Sperm counts are declining at alarming rates among men around the world – over 50% reports scientists. Urgent change is needed – and a healthy lifestyle is a promising place to start. It’s simple and scientifically proven to improve sperm health. Here’s what science says are the best ways to improve your sperm health:
While some factors that impact fertility, such as age and genetics, are beyond your control, there are many you can manage. Your daily habits, including diet, exercise, social interactions, and stress can significantly impact your sperm health, says science.
Science shows the following lifestyle habits can potentially improve sperm health:
Men who feel stressed are more likely to experience a drop in testosterone and sperm count, says research. Evidence has shown psychological stress impairs semen quality. Spending time outdoors can be an easy way to reduce stress – plus, it’s scientifically proven.
The impact of mobile phones on male fertility has been researched by experts, with a 2020 review suggesting negative effects appear to be linked to the duration of use. The amount of electromagnetic radiation from laptops, cell phones, and wireless technology is a potential concern. Animal studies show sperm exposed to electromagnetic radiation are more likely to have structural abnormalities and less motility.
Evidence shows that what you eat impacts your sperm health – and a Western diet may be the worst culprit. An analysis of adult males showed eating a Western diet increased the risk of infertility. What foods are best to avoid? The study noted the Western diet included a high intake of red meat, processed meat, fast food, and refined grains. On the other hand, the study showed a healthy diet reduced the risk of infertility. What’s a healthy diet for sperm health? The scientists noted a higher intake of fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and plant oils.
Eat more plants for healthier sperm suggests research: scientists looked at the semen quality of 90 men (aged 18-40) and reported the consumption of fruits and vegetables positively influenced semen concentration, vitality, and motility. In particular, eating more leafy greens and beans was linked to higher sperm motility and concentrations.
Collectively it appears that a healthy diet, rich in important nutrients may improve male fertility. Many nutrients including vitamin B12, E, C, D, selenium, zinc, and magnesium have been investigated. Also, studies show eating fish is good for sperm health.
From Ayurvedic to herbal medicines traditionally used in the Middle East, there are many plants with the potential to improve sperm health. A review of over 20 studies, involving over 1500 males, noted inherent benefits of a number of herbal medicines on fertility and sperm health. Here are some herbal medicines worth researching that have been either used traditionally or scientific evidence suggests have possible benefits for sperm health:
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Influence of fruit and vegetable consumption on antioxidant status and semen quality: a cross-sectional study in adult men. Front Nutr 2021; 8:753843.
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Dietary habits and semen parameters: a systematic narrative review. Andrology 2017 Dec 20; 6(1): 104-116.
The relationship between major dietary patterns and fertility status in Iranian men: a case-control study. Scientific Reports 2021 Sept 22; 11.
A systematic review of use of medicinal plants for male infertility treatment. J Family Reprod Health 2021 Jun; 15(2): 74-81.
Contributed by Allison Tannis
Known for her deliciously geeky words, Allison’s articles and books are read around the world by those curious about where to find the most delicious (and nutritious) places to stick their forks. More at allisontannis.com. Follow @deliciouslygeeky.