Sperm health is a vital component of male fertility. If you and your partner are planning to start a family, your sperm quality should be high so that pregnancy can occur without any issues. You have to eat the right kinds of foods so that your sperm are healthy and capable.
There are three important things that determine the quality of sperm, and they are:
This refers to the concentration of sperm cells in a particular sample. You have a normal sperm count if your sperm density is about 15 million to 200 million sperm per milliliter of semen. If you have anything less than that, you have a low sperm count and will have difficulty getting your partner pregnant.
This refers to the structure of the sperm cells. A normal sperm has a head that measures 5 to 6 micrometers in length and 2.5 to 3.5 micrometers in width and has a tail. With this morphology, your sperm has a higher chance of fertilizing an egg.
This refers to the movement of the sperm. Normal and healthy sperm have motility of at least 25 micrometers per second. If yours move slower, you have poor sperm mobility and will have difficulty making fertilization happen.
What essential nutrients do you need to promote sperm health?
There are plenty of essential vitamins and minerals that can aid in boosting your sperm count, morphology, and motility for successful fertilization. The following are some examples:
Several studies have found that zinc is greatly beneficial to sperm health. Their findings show that taking sufficient amounts of zinc on a regular basis can enhance a man’s sperm count and sperm quality. If zinc levels in the body are low, there is a risk of poor sperm health, which may eventually lead to infertility.
Examples of zinc-rich foods are red meat, poultry, oysters, lobster, crab, nuts, beans, whole wheat grains, and dairy.
Zinc can also strengthen the immune system, lower the risk of chronic diseases, improve memory and learning abilities, promote digestive and gastrointestinal functions, and help fight off cancer.
Folate is a B-vitamin that plays an integral role in sperm health. Various research studies have found that it promotes sperm count and quality, and prevents infertility. If folate levels in the body are low, there is a risk of reduced sperm motility and damage in your sperm DNA.
Good sources of folate are spinach, asparagus, romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts, oranges, peas, beans, nuts, whole grains, eggs, pasta, and bread.
Folate also helps in the production of red blood cells and white blood cells in the bone marrow, and in the creation and development of DNA, RNA, and other genetic materials. It also is essential in cell division, conversion of carbohydrates into energy.
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that is linked to male testosterone and sperm production. According to various studies, the levels of vitamin D in the body are directly proportional to the amount and quality of testosterone and sperm produced. So, if you are vitamin D deficient, you are at risk of low testosterone and poor sperm health.
Examples of foods that are loaded with vitamin D are tuna, mackerel, salmon, egg yolks, beef liver, mushrooms, cheese, almond milk, tofu, oysters, shrimp, and orange juice.
Other health benefits of vitamin D are enhanced immunity against infections, reduced risk of multiple sclerosis and heart disease, healthy weight loss, and skin protection and rejuvenation.
Vitamin B12 is a type of water-soluble vitamin that does a lot of good for the body, particularly your sperm. In one study, it was found that an increased intake of vitamin B12 can boost sperm count and sperm motility, and lessen damage in sperm DNA.
Good sources of vitamin B12 include clams, fish, beef, chicken, eggs, milk, salmon, tuna, yogurt, cheese, animal liver and kidneys, sardines, and trout.
Vitamin B12 is also instrumental in the formation of red blood cells, prevention of anemia and birth defects, increased energy levels, enhancement of brain function, and promotion of mood and mental health.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that has been scientifically proven to help boost sperm health. With its antioxidant properties, it can protect against sperm damage and other sperm problems that can jeopardize male fertility.
Foods that contain good amounts of vitamin E are spinach, broccoli, margarine, corn, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, butternut squash, avocados, kiwifruit, mangoes, and vegetable oils.
Vitamin E can also lower the risk of coronary heart disease and cancer, boost the immune system, prevent inflammatory diseases, enhance eye health, and ward off free radicals that damage the skin.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant vitamin that is associated with male fertility. Many studies have found that high levels of vitamin C in the body can increase sperm count, and improve sperm morphology and motility.
You can get your daily dose of vitamin C from various fruits and vegetables, including kiwi, cantaloupe, strawberries, oranges, cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, and sweet peppers.
Also called ascorbic acid, vitamin C plays a crucial role in the growth, development, and repair of the tissues in the body, formation of collagen, iron absorption, maintenance of bones and cartilages, wound healing, and immunity against infections and diseases.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their incredible health benefits, including their role in male sperm health and fertility. They can facilitate the production of enough sperm and aid in the formation of sperm with good morphology and motility, making fertilization highly likely to occur.
Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are tuna, salmon, sardines, herring, chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseed, yogurt, canola oil, soybean oil, oysters, anchovies, caviar, and kidney beans.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also helpful in fighting against anxiety, depression, heart attack, stroke, and high cholesterol. They can help relieve the pains and discomforts caused by rheumatoid arthritis, and the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD in children too.