Your diet has a direct effect on your fertility (which you’ll need to father children) and your general health (which you’ll need to live long enough to see them grow up). If you are eating a balanced diet and avoiding foods that are bad for your fertility, then the chances are that you are getting all the right nutrients that your sperm need. And that is it; no need to worry about eating specific fertility foods for men, just have a healthy diet and your sperm will do just fine.
So why, you may ask, am I recommending specific fertility foods for men, when you can eat pretty much what you like and it will help you father children? Simple; I’ve picked the real heavy hitters, the number one superfoods in each food category (vegetable, meat, salad, fruit, seed) that will help supercharge sperm… providing you eat them as part of a healthy balanced diet that is.
Love it or loath it, eating broccoli is my number one fertility foods for men recommendation to increase both the quality and quantity of sperm. This cruciferous vegetable is an excellent natural source of the sperm enhancing nutrients: vitamin C, folate, CoQ10 and the antioxidants vitamin E, beta-carotene, indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane.
Regularly cooked to a limp yellowish mush, broccoli is probably the most abused vegetable I’ve seen. It’s no wonder many people are not broccoli fans and it’s not going to do you any good like that either, as overcooking destroys the nutrients.
Light steaming or boiling (3 to 5 minutes) retains most of the broccoli’s nutritional value and you’ll know if you’ve done it right as your broccoli should still be a bright vibrant green colour when you’ve finished. Cooking broccoli in a stir-fry for less than 5 minutes also retains most of its nutrition value. Though to get the most benefit from it, eat broccoli raw as part of a salad or why not try it with dipping sauces.
Trying for a baby is probably the only time I am ever going to say that it is okay to eat a lot of red meat. Steak, or indeed any red meat (including pork and minced beef), contains high levels of sperm assisting CoQ10, L-carnitine, zinc, vitamin B12 and protein.
Where possible, buy organic meat as this is far better for your fertility than non-organic meat which can contain hormones, chemicals and pesticides that can interfere with your baby-making abilities.
Unfortunately, once your wife is pregnant, you should cut back to healthy levels of red meat intake again as an ongoing high consumption of red meat can cause heart problems.
The favourite food of Popeye, spinach is rich in zinc, folate, vitamin C, and the anti-oxidants beta-carotene and vitamin E, all of which help to boost male fertility. Spinach is also rich in potassium, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium and manganese, which may not have as big an impact on male fertility as the other vitamins and minerals, but do contribute to your overall good health.
While Popeye may have swallowed his spinach straight out of a can, spinach is best eaten raw or lightly cooked. Why not try it in salads, stir-fries, added to soups, lightly wilted or even in a smoothie.
There is a lot of competition among the fruits for the title of “Super Fruit” and eating any fruit with this title is likely to be good for you. However. when it comes to which is best of the fruit fertility foods for men, then I have to go for the strawberry.
The strawberry isn’t actually a berry, but an “aggregate fruit” that contains vitamin C, CoQ10, folate and small amounts of selenium. Where possible, buy organic strawberries and if you can’t, make sure you thoroughly wash them before eating them to remove any chemicals and pesticides.
You can’t get strawberries all year round, so why not switch over to the humble orange (which came a close second for my choice of fertility fruit) during the colder months, the extra vitamin C will also help to fight off colds.
Not just good for growing plants, seeds are fertility foods that are also the perfect healthy snack for men hungry between meals.
There are three particular seeds you should be eating to maximise your sperm’s potential: pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds. A combination of these three will provide you with arginine, zinc, CoQ10, vitamin C, vitamin E and small amounts of selenium.
Personally, my husband and I enjoy eating multi-seeded bread. You get all your seeds and it is far healthier for you than bleached white bread.
When I told my fellow doctor colleagues that I was thinking of adding Breakfast Cereals to the list of top fertility foods for men, they thought I was crazy. But once I had explained my reasoning, they changed their minds and quickly agreed with my choice.
Cereals Contain Fertility Enhancing Nutrients
It is not just any breakfast cereal I’m talking about, but those fortified with vitamins and minerals (if you live in the UK, there is a green strip across the top of healthy breakfast cereals that tells you that it has been fortified with extra vitamins). Many fortified cereals contain the sperm enhancing nutrients zinc, vitamin C, folic acid, along with other nutrients beneficial to your health. Always read the nutritional label to see exactly what the cereal has been fortified with and aim to go for cereals that contain wholegrains, and have low sugar, fat and salt.
The Importance of Breakfast
Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day, with research showing that if you regularly eat breakfast, you are less likely to develop obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. If you are more healthy, then the chances are your sperm are more healthy too.
The Convenience of Cereals
Many people miss out on breakfast as they are too busy trying to get up and out of the house to go to work. Cereals are quick to prepare and quick to eat. This means you are more likely to eat them regularly, which is key to maintaining a high fertility in the long run.
Anything Else I Need to Know About Cereals?
Yes; if you are using milk on your cereal, then go for either skimmed, low fat or organic milk. Non-organic full fat or semi skimmed milk can be full of hormones, chemicals and pesticides that are bad for male fertility. Also avoid using soy milk as it contains isoflavones which mimic natural oestrogen, a hormone that has a known detrimental effect on male fertility in high quantities. Instead, why not try unsweetened almond milk; it’s rich in zinc, arginine and vitamin E, which are all beneficial to male fertility.
More Diet Tips for Improved Fertility
Of course, you shouldn’t just eat the fertility foods for men listed above (I’d expect you’d become rather bored of them quite quickly if you did), but rather work them into a balanced diet at least once a week. By doing this, you’ll be one step closer towards eating your way to supercharged sperm and maximising your chances of getting your partner pregnant. Though if you want to go the whole hog with a fertility friendly diet, then you should check out the following sections:
- Learn which foods can actually be detrimental to your fertility and that you should avoid while trying to conceive: The Foods That Can Destroy a Man’s Fertility
- There are a lot of fertility supplements for men on the market, but are they worth it and are all supplements created equal: The Truth About Male Fertility Supplements
- Being either to skinny or packing on the pounds can not only be detrimental to your fertility, but there is research showing it may also affect the future health of your children. Find out if you are the ideal weight for fathering children: Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator