When we think of pregnancy, we automatically think of everything a woman has to do to prepare her body for carrying a baby. Rarely do we consider the male’s role in it all. We need to start to become more open about the conversation of fertility and the role of both women AND men, especially given a recent study1 highlights how alcohol consumption, overweight/obesity and tobacco smoking can impair a male fertility and the health of his offspring.
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Naturopath and nutritionist Stephen Eddey shares seven fertility friendly ingredients that can be found in your pantry at home which aids in boosting sperm count and quality, naturally.
1. Folate from Beetroot
Readily available in supermarkets beetroot has properties that can boost male fertility. Rich folate, also known as B9, beetroot has been linked in reducing fatigue and studies into low sperm counts. It also has nitrates which have been shown to improve blood flow and recommended to women undergoing IVF to improve blood flow to the uterus.
2. Selenium from Brazil nuts
Just having two Brazil nuts a day can improve a man’s fertility. Selenium found in the nut has been shown to protect sperm from free radical damage in a study completed in Scotland. The mineral has antioxidant properties which can improve sperm motility in men.
The most important mineral for male fertility is zinc. Food rich in zinc includes mangoes, pumpkin seed and fish. Oysters, esteemed for their aphrodisiac qualities, are particularly high in zinc.
L-arginine is a semi essential amino acid used in a number of physiological functions. The body is able to make l-arginine, though dietary intake is important for ensuring you have enough of this amino acid. Good dietary sources include nuts, lentils, kidney beans and fresh soybeans. Other dietary sources include egg yolk, meats and dairy products.
Maca, orginially from Peru, can be found in health food stores in powder form. Peruvians have been using it for thousands of years for its benefits to energy, immunity and fertility. It has 30 different minerals containing specific compounds called glucosinolates which can improve both male and female fertility.
6. Bee Pollen
Bee pollen is another health food that’s been linked to improving fertility in men.
Aside from having many of the essential vitamins and minerals humans need, and is thought to assist in improving sex function and reproduction as a result. Found in either pill or granule form in health food stores.
Ubiquinol is the active (more readily absorbed) form of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a potent antioxidant which is naturally produced in our body and plays a key role in sperm cell energy production and motility.
While these foods can help his swimmers, it’s important to remember that consuming these foods are not guaranteed to improve serious fertility issues and to consult your doctor.