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Fertility Diet Tips for Him: Eating to Optimize Sperm Health
Around 15% of couples face challenges conceiving and male infertility plays a role in over 30% of these cases. The good news is that diet and lifestyle choices can improve sperm health parameters like count, motility, morphology, and DNA integrity. Here are some top fertility diet tips for men.
Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods
The foundation of a sperm-friendly diet is an abundance of whole, minimally processed foods. Pack your diet with plenty of:
Limit refined carbs, added sugars, unhealthy fats, excess sodium, preservatives, pesticides and additives. Let whole foods make up the bulk of your plate.
Load Up on Antioxidants
Oxidative stress damages sperm. Antioxidants like vitamins C, E, A, selenium and zinc quench free radicals and protect sperm. Fill your fertility diet with antioxidant-rich foods:
Dehydration negatively affects semen volume and sperm concentration. Aim to drink at least 2-3 liters of non-caffeinated fluids daily like water, herbal tea, milk and broth. Limit alcohol and sugary beverages which can dehydrate you.
Get Plenty of Vitamin D
Low vitamin D levels correlate with poor sperm motility and morphology. Get sufficient vitamin D from sunlight, fortified dairy and juice, fatty fish, eggs, and a supplement providing around 2000-5000 IU per day.
Increase Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Chronic inflammation damages sperm and reduces count. Counter inflammation by eating more:
Limit inflammatory foods like processed meat, fried foods, excess saturated fat, refined carbs, and sugar.
Watch Your Weight
Obesity and being significantly overweight lower testosterone, reduce semen volume, and increase DNA damage to sperm. For a healthy BMI, limit portion sizes and emphasize lean proteins, produce, whole grains and healthy fats.
Reduce Soy Foods
Some research indicates that regular soy consumption may lower sperm concentration. Limit soy foods like edamame, tofu, soy milk and soy protein to a few times a week as part of a varied fertility diet.
Avoid Too Much Caffeine and Alcohol
Both caffeine and alcohol have been shown to reduce sperm count, movement and vitality, especially in excess. Limit coffee to 1-2 cups daily and alcohol to occasional light consumption only.
Stop Smoking Tobacco
Smoking causes sperm DNA damage, lowers count and reduces motility. Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke to protect your sperm.
Stress impacts hormones like testosterone that influence sperm production and quality. Make time each day to relax – try meditation, deep breathing, walks, etc.
In addition to your diet, factors like sleep, exercise, medications, toxins and medical conditions can affect fertility too. Work with your doctor if lifestyle measures don’t sufficiently improve sperm parameters after 3 months. But eating a balanced fertility diet is a great start to nurture healthy, robust sperm.