Diets that are crucial for men’s fertility
Apart from following a healthy lifestyle, men should consume specific foods that can enhance sperm production and avoid one that can negatively affect fertility
A recent study on men in the journal, Human Reproduction Update, has found that there is a 51.6% decline in sperm count in the past 45 years and this has been primarily attributed to lifestyle choices and harmful chemicals in the environment therefore, it has become imperative to follow healthy habits that can help maintain male fertility. Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial for overall well-being and it is equally important when it comes to reproductive health in men.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Kshitiz Murdia, CEO and Co-Founder at Indira IVF, shared, “One of the preliminary adoptions that men can make is that of a healthy and balanced diet. What one eats can have a significant impact on the quantity, quality, and movement of sperm – these are all essential factors for conception. To improve one’s fertility, it is recommended that men consume certain foods that can enhance sperm production and function, while avoiding others that can negatively affect fertility.” He suggested -
- Eat more fruits and vegetables: Incorporation of fruits, vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, and legumes promote higher sperm concentration and motility.
- If you like fish, eat more: With higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, fish consumption can lead to better sperm motility.
- Keep low on carbohydrates: A low-carbohydrate diet can help reduce insulin levels and improve testosterone production, which can boost sperm count and motility.
- Increase zinc intake: Zinc is crucial for male reproductive health since it is necessary for testosterone production and prostate gland health. Foods such as oysters, chicken, spinach, pumpkin seeds, and lentils are excellent sources of zinc.
- A healthy intake of anti-oxidants: Antioxidants can enhance sperm quality and safeguard them from oxidative harm. Berries, nuts, green leafy vegetables, legumes, guava, banana, avocado, and citrus fruits like lemon and oranges are rich in antioxidants. Some of the anti-oxidants found in whole plants such as vitamin C, lycopene, and co-enzyme Q10 are a good addition to promote high sperm concentration.
- Avoid processed foods: Processed foods are often high in trans-fats, refined carbohydrates and artificial additives, which can decrease sperm count and motility. It is advisable to focus on nutrient-dense foods to improve fertility.
- Decrease intake of certain foods: Men should reduce their consumption of processed meats, high-fat dairy products such as whole milk, cream and cheese, and soya products that contain phytoestrogens to improve fertility.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking cigarettes and consumption of tobacco products like gutka and pan masala can harm fertility. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid these products.
Dr Ankush Raut, Senior Fertility Consultant at Apollo Fertility in Borivali, asserted, “A healthy diet can improve fertility by providing the essential nutrients that support sperm production and motility. In addition to following a healthy lifestyle, men should also consume specific foods that can help improve their fertility.” He advised:
- The first diet that is crucial for men's fertility is a diet rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect the sperm from oxidative stress, which can cause damage to the DNA and affect the quality of the sperm. Foods that are rich in antioxidants include berries, nuts, green vegetables, and citrus fruits. These foods can help improve sperm quality and boost fertility in men.Another essential diet for men's fertility is a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for sperm production and motility. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel, as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Consuming these foods can help increase the production of healthy sperm and improve their motility.
- A diet that is low in processed foods and added sugars is also important for men's fertility. Consuming a diet that is high in processed foods and added sugars can lead to inflammation, which can negatively impact sperm production and motility. Instead, men should focus on consuming whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, to support their reproductive health.
- In addition to following a healthy diet, men should also consider taking supplements that can help improve their fertility. Some supplements that are beneficial for men's fertility include zinc, selenium, and vitamin C. These supplements can help improve sperm quality and protect against oxidative stress.
- Avoid smoking , alcohol and elucidate drugs
In conclusion, following a healthy diet that is rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and whole foods and low in processed foods and added sugars is crucial for men's fertility. Consuming these foods can help improve sperm production and motility and protect against oxidative stress.
Men should also consider taking supplements to support their reproductive health. By making these dietary changes, men can improve their chances of conceiving and achieving a healthy pregnancy.