Have you ever heard the saying, “You are what you eat?” Eating unhealthy, high-fat,processed foods are not the best choice for your overall health; overall health has more of an impact on fertility than many men understand. Foods that promote good health, including a healthy heart and colon, may also impact reproductive health. Sometimes the foods we eat have an impact on more than just our waistlines.
Soy May Reduce Sperm Production
In a small-scale study published in Human Reproduction, men who consumed soy-based products produced around 42 million fewer sperm than those who did not eat soy products. There are limitations to the study – most of the men were over the age of 36 and overweight. The men most affected by lowered sperm count already suffered for poor motility or lower than normal sperm numbers, but there was a significant connection between soy intake and sperm count in this group of men.
Caffeine May Hurt Your Chances of Reproduction if You’re Healthy
According to Dr. Robert Anderson, if you have a low sperm count caffeine may help improve fertility, but if you are healthy with normal sperm levels, caffeine may actually decrease your chances of getting your partner pregnant – but there is no clinical proof that food has any impact on fertility. So, how does a mean really know if caffeine is affecting sperm count and fertility. Dr. Anderson suggests giving up caffeine for one month before having sperm count retested. If sperm count goes up, you know there is a problem within your body with caffeine intake and infertility.
Bad Fats Mean Decreased Fertility
Stopping on the way to the big game for a double burger and fries at your favorite fast food joint may seem like a harmless idea, but not if you’re trying to get pregnant. Men of all sizes, including those of normal weight and fitness levels, can have fertility issues due to poor fat intake. The main fat to look for on food labels and in nutrition facts is saturated fat. In some studies, excessive intake of saturated fats decreased sperm count up to 43-percent.
What Should Men Eat to Improve Fertility?
Think whole foods when choosing the best diet for improved fertility. Foods that should be included in your diet on a daily or weekly basis include:
- Omega 3 fatty acids – fatty fish, flax seed or in supplement form.
- Whole grains – whole wheat pastas, breads and brown rice.
- Green, leafy vegetables – spinach, kale, collard and mustard greens are perfect.
- Water – increased water intake is good for all health considerations.
When you are worried about fertility, take a close look at your diet and the foods and drinks you consume every day. Reduce alcohol, soy and caffeine intake and increase intake of healthy fats, green vegetables and whole grains.