We talk a lot about women when it comes to fertility however men are just as important! As we all know, it takes two to tango and male fertility and healthy sperm is just as important as a high quality egg for successful a conception and pregnancy. Read on to find out how diet and foods can influence male fertility as well as the best foods to increase male fertility.
Foods for healthy sperm
What we eat and what we do can influence sperm health, both positively and negatively. Making changes to your diet can influence sperm quality in as little as 1-2 weeks. So it is never too late to start including foods for healthy sperm.
A Mediterranean style diet can support improved semen quality. This includes improving sperm count, sperm concentration, sperm morphology and sperm motility.
On the other hand, Western style diets can be detrimental to the quality of sperm. These are typically higher in saturated fat, red and processed meat as well as higher in carbohydrate,
Male fertility boosting nutrients
A dietary pattern that supports sperm health will contain lots of fertility boosting foods for male fertility. It will also ensure consumption of the many nutrients that we know can have beneficial effects on sperm parameters.
Important sperm supporting nutrients include;
- omega 3
- vitamin B12
- vitamin E
- Vitamin C
Many of these nutrients contain antioxidant properties, this can help to reduce the levels of oxidative stress in the body which if levels get too high can cause damage to sperm.
Our top foods to increase male fertility
There are many foods you can include in the diet for healthy sperm. Incorporating the foods below can help you to start creating a Mediterranean style diet to increase male fertility.
- Boost sperm count . Aim for at least 5 portion of vegetables per day. A higher vegetable intake can support healthy sperm particularly sperm count
- Improve sperm concentration. Tomatoes contains a antioxidant nutrient called lycopene. Consuming more of this can improve sperm concentration.
- Improve sperm morphology. Salmon is a one of the top foods for healthy sperm. It is a source of omega 3 fatty acids which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They can support sperm healthy by improving sperm morphology
- Increase sperm motility. Sunflower seeds contain lots of vitamin E which can improve sperm motility
- Support perm production. Eating 1-2 Brazil nuts per day can give you a healthy dose of selenium. Selenium has antioxidant properties and supports the production of sperm
Male fertility supplements
Antioxidant supplements containing a range of different antioxidant nutrients may support male fertility. Particularly, they may improve live birth rates for couples going through assisted reproductive techniques. This could be due to improvements in sperm DNA integrity, sperm concentration or sperm morphology. Although supplements can support sperm health, they should not replace heathy diet. To support male fertility, supplements and diet need to work together.
Many of the nutrients mentioned above as well as a number of others can support individual sperm parameters in supplement form. These nutrients all support sperm parameters in different ways, for example some may be more beneficial for one sperm parameter over another. If you are wishing to improve a particular sperm parameter it is best to seek personalised support from a Specialist Fertility Nutritionist or dietitian who can make tailored recommendations for you.
A final word
The male diet can influence sperm quality in as little as 1-2 weeks, both negatively and positively. So if you are trying to conceive, optimising your diet for sperm health is a no brainer. This window of opportunity could be particularly important if you are providing a sample of sperm for an IVF cycle. Check out our Nutrition for Sperm health Guide and 2 week meal plan where we lay out exactly what you need to do to increase male fertility, support your sperm health and increase chances of a successful conception. It includes recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for 2 weeks as well as lifestyle advice.