For couples who are trying to conceive believe it or not what they eat can affect their fertility and the chance that they can achieve their parenting dream. Potential Mums to be will be told all the time how important it is to follow a better , and healthier, diet before they conceive but the simple fact is that it every bit as important for Dads to be to start eating right too.
Not all foods are created equal though, at least when it comes to fertility and improving sperm health and boosting energy and sexual performance, all very important factors in the quest to become a Daddy.
These are some of the foods that experts tend to agree are some of the best things a man can eat to help boost fertility:
Oily Fish – Oily fish – salmon, mackerel, halibut and albacore tuna to name just a few – are some of the best natural sources of omega 3 fatty acids, especially the kinds of omega 3s that the human body does not produce naturally and that can only be obtained through diet. These omega 3 fatty acids, and to a lesser degree omega 6 acids which the fish also contain, play a very important role in improving blood flow and increasing sperm quality and sperm mobility. If you really hate fish and cannot stand the thought of eating the recommended 2-3 servings a week then flax seed oil can be a fairly decent alternative.
Whole Grains – Whole grains like brown rice, oats and whole wheat are great for male reproductive health for a couple of reasons. First they contain complex carbohydrates that boost energy and improve endurance – both essential for baby-making – and secondly because they are rich in B and E vitamins. These vitamins both play a crucial part in cellular reproduction and the production of healthy sperm.
Oysters – Couple trying to conceive may already be nibbling on oysters because of their reported aphrodisiac properties. The fact is though that oysters also contain high levels of zinc, a mineral that has been proved in a number of studies to play a crucial part in the development of plentiful, healthy sperm. Even better zinc has also been shown to boost healthy ova production in women as well so an oyster dinner is a great idea for a couple hoping to conceive.
Garlic – A far less romantic food than oysters garlic is a great male fertility booster. It contains the mineral selenium which helps improve sperm quality, decreasing the number of abnormally shaped sperm. It also contains significant levels of Vitamin B6 which helps boost the immune system and improve overall energy levels.
Spinach – Spinach – and other leafy greens – contain high levels of iron and vitamin C that help improve sperm quality by protecting the DNA contained within it as well as folic acid which is every bit as important for dads to be as it is for mums to be as it helps increase the sperm count.
Just like there are foods that are great for male fertility there are foods and drinks that can damage it and should be avoided wherever possible when a couple is trying to conceive. here are the “worst” of them:
Soy Based Foods – Soy based foods are very healthy but they also can cause a problem with male fertility if eaten too often. There is a substance in soy called isoflavone phytoestrogens and research has found that sperm quantity can be decreased if a man consumes a large amount of soy based products. If you were one of those guys who who switched from full dairy milk to soy to cut fat it might be time to switch back, especially as another study showed that men who drank full fat dairy milk had a higher sperm count than both men who drank low fat or soy milk.
White Bread – Maybe you are not so fond of wholewheat bread as you are of white bread but numerous studies have shown that store bought white breads can decrease male sperm quality, mainly because of the processed flour it contains.
Sweets – All of the processed sugar in popular sweets – especially boiled sweets – has been shown to decrease male fertility. Get your sugar fix from dried fruits instead.
Fast Food – An extensive Harvard University study in the US studied the effect of a “fast food” diet on male fertility. What they found was that the over processed meats – have you ever really looked at a McDonalds hamburger patty – the fats used to fry those “golden fries” and the excessive amount of carbohydrates literally make sperm sluggish, decreasing their mobility significantly.
Soft Drinks – That Coke might go down very well on a nice hot day but its not very good for your sperm because it contains so much sugar. One Danish study found that the decrease in sperm production in men with a 3 can a day or more soda habit was quite notable.
The importance of a healthy diet for men who are trying to become Daddies tends to get lost because there is so much written about a healthy preconception diet for women. However, its important to remember that making a baby is a 50/50 effort so Dads have to do their part as well.