When It Comes To Male Fertility, Here Are The Foods You Need To Eat For Healthier Sperm - Men's Health Magazine Australia

When It Comes To Male Fertility, Here Are The Foods You Need To Eat For Healthier Sperm

If you want to improve your fertility and sperm count, you need to dial into your nutrition with these healthy food options.

When it comes to fertility, too often the conversation is centred around women. Constantly, they’re told to regulate their menstrual cycle and ovulation, correct nutritional deficiencies prior to conception and look to dietary strategies to improve egg quality and prepare the body for pregnancy. But for men, healthy sperm is equally as important and when it comes to male fertility, the significance of nutrition can’t be underestimated. 

It goes without saying that when it comes to conception, healthy sperm are critical. Reports have shown that over the past 50 years, human sperm counts have fallen by more than 50 per cent around the globe, with one review even suggesting that the decline in sperm counts seemed to be accelerating, from an average of 1.16 per year after 1973 to 2.64 per cent per year after 2020. A further study showed sperm concentration has also dropped, with it now sitting at 49.0m per ml, with previous studies suggesting fertility becomes compromised when it falls below 40m per ml. It’s a worrying trend, but when it comes to healthy sperm, too often nutrition is overlooked. 

For healthy sperm, certain nutrients are essential. Oily fish is a great addition to the diet as omega-3 fatty acids not only have strong anti-inflammatory properties, but research also suggests that they are associated with increased sperm count, motility, concentration and morphology. Fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and fresh tuna make a great everyday food for men, but if that’s too much for you, consider eating it two to three times per week. 

Selenium is also an important nutrient to incorporate in your diet, as it helps spermatogenesis (the maturation process of male germ cells). This nutrient can be found in Brazil nuts, with one to two a day providing 100 per cent of your daily selenium requirements. 

Eggs are great for fertility as they provide a source of zinc which is vital for sperm health. Men have higher zinc requirements than women at 14mg/day as they lose zinc through ejaculate. Eggs also provide iron and folate, which play an important role in sperm health, too. When it comes to folate – which also helps in spermatogenesis – foods like fortified breads, cereals, legumes and green leafy vegetables like spinach, rocket and kale should also be consumed. 

Other foods and ingredients that help with achieving healthy sperm include extra virgin olive oil for its healthy fats and polyphenols, nuts and seeds for vitamin E, CoQ10, zinc and iron, and legumes for their anti-inflammatory benefits and prebiotic properties. 

But before you go overhauling your diet and proclaiming yourself the owner of the world’s healthiest sperm, understand that it takes three months to achieve healthy sperm through diet. If you’re looking to conceive, you’ll want to implement these changes to your diet at least three months before trying. 

More From