Food and fertility: 5 foods that can boost male fertility

food and fertility

It’s no secret that diet plays a huge role in the state of our health, but did you know it could also be affecting your fertility? Recent research has revealed sperm quality has declined by a staggering 38 per cent over the past decade, and experts believe this is largely due to poor lifestyle and dietary choices.

The good news is, if male fertility issues are caused by dietary issues, it is possible to improve the quality of sperm by making a few simple changes. For example, experts claim watercress can help fight obesity and reduce the effects of stress on the body; two things renowned for their potential negative impact on male fertility.

Here, we’ll look at 5 other foods that can boost male fertility

1. Fruits & Vegetables

A lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet can lead to a range of serious health issues, such as cancer, heart disease and even premature death. It can also lead to poor sperm quality.

For years, experts have told us to aim for five portions of fruits and vegetables each day, but in early 2017, scientists revealed if we want to really live longer, it should be increased to 10 portions per day. In terms of male fertility however, five daily portions are still enough to improve sperm quality.

A study was carried out by the University of Rochdale, which showed infertile men were twice as likely to eat less than five portions of fruits and vegetables each day.

Some fruits and vegetables are more beneficial in terms of boosting fertility than others. Spinach, for example, contains a high level of magnesium, which according to the University of Auckland, boosts fertility and hormonal health. Asparagus is another one to add to the list, being high in folate. A Human Reproduction study found that men with a high folate intake had less abnormal sperm than those who didn’t.

You might also want to increase the amount of tomatoes in your diet. A study is currently underway to see if lycopene can improve the quality of sperm. New research has also shown that a ‘tomato pill could boost sperm by up to 70 per cent.

2. Pomegranate Juice

A 2009 study revealed that drinking pomegranate juice frequently could boost both the quality and quantity of sperm.

The study, carried out by the Firat University in Turkey, was conducted on rats. They were split into four different groups. Two groups were fed water, one group was fed 0.25ml pomegranate juice mixed with water, and the final group were fed 1ml of pomegranate juice each day. It revealed, the rats given pomegranate juice had a 48.5 per cent lower malondialdehyde chemical than those which were given just water.

Malondialdehyde (MDA), is a reactive chemical known to reduce sperm production. It was also discovered they had a lower sperm abnormality rate and increased sperm density.

3. Oysters

Oysters have a 2-in-1 fertility benefit. Firstly, they are high in zinc, which is known to aid in sperm production and boost testosterone levels. Secondly, they are a well-known aphrodisiac. So, consuming oysters regularly can have a significant impact on fertility.

Don’t fancy oysters? Other foods high in zinc include green peas, sesame seeds, steak, lamb and venison.

4. Pumpkin Seeds

Like sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds are also high in zinc, but they also contain Omega-3 fatty acids. These are known to increase blood flow to your sexual organs, helping to improve sexual function. They’re also a really healthy snack, containing a high level of magnesium. Adding these seeds to your diet can therefore have numerous great health benefits.

5. Garlic

Garlic contains two key elements men need for fertility – selenium and allicin. Selenium is an antioxidant and it really helps to boost sperm mobility, while allicin boosts blood flow to the sexual organs, protecting the sperm from damage. It is recommended you eat one to two cloves of garlic each day for maximum fertility enhancing benefits.

The above are just five foods which could potentially boost male fertility. However, before making any changes to your diet it is worth seeking advice from a fertility specialist.

There are many reasons why men may suffer with fertility issues and it is important to establish the cause before treatment can be recommended.