Healthy sperms play a major role in male fertility. The health and quality of sperms can be improved by choosing the right foods.
Markers of sperm health are:
Sperm Count: The concentration of sperm cell in a sample is the most important marker of sperm quality.
Sperm Morphology: It covers the size and shape of sperm cells in the semen sample.
Sperm Motility: It is the movement of the sperm. The sperms need to have good motility to be able to swim to reach the uterus and fertilize the eggs.
Semen Volume: An apt semen volume is required to carry the sperms to the female reproductive tract.
10 Foods That Help Maintain Sperm Health
- Foods Rich in Zinc: Zinc is known for regulating sperm count and quality.(1) A study showed men who are infertile have lower zinc than those who are fertile.(2) Foods rich in zinc are oysters, red meat, shellfish, dairy, nuts and beans, and whole wheat grains.
- Foods Rich in Folate: Folate is a B vitamin liked with sperm health. Low folate is associated with damaged sperm DNA, low sperm density and low sperm count.(3, 4) Green leafy vegetables, fruits such as oranges, nuts, beans, peas, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and enriched flour products are rich in folate.
- Foods Rich in Vitamin C: Being rich in antioxidants, vitamin C plays an important role in male fertility.(5) A vitamin C enriched diet improves sperm motility, count, and morphology.(6) You can increase the vitamin C uptake in the diet by eating sweet peppers, kiwi, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, potatoes, dairy, and other food products.
- Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is important for overall sperm health. Research shows that it improves the sperm motility, sperm count, and reduces DNA damage.(7) Improve Vitamin B12 content by eating fish and seafood, dairy products, meats, fortified breakfast cereals, and nutritional yeasts.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D improves testosterone level and improves sperm motility.(8, 9) Beef liver, cheese, oily fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms are the food rich in vitamin D.
- Foods Rich in Vitamin E: Being rich in antioxidants, vitamin E help improve sperm quality.(10) It also protects the sperm from damage. Plant-based oils, nuts and seeds, green vegetables such as broccoli, and fortified juices are the foods rich in vitamin E.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their numerous health benefits including improving sperm health.(11) Foods such as seafood, fishes, mackerel, tuna, herring, nuts and seeds, chia seeds, plant oil such as flaxseeds, soybean, and fortified eggs and yogurt, are rich in omega-3 fats.
- Fenugreek Seeds: The extract from fenugreek seeds increases testosterone levels which are linked to sperm production and health.(12)
- Ashwagandha Root: Ashwagandha is an herbal remedy with antioxidant properties. Research suggests it may improve semen quality.(13) A study showed few participants who took 5 grams of ashwagandha root powder for three months experienced a significant improvement in sperm quality.(14)
- Ginseng Root: Ginseng supplements improve sperm health including count and motility (15). It contains an active ingredient, ginsenoside, which may stimulate nitric oxide production, which is related to sperm function. Before consuming ginseng speak with your doctor as it may be related to changes in blood pressure and other side effects.
Along with the food variety, changes in lifestyle also play a major role in improving sperm health.
If you and your spouse are facing problem conceiving, talk to your doctor. Along with the treatment you can include these foods to your diet which can improve sperm health if something is lacking there.
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