Is your diet slowing down your swimmers? You’d be surprised by how much your diet could be affecting your sperm. Let us help. DCYB wants your swimmers to be all they can be, so we’ve made a list of the top 12 male fertility superfoods. These foods are all only a grocery trip away, so check out these superfoods, chocked full of essential fertility nutrients, and let’s chow down.

Tomatoes

Fruit? Vegetable? Either way, this superfood is ready to boost your sperm count. The tomato contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can improve sperm count and swimming speed by reducing potentially damaging ROS. The best part? The lycopene in tomatoes is most easily absorbed by your body when cooked. This means that eating pizza (in moderation) could help increase your sperm count. That’s something we can get behind.

Garlic

Not only is it useful for keeping Twilight fans away, garlic also contains vitamin B-6. While you’ve probably never really given B-6 much thought, it’s crucial in regulating your sex hormones. In addition to improving fertility, garlic is traditionally thought of as an aphrodisiac due its high amount of allicin, a chemical thought to increase blood flow to sex organs and increase libido. Like all things, enjoy moderation. While a little garlic can do wonders for your fertility, too much garlic can inhibit sperm production, so garlic can be used most effectively in moderation as a seasoning.

Sweet Potato

You might have seen sweet potatoes in their most dietarily dangerous form at Thanksgiving. Doused in butter and smothered in marshmallows, the sweet potato can seem more like a weird dessert than a superfood. But when prepared in the right way, sweet potatoes can be a savory side that gets your swimmers ready for action. Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, a chemical that your body converts into antioxidants, which can prevent sperm fro being damaged by ROS. They also contain large amounts of vitamin A, which has been known to help keep sperm actively swimming.

Chicken/Turkey

Gobbling up lean proteins like turkey and chicken can whip your swimmers into lean, mean, baby making machines. Chicken and turkey both contain selenium,a key mineral in sperm formation. They also contain high amounts of zinc, a mineral that is essential for DNA production, as well as promoting healthy testosterone levels. Chicken contains an antioxidant called L-carnitine, an amino acid that protects young sperm cells from ROS.

Seafood

Seafood is a heavy hitter of fertility health. They contain nearly every fertility boosting vitamin and mineral, such as Coenzyme Q10, an energy producing antioxidant that keeps your swimmers fueled and protects them from ROS. Seafood is rich in selenium, a mineral that can help your thyroid regulate sperm production hormones, as well as helping your sperm maintain a healthy shape, meaning that your sperm can live longer and swim better. It’s also full of the protective antioxidant, vitamin E. Shellfish are high in zinc, while oily fish contain omegas 3 and 6, which assist in sperm motility.

Fortified Bread/Cereal

Carbs aren’t always a bad thing. Today, the majority of bread and cereals contain large amounts of folic acid, which ensures that your body can produce high quality DNA. Most fortified breads and cereals contain niacin, a vitamin that helps create sex hormones and regulates blood flow, meaning it could help alleviate erectile dysfunction. They also contain vitamin D, which can increase testosterone, sperm count, and maintain semen quality. So go ahead, have that bowl of Lucky Charms.

Avocado

Avocados are a great source for three vital nutrients to help your fertility and sperm. For one, avocados are a source of Coenzyme Q10, which with its unique molecular structure, is a great source of energy and protection for sperm. Avocados are also a source of L-carnitine, which helps sperm generate energy more rapidly to ensure ongoing sperm development. Lastly, avocados provide men with a great source of Vitamin E. Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, binds with harmful sperm by-products called reactive oxygen species (ROS) to protect sperm from damage and fatality. Avocados essentially provide men and their sperm with a triple threat to disarm the evil forces feeding infertility!

Walnuts

Warning: We’re about to get a little nuts here. Walnuts that is! Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 acids, which are connected to better sperm quality. Walnuts are also a source of Coenzyme Q10. Like many of the foods listed here, the Coenzyme Q10 in walnuts protect sperm, while also helping sperm generate energy more efficiently. Unlike a lot of the Superfoods listed here, a handful of walnuts can be eaten everyday! Go ahead, get crackin’ and munch on a few walnuts.

Berries

For male fertility, berries are more than just a burst of tangy sweetness. Berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are rich in vitamin C, which helps prevent sperm from clumping together, which is known as aggultinisation. This great source of vitamin C also enables the creation of key amino acids required to produce sperm. Vitamin C can also protect sperm from both external and internal toxins, which ultimately improves motility, morphology, and DNA integrity. Berries are the all time protectors of your sperm.

Dark Chocolate

Although “dark,” don’t think of dark chocolate as evil. Dark chocolate is the mysterious batman, hiding in the dark of the night, slyly handing you the keys to a polished and loaded bat mobile ready for supreme baby-making. For one, dark chocolate is known to reduce hypertension, which helps men appropriately rise to the occasion. Dark chocolate also contains strong antioxidants, which help develop and protect sperm from damage. But be sure not to eat too much dark chocolate! That mistake could contribute to a very unhealthy lifestyle. It’s all about moderation!

Beef

Don’t worry—if you’re thinking this isn’t real, we will repeat it: Beef is on this list of superfoods. You don’t have to give up this wondrous food. Actually, beef is extremely helpful for your sperm. If eaten in moderation, beef gives your sperm great chances in survival and fertilization. Like avocados, beef is a source of Coenzyme Q10 and L-carnitine, which both help protect sperm and ensure sperm’s future development. Beef also contains zinc, which is critical for male fertility all around. Zinc helps with DNA production and is a building block for testosterone, semen, the prostrate, and sperm themselves. Beef also contains selenium, which in small doses helps maintain and strengthen the production, structure, and lifespan of sperm. Pretty great, right? But remember, beef is only good for your fertility diet in moderation!

Greens

Green vegetables, such as arugula, kale and romaine are the kind of leafy goodness that can strengthen your sperm against the horrors that surround them. Vitamin A is prominent in leafy greens, which keeps your sperm strong and prepared for their race to the egg. Leafy greens also contain folic acid. Folic acid is a B vitamin that has antioxidant properties that are vital in keeping your sperm free from chromosomal abnormalities. Leafy greens give sperm the chance to be extraordinary.

Aren’t superfoods SUPER?

With the foods listed above, you can see how easy it is for you to boost your sperm count and fertility. These foods are readily available at a supermarket near you! If you want some ideas on how to put all these together, click here to find some awesome recipes. But don’t forget, these superfoods lose their powers if you eat them too often and alone (except for walnuts). It’s all about balance and moderation! There is a thing as too much is TOO MUCH. Also, remember that these foods are good to help your fertility. A low sperm count can usually be boosted by a change in diet. But if you suffer from other infertility disorders or irregularities, change in nutrient in-take can only help so much. If change in diet still does not improve your sperm count or fertility condition, there are other treatments and options you have at your disposal. Superfoods are here to help you help your sperm! Give your sperm the chance to be the best they can be with a healthy and balanced diet. Superfoods, assemble!

References

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Schmid, Thomas E., Brenda Eskenazi, Francesco Marchetti, Suzanne Young, Rosana H. Weldon, Adolf Baumgartner, Diana Anderson, and Andrew J. Wyrobek. “Micronutrients Intake Is Associated with Improved Sperm DNA Quality In older Men.” Fertility and Sterility 98.5 (2012): 1130-137.]

Mora-Esteves, Cesar, and David Shin. “Nutrient Supplementation: Improving Male Fertility Fourfold.” Seminars in Reproductive Medicine 31.04 (2013): 293-300.

Bedwal, R. S., and A. Bahuguna. “Zinc, Copper and Selenium in Reproduction.”Experientia 50.7 (1994): 626-40. Print.

Effects of folic acid and zinc sulfate on male factor subfertility: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Wong, Wai Yee et al. Fertility and Sterility , Volume 77 , Issue 3 , 491 – 498

Lewin, Aby, and Haim Lavon. “The Effect of Coenzyme Q10 on Sperm Motility and Function.” Molecular Aspects of Medicine 18 (1997): 213-19. Print.

Sikka, S. C., Rajasekaran, M. and Hellstrom, W. J. G. (1995), Role of Oxidative Stress and Antioxidants in Male Infertility. Journal of Andrology, 16: 464–468.

Delimaris, Ioannis, and Stylianos M. Piperakis. “The Importance of Nutritional Factors on Human Male Fertility: A Toxicological Approach.” Journal of Translational Toxicology 1.1 (2014): 52-59. Print.

Robbins, W. A., L. Xun, L. Z. Fitzgerald, S. Esguerra, S. M. Henning, and C. L. Carpenter. “Walnuts Improve Semen Quality in Men Consuming a Western-Style Diet: Randomized Control Dietary Intervention Trial.”Biology of Reproduction 87.4 (2012): 101. Print.

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