When it comes down to fertility issues, the talk seems to initially be with the women, but lads, you’re half the equation and it’s time you learnt how to look after your swimmers!
As men are manufacturing sperm regularly, nutrition and lifestyle factors can have a massive impact, from morphology to sperm count, motility and DNA integrity.
Here’s what you need to focus on to boost sperm health:
Vitamins and Antioxidants
Oxidation is a chemical reaction a bit like rusting! It happens naturally in the body but can affect sperm DNA when it’s not counteracted with antioxidants found in the diet. Adding lots of plants to meals is vital in boosting sperm quality, for this exact reason, and taking an antioxidant-rich supplement can really boost chances of conception (my favourites are Seeking Health, Thorne and Wild Nutrition)
The most important antioxidants and vitamins for sperm health are:
Zinc (found in pumpkin seeds, turkey and oysters), Vitamin E (found in almonds, avocado and leafy greens), Vitamin C (in red and yellow fruits and veg), Vitamin D (from the sun!), CoQ10 (supplement normally required), Selenium (found in red meat, brazil nuts and greens), and Lycopene (high in cooked tomatoes).
Omega 3 has been found to boost sperm quality, as well as regulating the immune system and reducing inflammation. Oily fish like wild salmon, sardines, and mackerel are the best sources of omega 3, and although tuna has good levels, unfortunately the high mercury content prevents me from recommending it as a food source! Trans fats i.e. fats found in junk food, or from refined vegetable oils can negatively affect sperm quality so it’s ideal to stick to whole foods and cook with only coconut or olive oils.
Protein is made from amino acids, and is vital for repair of the body, hormone production and quality of sperm! The top amino acid is arginine, found in salmon, beef and chicken. Then you also have the compound carnitine, which is important for energy within the sperm itself, so if you want your sperm to be braced for the long journey ahead, meat, fish and eggs should feature on the menu!
Ok, so we know that alcohol doesn’t do great things to the body… from affecting our blood sugar levels to lowering our detoxification efficiency, but did you know that it can also affect sperm count and motility? If you’re trying to conceive, put down the alcohol and opt for a nice glass of water instead! If you’re desperate for something fizzy and you don’t have issues with histamine, you could also try some kombucha, which is loaded with gut-loving bacteria too!
Exercise has been shown to boost sperm quality so if you’re living a sedentary lifestyle it may be time to get you’re A into G! Strength and burst training are my favourites, but figure out what you enjoy and try to do something every couple of days. Please also refrain from wearing anything too tight around your precious area, as too much heat around the testicles can also lead to poor functioning sperm.
Finally, please avoid phones in your pocket or sitting with your computer on your lap… the radiation has been shown to damage sperm and it’s something that can be so easily avoided!
If you’d like support with your fertility journey and a tailored plan just for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!