What to Eat to Increase Male Sperm Countby Amanda Morin
It's not always women who have fertility issues; sometimes it's men, too. If the problem is a low sperm count, there are number of foods rich in specific nutrients to eat to increase sperm count.
From A to Zinc
Bring on the oysters and liver pate! These zinc-containing foods really are aphrodisiacs. Add a side salad with red peppers and carrots for some vitamin A, and you've got the perfect sperm-boosting meal; without enough vitamin A and zinc, his sperm count could be suffering. In her book, "Taking Charge of Your Fertility," Toni Weschler notes that deficiencies in zinc and vitamin A have been linked to low sperm counts. This is backed up by a study published in the "Journal of Laboratory Clinical Medicine" that discovered that 80 percent of men with low sperm counts also have low levels of zinc.
"Arginine is considered a nonessential amino acid, yet it seems to help a number of men with this problem," writes Weschler. It not only increases motility (the ability of sperm to move) and sperm production, but also blood flow, making for more powerful erections and, thus, a higher chance of fertilization. So where can your man get his arginine? It turns out that walnuts and almonds are arginine-rich. Create a trail mix with these and brazil nuts, and you've also covered added another important nutrient, selenium, which has a similar effect as arginine.
Egg is for E (Vitamin E)
Vitamin E-rich eggs can not only help to increase sperm count, but also may improve the chances that your egg will get fertilized. Plus, whether he eats them scrambled, over-easy or hard-boiled, those eggs can help ward off a deficiency of vitamin E, which has been linked to testicular tissue degeneration.
Salad, Salad and More Salad
The Wiggles aren't the only ones who think fruit salad is yummy. A bowl full of cherries, strawberries, grapefruit and other fruits containing the antioxidant vitamin C can prevent low sperm count. Green salads, too, help to create healthy sperm. The folic acid found in leafy-green vegetables such as lettuce and spinach complement the vitamin C in your fruit salad, helping your partner's body absorb folic acid. Both folic acid and antioxidants can lessen the chances of damaged and sperm agglutination (or clumping), which increases motility. When at all possible eat green salad with your oysters and liver, as a March 2002 study in "Fertility and Sterility," noted that zinc and folic acid combined increase sperm count.
A Side of Whole Grains
Eating whole grain breads and cereals can increase sperm count by increasing chromium levels. While reviewing studies regarding the effects of chromium, the journal "Biological Trace Element Research" details a correlation between low chromium levels and low sperm count.
Think Before You Drink
It's time for your man to give up some vices, including coffee, soda and whole milk. Caffeine drinkers have lower sperm counts than those who don't indulge, and it turns out that skim milk is better than whole. A study published in the March 2009 issue of "Fertility and Sterility" discovered that men who have a higher intake of rich dairy products like whole milk and yogurt have lower sperm counts than their skim-drinking counterparts.
- NIH: Experimental Zinc Deficiency in Man
- Effects of Dietary Selenium on Sperm Motility in Healthy Men
- A Review of Chromium's Effects on the Body
- "Fertility & Sterility," Volume 91, Issue 3, Pages 812-818 (March 2009)
- Taking Charge of Your Fertility (Revised Edition);Toni Weschler, MPH;2006
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