The types and amount of food a man eats all affect the health of his sperm.
Dietary nutrients and male fertility
If you want to get your partner pregnant, you need to keep a close eye on what you eat, as nutrients, fat and other components of food can influence male hormones, the production and quality of sperm and ultimately the chance that one of the millions of sperm you produce each day will go on to fulfil its potential, fertilise an egg and start a pregnancy.
If you and your partner are preparing to get pregnant, you can boost your fertility and ensure your sperm are as healthy as possible by:
- Eating a healthy balanced diet including plenty of fruit and vegetables (at least five portions daily);
- Eating polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated fats as evidence suggests that men who eat more saturated fats have lower concentrations of sperm in semen, and produce sperm which cannot swim as well;
- Eating antioxidant rich food particularly fruit and vegetables. Higher intake of antioxidants may increase the number of sperm you produce and improve their motility (ability to swim)
- Consider taking a selenium supplements or including some selenium rich foods such as nuts (brazil nuts are particularly selenium rich but other nuts are also good), poultry, fish and meat in your diet. Selenium may improve sperm concentration in the semen, and reduce the proportion of immotile and abnormally shaped sperm. Selenium plays an important role in developing the testes, sperm production and sperm health. Talk to your doctor about whether or not a selenium supplement could help boost your fertility; and
- Consider limiting your consumption of soy foods such as tofu and soy milk. Soy foods contain isoflavones which contain compounds similar to oestrogen (the female hormone). Eating a lot of soy food may reduce sperm concentration. Talk to your doctor about whether or not this would be of benefit for you.