Sperm health is the number 1 cause of Male infertility. Improving sperm health improves male fertility and increases chances of getting your partner pregnant.
Diet has been proven to be a factor that affects sperm health. Certain types of food will support your body in the production of healthy sperm while other types of foods will have a negative effect on the production of sperm.
In this article we will discuss on which foods to include in your diet and which ones to remove from your diet in order to improve the quality of your sperm. While there are alternatives to the foods mentioned here, we will focus on the foods that are locally available (Kenya) and affordable, we will also mention some places where you can find these foods.
FOODS TO INCLUDE
Before we mention the foods to include in your diet, it is important to understand some of the ingredients we are looking for and which is essentially what will affect the health of the sperm.
Some of the Ingredients:
- Vitamin C
- Omega 3
- Walnuts: These are full of omega-3 fatty acids that help boost sperm volume and production by increasing blood flow to the testicles. It is also full of arginine, known to increase semen volume. It contains twice as much antioxidants than another nuts, helping you fight toxins in your blood stream.
- Garlic: is known around the world as a food good for boosting immunity. Among its many properties are vitamin B6 and selenium, both of which play roles in healthy sperm production. Taken by many for its blood cleansing abilities, garlic prevents buildup in arteries and allows for better blood flow to your testicles.
- Pumpkin seeds, especially in their raw form, are packed with potassium, zinc, magnesium, calcium, omega 3, and vitamin E. Pumpkin seeds have phytosterol, which improves testosterone levels.High testosterone levels mean high sperm quality. Pumpkin seeds have Omega 3 and fatty acids that improve semen volume.
- Zinc rich foods: These will include red meat, beans and other legumes etc Zinc plays a vital role in sperm development. The mineral is found in high concentrations in testicles during the production of healthy, strong semen. So important is zinc, deficiencies of the mineral has been blamed for low sperm motility.
- Maca root :The powder from this Peruvian root has a long-standing reputation as a natural libido booster. Some research has shown that maca powder increases sperm concentration and motility.
- Vitamin C : This is needed to synthesize collagen, heal wounds, fight against free radicals, and protect your cells including sperm from destruction. Adult men should get at least 90 mg of vitamin C per day. Because vitamin C is soluble to water, it is easily removed from the body. Therefore, you should eat vitamin C-rich foods on daily basis to prevent deficiency. Foods that contain high amount of vitamin C include: citrus fruits, orange juice. Another excellent source of Vitamin C is Baobab powder.
- Antioxidants : Uncontrolled and excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) overwhelms the limited antioxidant defenses in semen resulting in seminal oxidative stress. Increasing intake of this nutrient will restore balance by removing the ROS. This often results in improvements in the sperm count, motility and shape (morphology) and prevents DNA damage to sperm. The best antioxidants for male fertility include CoQ10, vitamin C, selenium, vitamin E, and lycopene.
- Moringa leaves/powder : These are excellent sources of antioxidants, which may help combat oxidative damage that can interfere with sperm production or damage sperm DNA.
- Ashwagandha powder: This herb has been shown to boost sexual desire and testosterone levels, some studies have suggested that taking ashwagandha helps to improve sperm count, sperm motility and overall semen quality. A 3-month study analyzed 75 men who experienced infertility and found that a daily dose of 5g of ashwagandha increased both sperm count and motility.
Things to eliminate or limit
These foods may decrease sperm quality and negatively impact male fertility:
You already know this stuff isn’t good for the heart or the waistline, but fatty, fried and sugary foods can impair male fertility too.
Sweetened snacks and beverages like soda can hurt sperm quality, research suggests.
Caffeinated drinks and alcohol
Research shows that drinking too much coffee, tea, energy drinks and alcohol may decrease sperm count.
It’s unclear whether a diet rich in soy can actually lead to problems getting pregnant, but some research has linked diets high in soy foods with a lower sperm concentration.
Yes, milk does a body good. But in the case of sperm, men may want to forego the high-fat stuff. Full-fat dairy foods can negatively impact sperm count and motility.
It’s better to reach for low-fat milk, skim milk or milk alternatives like almond milk or coconut milk. The same goes for other dairy products like cheese and yogurt: Pick the low-fat versions, which have been found to benefit sperm quality.
Diets high in processed red meats are associated with lower sperm count and quality, so cut down on the bacon, hot dogs, sausage, deli meat and similar fare.
Where to get these foods in Kenya (Nairobi)
All of these foods are available in Nairobi.
For the seeds (eg walnut, fenugreek, pumpkin) and the powders eg Maca, Moringa, Baobab and Ashwagandha, you can get this from Healthy U and other spice shops in Ngara or Eastleigh.
Even when consuming a great diet with all of the food listed above, it can be difficult to get all of the nutrients you need in proper amounts and impossible to get nutrients like CoQ10, Zinc, and Ashwagandha.
Because these hard-to-get nutrients are even better than many of the foods in this article, experts recommend that men take a high-quality male fertility supplement like Fertilaid, Countboost and Motilityboost to ensure they are achieving appropriate levels of the nutrients mentioned in this article and the many others vitamins, minerals, biomolecules, and herbs that have been shown to provide the ultimate increase in sperm health and fertility.