10 Foods That Increase Sperm Count

by Amanda Morin

If you and your partner are trying to conceive, diet and nutrition are an important part of increasing your odds. Both men and women need to keep an eye on the foods they are eating. Adding items to the menu that are not only healthier but also known to increase sperm count can help increase the chances of conception.

Oysters

It's not just folklore that oysters can act as an aphrodisiac. Because oysters contain high levels of zinc, they are effective in increasing sperm count. In fact, a study published in the "Journal of Laboratory Clinical Medicine" found that zinc deficiency in men decreased sperm count in four out of five study members. The sperm count increased as soon as the men increased their zinc intake.

Spinach

Mom had it right all those years when she insisted that you eat your greens. Dark, leafy-green vegetables, such as spinach, contain high levels of folic acid. When eaten in conjunction with foods high in vitamin C to help absorption, the folic-acid containing vegetable helps to increase overall sperm health and motility. Furthermore, according to a study published in the March 2002 issue of "Fertility and Sterility," the combination of zinc and folic acid were found to have a positive effect in increasing sperm count.

Eggs

Eating eggs can not only help increase sperm count, but it can also improve the chances of fertilization. Eggs are in high in vitamin E, an ongoing deficiency of which has been linked to testicular tissue degeneration. The antioxidant quality of vitamin E can help to counteract the negative effects that free radicals have on our body's cells, including sperm.

Fruit Salad

Oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, cherries and other foods high in the antioxidant vitamin C are incredibly effective in preventing low sperm count and damage to sperm. Eating a fruit salad can help your body absorb folic acid and helps to counteract free radical damage. Interestingly enough, the semen of men with a diet of up to 1,000 mgs of vitamin C a day has less clumping than that of their deficient counterparts. This can increase motility, which in turn, increases the chance of fertilization.

Walnuts & Almonds

Both walnuts and almonds are rich with arginine, an amino acid that increases sperm production and blood flow. Increased blood flow makes for stronger erections, which, though unrelated to sperm count, is correlated with higher rates of fertilization.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts contain high amounts of the nutrient selenium which, according to a 2001 study in the "Journal of Andrology," is essential in development of normal sperm and in increasing sperm motility.

Water

You may not think of water as a food, but it is an essential nutrient and an important factor in increasing sperm count. Adequate hydration is necessary to keep body cells functioning optimally, sperm included. Drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day can go a long way toward helping your sperm go a longer way.

Whole Grains

Whole grain foods such as bread, cereals and crackers can increase your chromium levels, thereby increasing your sperm count. In a literature review of studies of the effects of chromium, the journal "Biological Trace Element Research" found that many studies indicate low chromium levels are correlated with decreased sperm count.

Decaffeinated Beverages

Giving up your morning cup of coffee or your midday soda may be difficult, but it may be essential if you are trying to increase your sperm count. Though the mechanism by which it happens as of yet eludes scientists, men who ingest caffeine daily have lower sperm counts than their decaffeinated counterparts.

About the Author

Amanda Morin served as a kindergarten teacher and early intervention specialist for 10 years, working with special-needs children and teaching parenting classes. Since becoming a freelance writer, she has written for a number of publications, including Education.com, the Maine Department of Education, ModernMom and others. Morin holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from the University of Maine, Orono.