What you eat does affect your fertility.
Guys, you’ve heard the standard advice for protecting your swimmers: Don’t wear tight undies. Keep your laptop far from, well, your lap. Stop smoking ASAP. But there may be an even easier way to shield your sperm — watch what you eat. “We’ve noticed that fertility has been decreasing over the past several decades. And guys want advice to improve upon matters,” said Dr. Ryan Terlecki, director of the Men’s Health Clinic for the Wake Forest University Department of Urology. “Most guys have never even heard that anything in their diet could impact sperm count.”
But the truth is, an emerging body of research suggests that the foods you pile on your plate may play a role in the number of sperm you have (count), whether they’re normally shaped (morphology), and how well they move (motility).
Although the research is still new, one thing is clear: The foods that may pose a threat to male fertility are many of the same dietary culprits behind things such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. That means you’d be smart to avoid them, regardless of whether you plan to make a baby any time soon – therefore that reasoning also follows through with if we eat a healthy diet – this will undoubtedly will help our fertility journey.
Eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants.
These nutrients help prevent sperm defects and boost motility (movement). A glass of orange juice has about 124 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C. Aim to get at least 250 mg a day – more if you smoke (at least 300 mg).
Get enough zinc.
A lack of zinc can make sperm clump together and contribute to infertility. Great sources to help you get the 11 mg you need daily include oysters (16 mg in six medium oysters), extra-lean beef tenderloin (4.8 mg per serving), baked beans (3.5 mg per 1-cup serving), and dark chicken meat (2.38 mg per serving).
Fuel up on folic acid.
Studies suggest that men with low levels of this key B vitamin – the same one women need to reduce the baby’s risk of neural tube birth defects – have trouble producing healthy sperm. You may be able to get the daily minimum of 300 micrograms from fortified breakfast cereals, leafy greens, legumes, and orange juice, but taking a folic acid or a multivitamin supplement for extra insurance can’t hurt.