Some experts believe that sperm count are on the decline. There may be something you can do to ensure your swimmers are up to snuff—and the answer might be what you put on your plate, researchers from Spain suggest.
After reviewing the results of 35 studies that looked at diet and semen quality, the researchers discovered that certain nutrients seem to be linked with better sperm. The more omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins E, D, and D, folate, beta carotene, selenium, zinc, and lycopene the men ate, the less likely they were to have sperm that hit certain low-quality parameters. Same held true for men who ate less trans fats and saturated fats.
On the other hand, eating foods like shellfish, fish, seafood, poultry, cereals, vegetables and fruit, and low fat dairy was linked to higher quality sperm. But options like processed meats, soy foods, potatoes, coffee, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages were linked to lower quality sperm in other studies.
Plus, guys who took in the most caffeine, alcohol, and processed meats were also less likely to actually get their partners pregnant, the review concluded.
Think these good-for-your-sperm foods sound awfully familiar? That’s because they’re quite similar to the options that make up the Mediterranean diet, a way of eating that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, while limiting the processed stuff. The Mediterranean diet has been linked to a host of other health benefits, including helping your heart, preventing obesity, and possibly even improving depression.
So it’s not really surprising that this way of eating can help your sperm, too. Still, researchers caution that since a lot of the studies they analyzed in their review were observational—meaning they can’t prove the way of eating definitely caused the increase in sperm quality—more research that can study cause-effect needs to be done.
.: Men’s Health
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