If you’ve decided to start a family, you should know that it’s not just women who should think about their diets. Men too should take steps to ensure that their sperm is tip top, so there’s a better chance of making a healthy bouncing baby.
Here are the vitamins and minerals that improve sperm health as well as the foods that contain them. Include them in your diet now before you start trying for a family.
Omega 3 is said to protect sperm from damage by free radicals and improve sperm count, motility and quality. It also protects the membrane of the sperm and improves blood flow. Omega 3 isn’t made in the body, so it is important to eat the right foods to get enough essential fatty acids in our diet.
Oily fish such as salmon or sardines, kippers, mackerel and tuna have plenty of Omega 3. Walnuts, soya milk and green leafy vegetables are also a good source.
Zinc is said to help with sperm count and its development. It is said to improve sperm motility (the ability of the sperm to move). The best type of sperm moves fast in a straight line. Some men however have sperm that moves in circles and doesn’t travel forward quickly. Other types of sperm may not move forward at all and this may be a reason for infertility.
One of the best foods you can eat to get zinc is oysters. Crab and lobster are also good sources. Other foods with zinc include lamb and beef, as well as spinach.
Just like with Omega 3, vitamin E keeps sperm healthy with improved motility, quality and sperm count. Vitamin E supplements are often prescribed to couples undergoing IVF treatment.
Foods with vitamin E include fish, such as trout and salmon. Avocados, dark leafy greens, pumpkin, broccoli, kiwi and almonds are good sources too.
Vitamin C stops sperm from sticking together which will affect their movement. It also protects sperm cells and improves sperm quality.
Foods with plenty of vitamin C include dark leafy greens, broccoli, peppers, kiwi, oranges and strawberries. Peas and tomatoes are also good sources, as well as cabbage, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.
B5 and B6
B5 and B6 help the production of testosterone which is important for a healthy sperm count. It will also make sure your libido is normal, so that you are able to perform effectively.
Foods with Vitamins B5 and B6 include avocados, beans, fortified cereals, liver, tuna and salmon.
Studies have shown that a diet rich in antioxidants will help a man to have a good concentration of sperm, with good motility and quality. Antioxidants help to fight free radicals which can affect fertility. Foods that have antioxidants include spinach, asparagus (to give you folic acid), oranges, strawberries, grapefruit and tomatoes (for Lycopene).
Before starting to try to conceive, in addition to eating well, you should also make other lifestyle changes which will ensure that you and your sperm are in optimal health.
If you are a smoker, try to stop. Smoking affects the quality of your sperm. Studies have also shown that babies who are in a smoky atmosphere are more at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (cot death) and other respiratory problems.
Obesity is another problem that may reduce the quality of your sperm. Try to get yourself to a healthy weight by eating better and doing some exercise. Not only will you improve your sperm count, but you’ll also have more energy.