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Nuts for Nuts and Seeds for Seeds: Top Foods for Male Fertility

“Nuts for Nuts and Seeds for Seeds: Top 5 Foods for Male Fertility” | mymindbodybaby

Nuts for Nuts, seeds for seeds and berries for berries…you get the point. Let’s talk sperm health!

The first time I heard this clever line I nearly peed myself laughing. Lyndsey was explaining all the lengths she had gone to ensure her husband was, well, as stocked up as possible…. if you know what I mean.

She had been Googling her little heart out trying to find the missing link to their infertility issues. Was it stress? Could it be something genetic? Maybe he was missing a particular nutrient that was impeding their chances.

On my end and being a nutritionist, I was also wondering what else I could do for my husband (who, by the way, is my WORST client yet), to improve our outcome. Without any particular diagnosis to go by, I wracked my brain. Feeling quite lost as to where I should start.

Naturally with my 11 years of practice, I went right for hormone and blood sugar balancing foods.

But first…

A Quick Lesson in Sperm

There are a few different markers of sperm health.

  • Sperm Motility – Since sperm are required to swim to an egg, movement is important.
  • Count – This is the concentration of swimmers in a given sample.
  • Morphology – The average size and shape of sperm is important to note.

So knowing that there are several factors that need to come together to ensure a healthy soldier reaches an egg, let’s look at key nutrients that can help.

Top 5 Foods for Male Fertility

Nuts and Seeds

Omega 3 fatty acids are one of the most researched nutrients out there. There are so many healthy benefits have been associated with fatty acids; this includes supporting male fertility.

Other sources of omega 3 are avocado, olive oil, chia seeds, coconut oil and cold water fish (and fish oil supplements). One study, in the Asian Journal of Andrology, cited “The omega-3 supplementation results in higher antioxidant activity in human seminal fluid and enhanced sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology”. (1)  This is pretty awesome news for nut lovers as they provide a super simple way to healthfully snack throughout the day!

Beans and Lentils

These babies are chalk full of one of the biggest and baddest nutrients for supporting male fertility- zinc. This mineral helps to maintain your immune system, metabolize nutrients and is involved in growth and repair of tissues. Eggs, shellfish, dark chocolate and meat are also high in zinc. So make sure you look for ways to start incorporating these into your weekly meals!  According to studies, “zinc supplementation was found to significantly increase the semen volume, sperm motility and the percentage of normal sperm morphology”. (2)

Poultry

Poultry is super rich in CoQ10, an antioxidant shown to improve sperm parameters (motility and concentration). (3)  It is also high in protein, an essential building block for healthy swimmers.

Black and Blueberries

These low glycemic, antioxidant rich powerhouses pack a punch. Throw them on a salad, toss onto homemade granola or enjoy with a handful of nuts for an afternoon snack. These berries will help keep your husband’s “berries” in tip top condition for optimal baby potential!

Broccoli and Spinach

This list can be extended to any darkly coloured green food. Why? Simply, greens provide high levels of protective antioxidants that the body needs to rid itself of free radicals. “Extensive research in the last decade has led to the identification of free radicals (reactive oxygen species) as mediators of sperm dysfunction in both specific diagnoses and idiopathic cases of male infertility”. (4)

Top Offending Foods for Male Fertility

These “foods” slow swimmers down to a mere doggy paddle – while the top 5 foods for male fertility, listed above, will give Micheal Phelps a run for his money!

Sugars, White Foods and Processed Meats

Research published in Human Reproduction in 2012, showed that a poor diet with a high intake of processed meat, white, refined grains and energy drinks decreases male fertility.

Sugar and white refined grains like pasta, bread and pastries create inflammation and alter blood sugar and hormonal balance – not a great combo for creating healthy sperm.

Alcohol

Is a form of sugar and like the above “foods”, can impact sperm health. One review states that “alcohol consumption is associated with a deterioration of sperm parameters”. So the next time your guy reaches for another drink on a relaxing Saturday night, bust out this PubMed review lol! (5)

However, not to be a total buzz kill (pun intended), IF he chooses to continue to drink, consider a limit of 4-5 per week and choose red wine over beer and mixed cocktails.

Any Food Sensitivities/Allergies

This list is different for each person and some may not even react poorly to anything at all. If, however, you are aware of any sensitivities or allergies, best to steer clear. Consuming foods that you don’t digest well is like adding fuel to a flame; it creates inflammation. In the Journal of Reproductive Infertility, it states that “The presence of pro–inflammatory cytokines… in the male reproductive tract (testis, epididymis and sperm) may have certain physiological functions. However, when the levels of these cytokines are higher than normal, as seen in conditions of inflammation, they become very harmful to sperm production. Moreover, inflammation is also associated with oxidative stress and the latter is well known to impair sperm function.” (6)

So in other words, foods that you are senstive or allergic to can create inflammation. Inflammation is harmful to sperm and therefore should be avoided!

So…

Let’s be straight here. No amount of super-kale smoothies is going to be the single answer to any fertility issues – there are a host of potential conspirators. It could be physical, hormonal, pre-existing conditions etc etc.

The great news though?  Food is one of the easier areas to tackle – and we have the power to control what we eat! If we eat junk – high sugar, low nutrients “foods”, our body will in essence respond like so – with blood sugar and hormonal imbalances, increased inflammation and stress.

So squirrel away some nuts and seeds in your partners lunch and dinner and encourage him to skip the morning triple chocolate mocha for a sperm friendlier alternative!

Want to try Lyndsey’s husband’s Nuts for Nuts recipe?  Give it a go!

Nuts for Nuts, Seeds for Seeds

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Walnut Halves Raw, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds Raw, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup Gogi Berries no sugar added
  • 1/4 cup Dried Bluberries no sugar addded
  • 1/2 cup Almonds Raw, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup Hazelnuts or Pistachios Raw, unsalted

Notes

 Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix evenly and enjoy as a snack or on a salad.
Feel free to double the batch as a time-saver!
We here at mmbb, love the Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels
 

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