Did you know that pre-conception health is just as important for men as women? When talking about what to eat, what not to eat, and what you should do before conception to insure a healthy baby, mommies-to-be get loaded with information while daddies-to-be get nothing. The dad’s diet plays a large role when trying to conceive and also the future health of the baby. There are so many factors that can lead to infertility in men, knowing what to eat to maintain a healthy diet for easy conception, is one less thing to think about.
Antioxidants play a large role in fertility in men. It has been shown that in infertile men there were higher concentrations of free radicals in their sperm. Free radicals are atoms that scavenge the body trying to seek out other electrons. When doing this it causes damage to cells, proteins, and DNA. Antioxidants have excess electrons it can “donate” to stabilize free radicals and stop the damage.
Vitamins are natural antioxidants. Below lists vitamins that promote healthy sperm and fertility!
Vitamin E improves sperm motility and form. It also enhances the sperms binding to the egg. The recommended daily dose is around 300-1000mg a day. Almonds, spinach, and olive oil are examples of foods with vitamin E.
Vitamin C prevents oxidation of vitamin E. It also helps prevent sperm defects and boost motility. Aim to intake about 90 milligrams a day. Kiwi, green peppers, oranges, strawberries are all examples of foods with vitamin C.
Folate helps make RNA, DNA, and new cells. A study has shown men who consume 700-1,200 micrograms of folate daily, have 20- 30% fewer sperm abnormality. Folate is found in foods such as, liver, leafy greens, lentils, nuts, chicken, and fortified breakfast cereals.
Minerals: Zinc and Selenium play major roles in fertility
Zinc is important for healthy sperm production. A lack of zinc can make sperm clump together and contribute to infertility. It is recommended to intake around 11mg of zinc daily. Zinc can be found in foods like, oysters, baked beans, whole grains, red meat and poultry.
A man cannot make testosterone without selenium. The protein that forms the mid section of the sperm tail is made from selenium. The recommended intake of selenium is around 200 micrograms a day. Brazil nuts, eggs, beef, and tuna are examples of foods with selenium.
Having a poor diet, along with being obese and drinking excess amounts of alcohol can have a negative effect on male fertility. Alcohol can reduce testosterone levels and sperm count. Alcohol can also raise the number of abnormal sperm. Obesity is also a major cause in male infertility. Obese men have lower sperm quality and reduced sperm motility. Staying a healthy weight, maintain a proper diet, and cutting back on excess drinking can help males make healthy sperm!