A well-balanced diet is crucial for so many things. It can keep your heart healthy, your skin healthy, your eyes healthy, and your digestive system healthy. Many people are unaware, however, that a healthy diet also keeps your reproductive system in top form. If you are a man, a healthy diet can increase the quality and quantity of your sperm.
A Spanish clinical trial looked at the diets of 61 men attending a fertility clinic. Half of these participants had poor quality semen. The researchers found that they also had diets higher in processed meats and high-fat dairy. Conversely, the men with higher quality sperm consumed diets that contained more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy such as skim-milk.
The research team suggested that the findings likely pointed to the high antioxidant content found in fruits and vegetables. They believe these substances may help protect sperm from damage. Men with normal sperm quality tend to have a higher intake of certain antioxidants, like vitamin C and lycopene, than men with sperm abnormalities.
But what about meat and high-fat foods? Are they all bad when it comes to healthy sperm? The research team thinks that meat and high-fat foods may expose men to higher levels of substances known as “xenobiotics.” Xenobiotics include steroids and various chemicals in the environment
that have estrogen-like effects, such as certain pesticides and PCBs. The problem with xenobiotics is that they tend to accumulate in high-fat foods, which in turn accumulate in you when you consume a high-fat diet.
The research team noted that environmental contaminants can get into livestock through food and the water supply. In addition, livestock in the U.S. are often given antibiotics and hormones for growth promotion. Although the use of hormones has been banned in Europe since 1988, the men
in the current study were born in the 1970s and would have been exposed to hormones in meat and milk before the prohibition.
You can try adding these foods to your diet to boost sperm health:
You can also add tomato products like spaghetti sauce to your diet, which is high in lycopene.
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