Women who are hoping to become pregnant usually heed all of the advice they hear from doctors and their friends and start trying to make sure that they get all the right vitamins and minerals that will help them enjoy a happy, healthy pregnancy and have a healthy, bouncing baby before they actually become pregnant. They also usually understand just how important those same vitamins and minerals can be to their chances of actually conceiving in the first place as well. However, it is just as important that prospective Dads to be do the same thing as well.
There are some vitamins and minerals that are especially good for boosting and enhancing male fertility and sperm health. Here is a little bit about some of them:
Vitamin C – The C stands for Conception – There have been almost countless studies conducted all of over the world that have concluded that male fertility in the “civilized” world has gradually decreased since the 1930s. One of the big culprits for that has been discovered to be an elevated level of free radicals in male sperm. Free radicals have always been around but as the environment has become more and more polluted and the quality of the average diet has decreased thanks to all the processed foods we eat the number of them that find there way into our bodies has increased.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals so sperm quality can be significantly improved. Eating Vitamin C rich foods is the best way to get your daily dose. A glass of orange juice is a great choice as it is packed full of vitamin C and it contains folic acid which is good for healthy sperm production too.
Vitamin E – Vitamin E plays a big role in sperm production so if your diet does not contain enough of it then you may be producing fewer sperm than you really should be able to, impacting your fertility. One study in the US actually found that the proper amount of Vitamin E in a man’s diet can double his fertility! Broccoli, peanuts and sunflower seeds are all excellent natural sources of high levels of Vitamin E.
Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 has been shown to have the ability to increase the quality of sperm, decreasing the number of abnormally shaped semen in ejaculate (the term for the amount of sperm released each time a man ejaculates) This is important as abnormally shaped sperm are just not really equipped to get the “job done” properly and although the presence of some of them is normal the fewer of these “runt” sperm that are produced the better.
Vitamin B12 has also been shown to be able to increase the volume of sperm – the number that are contained in ejaculate. The more sperm there are in ejaculate the better it is for conception of course as the simple law of averages means that the more sperm swimming around an egg the better the chance that one will fertilize it successfully. Oysters, lean beef, salmon, crab and whole grain breakfast cereals are all great sources of Vitamin B12.
Selenium – Selenium is a mineral, not a vitamin, but it is still believed that it plays an important role ion preserving the health of sperm as they are formed. Selenium prevents the oxidation of sperm which can lead to stronger, healthier sperm that are better able to make that all important long swim to meet an egg ready to be fertilized.
The highest naturally occurring source of selenium can be found in the humble Brazil nut – in fact they are packed with the stuff. Lower concentrations can also be found in liver, fatty fish like salmon and halibut as well as in oysters and in lean bacon (yes bacon!)
Zinc – Zinc is another mineral that it has been discovered has a very crucial role to play in sperm health and overall male fertility. Zinc is involved in over 100 different tiny bodily functions that affect sperm production. Studies have shown that the effects of a zinc deficiency in males can have quite a significant impact on fertility. Not getting enough zinc can lead to a decrease in sperm volume, a drop in testosterone in even lead to shrunken testicles – all things that can significantly impact your chances of conceiving with your partner.
Oysters are a fantastic source of zinc (and they are supposed to be an aphrodisiac) but it can also be found at lower levels in peanuts, sunflower seeds, liver and even in dark chocolate!
L- Arginine – Some studies have shown that a lesser known amino acid called l-arginine can help boost sperm volume and sperm mobility. Even though you may never have heard of it it can be found naturally in high quantities in one of the most humble of foods – canned tuna. It can also be found in large quantities in Brazil nuts, red kidney beans, flax seed oil and even in chocolate syrup – the kind you add to mile to make a milkshake!
Most doctors and other medical experts agree that trying to get as much of these vitamins, minerals and acids from your food as possible is the best idea as they provide the most potent forms. There are studies being conducted to try to determine if a vitamin supplement containing these essentials is as effective – there are a few available on the market – but the jury is still out on that right now.