If your sperm count is keeping you awake at night and putting stress on your relationship, you may want to look at your diet. Specifically, examine your intake of processed red meat!
A recent study, published this past summer in Fertility & Sterility (2015), found that processed meat may have a negative effect on your swimmers. The study involved 141 men, and processed meat did not fare well. Study participants who ate poultry, on the other hand, showed a 13 percent higher fertility rate.
If meat is your preferred source of protein, that’s fine, but what kind of meat are you eating and where does it come from? Most people have no answer for the latter, and that is not a good sign when it comes to sperm count. The great news is that it’s not too late!
There are plenty of wonderful alternatives to boost your sperm count that you can easily add to your diet. Oysters, eggs, chicken, and broccoli are just a few foods that may increase your swim team’s numbers. Let’s take a look at some delicious alternatives you can enjoy while kicking your reproductive team into high gear.
Note: When choosing eggs and poultry, go for organic, pastured, and free-range, to ensure the highest quality and nutrition, without the issues associated with conventional varieties. When it comes to seafood, choose wild-caught, preferably local, sources.
Eggs offer B12 and selenium. Vitamin B12 and selenium have been shown to increase sperm count and motility, according to a study published in Alternative Medicine Review (2000), along with arginine, zinc, and carnitine. One large egg offers up 11 percent of your daily value (DV) for vitamin B12, and 23 percent of your DV for selenium. If you want to increase your sperm count, get cracking in the morning.
Vitamin E and zinc-rich nuts for a snack. No pun intended here! Nuts are a great way to increase your vitamin E and zinc levels, which have been shown to enhance male fertility. Feeling hunger pains at your desk before lunch? Grab a handful of almonds and kill two birds with one stone.
Broccoli and folic acid. Broccoli contains folic acid, which is essential for women before and during pregnancy; however, this green bunch of nutritional joy has fertility benefits for men as well, according to a study published in Fertility & Sterility (2002). The double-blind study involving 108 fertile and 103 subfertile men found, “Total normal sperm count increases after combined zinc sulfate and folic acid treatment in both subfertile and fertile men.”
This is good news, since one small stalk of broccoli, approximately 140 grams, serves up 38 percent of your DV for folic acid, or folate, and four percent of your DV for zinc.
Tomatoes may increase sperm count via lycopene. Lycopene is a red carotenoid pigment found in tomatoes, and it may assist you in boosting your swimmers. Lycopene has also been shown to prevent heart disease and some forms of cancer. Slice up an organic, fresh tomato for lunch or with breakfast, because it can possibly save and help create life.
Chicken boasts high levels of vitamin B6 and selenium. One cup of chicken, approximately 140 grams, will deliver 55 percent of your DV for selenium and 42 percent of your DV for vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 and other antioxidant-rich vitamins have been found to increase sperm count and motility in males, according to research conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, and published in Human Reproduction (2005).
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes may increase sperm count. The high antioxidant power found in citrus fruits, like a vitamin C-loaded orange, has been shown to help increase male fertility and protect sperm DNA. However, it is best to skip store-bought fruit juice, which is loaded with sugar and preservatives. Instead, use some elbow grease and squeeze some fresh orange juice in the morning. It tastes better, too.
Oysters contain sperm-boosting vitamin D, vitamin B12, zinc, and selenium. Oysters are one of the best foods you can choose for getting a natural supercharged boost of zinc, selenium, and vitamins D and B12. Oysters may just be nature’s sperm superfood. Research has found that one ounce of oysters, roughly 28 grams, serves up 170 percent of your DV for zinc, 91 percent of your DV for vitamin B12, 15 percent of your DV for selenium, and 22 percent of your DV for vitamin D.
A study published in Human Reproduction (2010) found vitamin D is, “important for spermatogenesis and maturation of human spermatozoa.”
Eat more beans and you may increase your sperm count. Beans are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that you need to be healthy and happy. This also holds true for your sperm count. Beans are high in folate, especially black beans, which studies have shown can increase sperm count and motility. One cup of black beans, cooked and unsalted, serves up 64 percent of your DV.
Beans are also an exceptional source of natural protein, making them a great substitute for meat and processed meat.
Increase your swimmers with salmon. Salmon is rich in selenium, riboflavin, and vitamin B12, all of which have been studied for their sperm-boosting effects. A half filet of wild-caught Atlantic salmon offers 103 percent of your DV for selenium. In fact, most fish, like tuna, halibut and salmon, are loaded with selenium, which studies have shown to be beneficial in increasing sperm count.
In addition to selenium, salmon also serves up essential B vitamins, an abundance of which, “protects human sperm from endogenous oxidative DNA damage,” according to a study published in PNAS (1991).
The bad news about processed meat is another discouraging blow to male reproductive function. Other recent studies have linked a lower sperm count to several chronic ailments like obesity, inflammation, stress, and anxiety.
The recent research proves there’s little doubt that diet plays a big role in sperm count, making it essential for you to get the vital nutrients you need for health, happiness and fertility.
Are you still eating processed meat?
—The Alternative Daily