Recommendations for Increasing Male Fertility Nutrition
Good nutrition is just as important for men as it is for women! If the diet is lacking, it will be almost impossible for the man’s hormones to be in correct balance for proper sperm development as well as libido. Nutrient dense foods, high in vitamins A, D, E, and K are very important as well as foods that contain omega 3’s (helpful for reducing inflammation and balancing hormones), vitamin C (for increased production and mobility) and zinc (found in high concentrations in the sperm and can increase count). A good diet will also include foods high in anti-oxidants, the nutrients that help fight free radicals in the body.
What to Eat:
- Hormone free animal products. The conventional products available in grocery stores country-wide have been found to include hormones like estrogen, leftover from the hormones given to animals to make them grow bigger, faster. Search out organic meats and find grass-fed meats for more nutrients. Use pastured eggs and lots of them (they are amazing foods!) ad stick to organic (and raw if possible) dairy products.
- Wild caught fish is important for the omega 3 fats, protein, and all the other good stuff fish contain. Quite often, seafood was considered food for fertility in past cultures and given to young couples. Just make sure you stick with smaller wild caught fish to lower the exposure to toxins.
- Probiotic and lacto-fermented foods are important for gut health and when the gut is healthy, it can better absorb nutrients. Look for organic yogurt (no sugar), make your own kefir or kombucha, and try real sauerkraut or other fermented veggie.
- Consume a diet high in colored vegetables, aiming for 5 different colors per day and some form of greens. Going organic is also important as the pesticides mimic estrogen in the body and cause major hormonal upset.
What Not to Eat:
- Foods high in sugar should be avoided at all costs. Not only does sugar intake correlate with hormone imbalance, it also suppresses the immune system and robs the body of nutrients.
- Caffeine should be avoided as it’s detrimental to adrenal function. Your adrenal glands are one of the areas that produce the reproductive hormones, and the constant stress of caffeine can cause it to focus on dealing with stress hormones rather than reproductive hormones.
- Alcohol should also be avoided – studies have shown that it can decrease sperm count for as much as three months after a big drinking fest.
- Gluten should also be looked into as a probable culprit of male factor infertility. When I spoke with Dr Tom O’Bryan last summer he mentioned that one of the nutrients a damaged gut first begins to NOT absorb is zinc – which we know is pivotal in sperm quality/quantity. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the podcast yet, I highly recommend it. (He also recommends getting something called zinc talley (available on Amazon) to help figure out if the male is low in zinc and describes how to use it in the podcast.) If a person is also sensitive to gluten it can attack certain parts of the body (the testes are not immune to this), cause malabsorption of other important nutrients, and increase inflammation throughout the body.
- Processed foods – if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I’m not a fan of processed foods. Nutrient poor, these foods make your body work harder and do little to nourish. Stay away from them at all costs!
- Soy is much debated, but when it comes to fertility, everyone I’ve come across in the natural fertility world knows that it’s to be avoided like the plague. High in phyto estrogens, it can upset the balance in a male quite easily, lowering libido as well. If you cut out all processed foods it’s easy to stay away from soy – it’s in everything from condiments to boxed foods!
- EMF’s (Electromagnectic Fields) occur in our daily lives from use of cell phones, WiFi signals, and basically anything that transmits without a cord. These EMFs have been found to lower sperm count, especially when the phone is carried in the pocket or attached to a waistband or a laptop is placed on the lap. (“Tim Ferriss, bestselling author of the Four Hour Work week ran tests on his own sperm count and found it to be low. He started to do some research on the subject and realized that electromagnetic radiation could be the cause. He stopped carrying his cell phone in his pocket for 3 months and his sperm count doubled in three months.” source)
Plastics also contain xeno-hormones and can upset the natural balance within the body. It’s important to not use plastic containers with your food, especially if you’re reheating them in the microwave! (xeno-hormones – which contribute to lowered libido, low testosterone, and lowered sperm production)
Toxic cleaners (a.k.a. “normal” cleaners) also contain chemicals that cause free radicals in the body as well as chemicals that mimic hormones in the body. use natural cleaners or make your own.
Hot water should also be avoided as extra heat can damage sperm. This includes long showers, baths, and hot tubs. Wearing tight underwear can also cause heat issues as can excess exercise.
- Quit smoking – smoking damages sperm, nough said. So quitting can increase sperm quality and quantity.
Men suffering from this problem can increase their potency by taking an effective herbal treatment for male infertility such as Baby capsules. In addition to this, there are several natural remedies which are very helpful in enhancing male potency. Dairy food items, oysters, pomegranate juice, pumpkin seeds, fruits and vegetables should be included in diet.