Being able to or not being able to have babies does not just depend on females. Male fertility is equally responsible for a couple’s ability to have children. When a couple struggles with fertility issues, it is never OK to hold only the woman responsible. As any gynaecologist will tell you, the male fertility could be the problem. Let’s find out what is male fertility and best foods to increase male fertility (sperm count).
What is Male fertility?
Male fertility depends on a number of factors:
- Ability to produce healthy sperm: The ability to produce sperm starts at birth and then at puberty with the formation and growth of the male reproductive organs. The testicles should work correctly and the body must produce testosterone and other hormones to trigger and maintain sperm production.
- Sperm count: This can be established by a laboratory test and anything below 15 million spam per millilitre of semen could indicate problems with fertility.
- Sperm Motility: The sperm should be able to move, reach the egg and penetrate the egg wall to fertilise it.
Read Also: 7 foods to improve fertility in women
Top 10 Foods to Increase Male Fertility or Sperm Count
If a male had been diagnosed with infertility, apart from medication and steps prescribed by his doctor, changes can be made in the diet. Certain foods are known to boost male fertility and sperm count.
- Eggs: Eggs are a superfood for male fertility. They are easily available and inexpensive source of B-vitamins and vitamin E and protein which protect sperm cells from the free radicals that can decrease your count. Eggs also help in the production of strong and healthy sperm, which are another important factor of male fertility.
- Spinach: Spinach is rich in Folic acid which is important for the development of healthy sperm. Low folate levels increase the chances of producing malformed sperm which will struggle to reach the female’s egg and penetrating the egg’s protective barrier.
- Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate is a well-known aphrodisiac because it is said to increase the intensity of orgasms. Dark chocolate also contains an amino acid called L-Arginine HCL which increases the semen volume and sperm count.
- Walnuts: Walnuts are another superfood which are just as good for your brain and heart as they are for male fertility. They are full of Omega-3 fatty acids that help boost sperm volume and production by increasing blood flow to the testicles. Walnuts also contain arginine which is known to increase semen volume and sperm count.
- Pomegranates: This fruit is known since ancient times for it’s aphrodisiac and medicinal properties being very beneficial for overall health. Pomegranate juice is a powerful fertility booster. It is full of antioxidants that fight free radicals in the bloodstream. If the antioxidants increase, they can destroy semen and significantly decrease your sperm count.
- Goji Berries or Wolfberries: Goji berries have been used in Chinese medicine since ancient times and are known as the “Matrimony Vine”. They are another powerful superfood which increases both male and female fertility. Just like pomegranate juice, goji berry juice is rich in antioxidants reduce free radicals in the blood and increasing sperm count and quality.
- Garlic: Garlic has a multitude of health benefits from increasing immunity, protecting the heart to increasing male fertility. Garlic contains allicin which increases blood flow to the testicles protecting them from any damage. Selenium and Vitamin B6 found in garlic improve sperm motility.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, an antioxidant. Several studies have shown lycopene to significantly improve motility (the sperm’s ability to swim), activity and structure of sperm. Lycopene is higher in cooked or processed tomatoes, so it is best to add tomato puree to your favourite recipes.
- Broccoli: Broccoli contains nearly all the vitamins and minerals that have been linked to improved semen quality (and overall good health). It is a rich source of vitamin C, folic acid which is great for increasing sperm count and motility.
- Zinc Rich foods: Zinc is an important element for sperm development. Studies have shown that zinc deficiency leads to low testosterone levels, poor sperm quality and an increased risk of infertility. Therefore, include foods like red meat, shellfish, and oysters, lentils like beans and chickpeas, nuts and seeds, and whole grains to your diet to keep up your fertility.
Other steps to increase male fertility:
- Quit smoking
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce stress
Once you are planning to start a family, you must start watching your diet since as a partner you are equally responsible for conceiving. Incorporating these foods in your diet will not just increase your fertility but your overall health and well-being too.
Read Also: In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF): Procedure, Preparation & Risks
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