With sperm counts down 50% from what they were forty years ago, it comes as no surprise that we have a fertility crisis on our hands. Though there's no "magic cure" for this fertility crisis, scientists are certain that a healthy diet can protect not only our physical health, but reproductive health. For men looking to protect or increase their fertility, follow these simple dietary changes:
Men who consume more alcohol have lower sperm concentrations and lower sperm mobility, and their healthy sperm had lower fertilization rates. Though research linking alcohol consumption and low fertility rates in men, cutting out alcohol certainly is a positive start in a healthier male.
Studies have found that higher meat intake is associated with lower fertility in men and decreases a man's likelihood to impregnate his partner, likely due to high amounts of saturated fat. Saturated fats have been found in conjunction with low-quality sperm. Xenoestrogens, a man-made chemical found in meat and fish are also found in higher levels in infertile men, and are less prevalent in men sticking to a vegetarian diet when trying to conceive. Though the connection between infertility and meat-eating is complex, it's clear that lower consumption of meat leads to a healthier male reproductive system.
Scientists have found that more omega-3 fats increase fertility in men. A simple way to add more omega-3's into your diet--one serving of walnuts a day. The simple addition of omega-3 rich walnuts increases sperm vitality, motility, and morphology.
Zinc supplements have been found to significantly increase sperm quality and semen volume in infertile men. A great snack jam-packed with zinc is pumpkin seeds, and an even higher concentration can be found in pumpkin seed oil. Studies have shown that zinc, when combined with folic acid, increases sperm count 74% in subfertile men.
In the late 1970s, scientists decided to experiment with infertile men and the effect of Vitamin C on their fertility. In this small study, all 20 men in the trial were able to get their partners pregnant within two months of beginning treatment with 1000 mg of Vitamin C a day after two years of struggling to conceive. Vitamin C is easy to find in a variety of foods as well as in most daily vitamins and supplements.
Though the best way to battle infertility is to contact a doctor, these simple--and delicious--tricks are a great start in not only increasing your likelihood of getting pregnant, but also creating an all-around healthier you. And let's face it--healthy looks good on you.