproduction treatment. Some doctors advise a restricted diet to improve the quality of sperm for fertility treatment. Eliminating harmful elements like smoking, alcohol, caffeine, cold drinks and junk foods can help with male fertility.
Sunil suffered from poor sperm motility. The couple were not keen on IVF and wanted to go for IUI treatment. His semen analysis test revealed that with such low sperm motility, an IUI treatment would be futile. Sunil learned which foods could help to improve his sperm quality. After 6 months of a strict diet, he found a significant improvement in his sperm quality. This made him eligible to donate sperm for IUI treatment. His wife had to undergo two IUI cycles before she conceived. Sunil’s efforts to improve his sperm quality paid off and helped in the success of their fertility treatment.
If a person is able to maintain a diet which comprises of only nutritious food and avoids all foods that are bad for sperm health, they will experience a drastic change in their sperm quality. With improved sperm quality, they can conceive very easily.
Q: Will eating a good diet of fruits and vegetables help to increase my sperm quality?
A: Yes, a regular intake of the right foods can help to improve your sperm quality. You also need to ensure that you remove all those foods which are harmful to the sperm from your diet.
Q: Can I increase my sperm count by eating walnuts and shellfish?
A: Yes, walnuts and shellfish are good for increasing the sperm count. However, you need to ensure that you eat a certain quantity of walnuts and shellfish every day for several months and avoid all foods that are harmful to the sperm.
Q: How long will it take to improve my sperm quality with a good diet?
A: This could vary based on how poor the quality of your sperm is as well as the level of detoxification your body requires. Some men find improvement in about 6 months while for others it may take as long as 2 years or more.