A low sperm count can be a result of many things, and it often leads to frustrating fertility issues. Fortunately, more often than not, there is something you can do if you suffer from a low count or slow-moving swimmers. The solution will more likely than not lie in your diet and lifestyle, which can be an easy fix.
How to Increase and Maintain Healthy Sperm Count
Read on below to read about some of the activities/foods to both avoid and add to your life if you want to improve your sperm count.
Things to Avoid
Smoking, whether it’s cigarettes or marijuana, can negatively affect the health and motility of your sperm. Because there are so many toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke especially, it’s not a surprise that smoking tobacco can result in erectile dysfunction, structural damage to sperm, and poor quality sperm. Researchers also believe that cannabis can impair the sperm’s mobility and timing.
Although it has been removed from most plastic reusable water bottles, many single-use bottles and canned foods contain BPA, a synthetic chemical. BPA messes with the body’s hormones and can negatively affect your sperm count and motility.
3. Unhealthy Fats
Stay away from vegetable oils, Crisco, margarine, and anything else containing trans fats. You should also opt for low-fat meats, and try to replace your beef with organic chicken and turkey options.
Drinking just a small amount of alcohol every week can significantly reduce your sperm quality. If you and your significant other are trying to get pregnant, lay off the alcohol.
5. Refined Carbs
Most carbohydrates are refined past the point of having any nutrients left. Consuming too many refined carbs makes your blood sugar spike and then plummet, which then makes your sperm move much slower. In fact, try to cut back on carbs overall, since a diet high in carbohydrates may also decrease the motility of your sperm.
6. Certain Types of Fish
Consumption of fish that are high in mercury should be very limited by everyone, but especially by men concerned about the health of their sperm. This includes marlin, swordfish, king mackerel, and others.
Soy and soy products have also been linked to a lower sperm count. This relationship isn’t just limited to tofu or soy milk either; many processed foods contain soy in one form or another. If you’re trying to increase your sperm count, be sure to check the ingredients every time you go grocery shopping.
8. Anabolic Steroids
There is a good body of research that suggests the use of anabolic steroids can drastically reduce sperm count. It will take about 3-12 months for the negative effects from steroids to stop affecting your sperm.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight is one of the leading causes of slow or unhealthy sperm, and carrying the excess weight around the middle is the worst for your health and your sperm count. Being overweight also increases your likelihood of suffering from erectile dysfunction.
2. Increase Consumption of Certain Nutrients
Our bodies need a wide variety of nutrients every day to stay healthy, but certain nutrients are especially crucial to maintaining healthy sperm count.
Zinc is known to help improve fertility in women, but research now suggests that it offers the same benefit to men. Consuming more zinc will improve your sperm count and protect it from any damage to the DNA. Oysters, fish, poultry, nuts, pumpkin seeds, legumes, and eggs are all good sources of zinc.
Deficiency in folate has been linked to lower sperm count and motility, as well as damage to sperm DNA. Get your folate from natural sources such as crab, eggs, chicken, spinach, legumes, and broccoli.
5. Vitamin C
This vitamin is not only important for supporting the immune system, but also for ensuring a healthy sperm count. Some food sources naturally rich in vitamin C include bell peppers, kiwi, broccoli, tomatoes, and green leafy veggies.
Lycopene is found in grapefruit, tomatoes, and goji berries, and has also been linked to an increase in sperm concentration.
7. Vitamin D
Most adults do not get enough vitamin D, and researchers now believe that this deficiency can also affect men’s sperm count. By getting enough vitamin D, you can improve the quantity and quality of your sperm and make it easier for them to penetrate the egg. Sun exposure will get you the most vitamin D for your buck, but fish and eggs are also good sources of the vitamin.
An unhealthy sperm count can be extremely frustrating when trying to conceive. These natural approaches will help you to not only increase the quality and quantity of your sperm, but to improve your overall health as well.