The top nutrients to improve sperm healthNov 21, 2022
Is it just me, or is there a huge focus on the egg and what changes we, as women, need to make in our lifestyle, and not much about the sperm?
Why, when we talk about unexplained infertility, do we shoulder all the guilt? We rule out Male Factor Infertility (MFI) if the sperm is tested and comes back ok. But when our tests come back ok, it’s still assumed that it’s our fault. Hmmmmmmm……….
And while no-one actually says those words to us (that it’s our fault), the advice (ick!) we get from other well-meaning people is centered around what WE need to do. Why don’t you “just” (double ick!!) try acupuncture, or this fertility tea, or try the Mediterranean diet, or eat pineapple core, or…….just relax!!
All the solutions were about changing the way I was living my life, treating my body, and it was even geared toward changing the thoughts I was thinking! i.e. just be positive (ugh!!)
In all the years we were trying to conceive, no one ever gave me useless advice relating to my husband’s sperm. Which is kind of crazy, given its half of the equation here.
Healthy egg + healthy sperm = healthy embryo.
And if you have a partner who is feeling pretty helpless right now. Who is watching you make all the changes everyone is telling you to make, getting poked and prodded like a Thanksgiving Turkey, and wants to know what they can do……. this is for them.
Because there ARE changes they can make. Even if your partner’s sperm as been tested and found to be super sperm, they aren’t off the hook. And even if you’re going through IVF and figure they’ll pull out the best-looking sperm, don’t leave it to chance. Especially if you’ve been diagnosed with unexplained infertility. If you’re making changes, they can too.
Now, I am not an expert on nutrition or diet, so for this blog, I’ve joined forces with team at Fertilitae to help provide some guidance. That way you AND your partner are making the changes required to increase your chances of getting and staying pregnant. Because it really does help to know that you’re not alone in this.
Before we dive into sperm friendly foods, let me first caveat by saying - when it comes to what you eat, I am all about balance and introducing more of the good foods, rather than restricting the foods you enjoy.
And now, I’m handing it over to Melissa Mastroberardino, RHN at Fertilitae…….
Sperm health matters when you’re trying to conceive, whether naturally or through fertility treatments. There are a number of different nutrients that men can get from their diet, that can help different aspects of their sperm health, including motility, sperm count and morphology.
Plants help to get more antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E and bioflavonoids, which are important in protecting from free radical damage. The role of free radicals has been studied extensively in the process of human reproduction, and we now know that high levels of free radicals can have negative effects on sperm function and motility (PMID: 22010591).
Animal foods help to get enough amino acids (protein building blocks) to help produce quality sperm. L-carnitine, for example, is one of the amino acids that has been shown to increase sperm motility (PMID: 25242977).
Aim to include a variety of these foods, to ensure you are getting enough of the nutrients required:
- L-Carnatine: beef, pork, poultry fish and dairy products
- Zinc: shellfish (oysters, crab, lobster, shrimp, etc), beef, nuts & seeds such as pumpkin seeds and pine nuts
- Vitamin C: bell peppers/capsicum, citrus fruits, tomatoes and strawberries
- Selenium: Brazil nuts, beef, pork, poultry, fish, eggs
- Vitamin D: fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring)
- Folate: dark leafy greens (collard greens, kale, swiss chard/silverbeet, rapini/broccoli rabe, etc.)
- Vitamin E: almonds, sunflower seeds, dark leafy greens
- CoQ10: beef, pork, poultry fish and dairy products
Diet is foundational when it comes to fertility - it’s only one piece of the puzzle, but it is an important one!
And if you’d like some more information on sperm, what makes a good semen sample, and how they can improve the quality of their sperm, you can refer to my previous blog HERE.
Would you like to know more about how you can work with me, so you can get back control of your life and start moving forward? My 1:1 coaching program is packed with information, tools and support. Find out how you can get on the wait list now.
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