Male fertility is a widespread issue today. Many out there ask themselves the vexing question “how to increase male fertility” not realizing that most male fertility issues arise from food and lifestyle choices in these modern times. (In most cases that’s what it really boils down to, if it’s not a medical condition).
If you have decided to become a dad for the first time, you need to check on your food and lifestyle choices that may be keeping you from having a baby.
And you need to do it right now.
In a moment, you’ll find out what you need to do right and what you need to avoid to boost your fertility.
And all other things being on the good side, if you make these changes for the better, you may soon be on your way to fatherhood. (Provided it’s not a medical condition.)
How awesome is that! Calls for a smile, right? Let’s get down to what we are here for right away. Let’s answer the question “how to increase male fertility with easy food and lifestyle changes“.
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Lifestyle Changes to Increase Male Fertility
1. Check if your weight is right
Being overweight or underweight isn’t good for your sperm count. You need to be of the ideal weight to get your sperm count to a healthy level.
Here’s what you can do right now. Get on your weighing machine and check to see if you are the right weight. To know if your weight is perfect for your height click this link to a BMI calculator.
If you are overweight, you need to shift to a balanced diet and exercise. One effective way to reduce weight is to reduce your portion sizes from today.
If you have two eggs for breakfast, cut it to one. Or have egg whites only. Likewise, if you have two servings of rice, cut it to one serving.
Now you would be wondering, “wouldn’t that make me really, really hungry?”. The answer is “not really”!
Reducing portion sizes does not mean a less filling breakfast and dinner. It means that you can make up with more vegetables, fruits, nuts and other healthy options.
Eating food rich in fiber will make you feel fuller. That’s what you need to do now – eat more fiber rich food.
And remember to exercise. Walk or cycle daily – this will help you lose weight faster than if you only control your food.
If you are underweight, well, you have to eat healthy too. Choose fattening foods in healthy quantities without overdoing on sugar and fats. One trick is to eat more often than you do now. If you have three meals a day, increase it to five meals a day.
Remember to include special foods like the nenthra pazham, which is the biggest plantain variety by size. In Kerala, nenthra pazham is used as a fattening food.
Here is a quick recipe that you can prepare in minutes with this plantain. I have tried it on myself and I know it works.
Eat more proteins with healthy fat as well – eggs, fish, lean meat etc. Another great way to put on weight – combine proteins with starchy carbohydrates is another way to put on weight.
A good combination is tapioca and fish curry. In all of this remember to exercise as well. Here is a link to an article on weight gain that you would find helpful.
2. Sleep well and avoid stress
If you think about it, stress and sleep are interlinked. If you are too stressed, you won’t sleep well and if you don’t sleep well, you will only increase your stress
It’s important that you do not stress yourself. And it’s important for you now. Not sleeping well affects the quality of your sperm.
Here’s what you can do to sleep well and be less stressed. First of all, make your home a sanctuary of peace. Especially your bedroom.
Begin with discarding everything you do not want. De-clutter your home to make it look airier and more welcoming, with more positive energies.
Next think of lighting. Mood lighting is something that immediately lifts up the environment of your home. And it is not that expensive. A few lamps placed at the right corners around your living, dining and bedroom will make your place warm and happy.
Bring in lots of cushions too. Make it of all sizes. And spread them around your living area where you can relax.
These things alone could make for a welcoming home. Also, if you want to go the family way, don’t ever bring your “office tensions” home.
It’s important that you find time to relax – deliberately. Laugh a lot, watch comedies. Go out a lot. It’s OK even if you go only to the beach and park or just out cycling as long as you feel relaxed after.
Meditation is a great way to relax. Sit in a place alone with your spine straight and simply breathe deeply for five minutes, concentrating only on your breath.
Though it would be difficult in the beginning, with a bit of practice you’ll love this five-minute meditation session. Shavasana, a yoga asana that relaxes the mind and body, will also be of great help.
Remember to go to bed early after having a nutritious home-cooked dinner two hours before hand. This will help you to sleep better.
Do not take any device into your bedroom. Screen time should also end way before bedtime including mobile screen time – your mails and messages can wait until next morning.
3. Stop smoking, limit liquor
Smoking does great harm to your sperm quality. It negatively affects semen volume, sperm count, and the percentage of motile sperms – all resulting in male infertility.
It’s a myth that there is a safe limit to smoking. If you want to undo your male fertility issue, if you want to boost fertility, you need to quit smoking as it is one of its main causes.
Smoking damages the DNA or genetic material in sperms transferred to baby. You wouldn’t want that!
Without going too deep into it, take note that sperms need about three months to mature. So, quit smoking at least three months before trying for a baby to ensure your sperm is healthy when baby is conceived.
You could ask your wife’s gynaecologist more about this. And you can read more about smoking and sperm health here.
There’s one more red flag – alcohol. A heavy, daily consumption of alcohol leads to poor sperm health. It’s been shown to affect semen volume negatively. Quit! At least for 4 months.
4. Check if you are on fertility affecting medication
Check right away. Maybe you are on fertility affecting medication that has been prescribed to you for some health condition you have. Or maybe you are self-medicating yourself with one of them.
Know that some medicines affect your sperm quality. Check with your medical practitioner to see if there are alternatives to the prescription you are following now.
If you are self-medicating yourself for whatever reason, you’ll still have to see a doctor to find out if you are stopping baby from coming with your self-prescribed medicines and supplements.
Here is a good reference article on drugs and male fertility.
5. Do not expose your testicles to heat
Extreme heat exposure to your groin / testicles, regularly, can damage the quality of your sperm.
When your testicles are unnaturally warm, it’s bad for your sperm. Look at the construct of your testicles. They hang down from your body for a reason – to regulate heat. See? That’s why they hang low in the warm season than in the cold season.
Now if you are regularly exposing your testicles to heat from your laptop, you can imagine the damage you are doing. This heat can affect sperm motility and even cause DNA damage.
Cell phone emissions could also damage sperms. If you carry your cell phone in your front pocket, shift it to your back pocket or backpack from today.
Underwear that is too tight is also a big no-no. Avoid it. Remember that the ideal temperature for sperm production is lower than your normal body temperature.
Anything that hugs your testicles to your body makes the temperature in your testicles too high to help with healthy sperm production.
That sounds easy right? Keep your laptop off your lap. Keep your cell phone away from your front pocket and do not wear underwear that is too tight. Now, let’s move on to food and diet.
Food and Diet Changes to Increase Male Fertility
1. Fortify yourself with Folic Acid or Folate
That may sound a bit medical. A study by the Berkeley University has found that folate is linked to genetic abnormalities in sperm. Meaning if you are low on folic acid or folate, you could have unhealthy sperms.
You would have heard that gynecologists prescribe folic acid to women ready for pregnancy and even after. Now you know that folic acid is for men too.
Folic acid is also known as vitamin B9. Folic acid that is found in food form is called folate. It’s this folate that we are considering here as it is naturally available in everyday food. Know what these foods are so you can have more of them.
Folate-rich foods that help increase male fertility include broccoli, spinach, sprouts, pulses, potatoes, pomegranates and oranges. Homemade spinach dal is a good way of including folate into your diet. You could probably have spinach every day.
Tarala Dalal has some great folate-rich recipes that you could use.
2. Include oysters and pumpkin seeds in your diet
Oysters are loaded with zinc that helps with increasing sperm count and motility. If you don’t like oysters you could choose free range chicken, dairy, nuts, eggs, whole grains, pumpkin seeds and beans.
Studies have now shown that zinc is an essential element for male fertility as it affects the quality of the sperm. It has been marked as an important element in the treatment of male infertility. Don’t ignore this ‘element’.
Sweet potato is packed with vitamins C, E and folate that’s essential for healthy sperms. Vitamins E and C help in increasing sperm count and movement.
Folic acid is a B vitamin with antioxidant properties that helps keep your sperm free of chromosomal abnormalities.
See! Maybe that’s why it’s called “sweet” potato!
4. Load up on Vitamin C
Moringa leaves (the leaves of the drumstick tree) are a storehouse of nutrients, vitamin C included. Eating plenty of foods rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants can do wonders for your baby plans. These nutrients help prevent sperm defects and boost sperm motility (movement).
Vitamin C is also present in Indian gooseberries, green chilli, broccoli, corriander leaves, spinach, papaya, oranges, lemon, guava and Indian gooseberry. Know more about your vitamin C options here.
5. Get the power of pure cow’s ghee
Ghee is given to all newly married couples in India for a good reason. It increases semen and decrease heat in the body which is just what promotes your baby plans.
Traditionally, the preparation has been used to promote memory, intelligence, quantity and quality of semen, and to enhance digestion.
For another, ghee contains vitamin E and beta carotene, which are known antioxidants. This is another powerhouse of nutrients that you can have in moderation. Know more here.
[Clarified butter image courtesy Oleg Bor via Wikimedia Commons.]
6. Drink your milk!
Haven’t you always been told as a child that pure cow’s milk is good for you? Well now, studies have shown that low fat milk consumption is great for your fertility. Low-fat milk has been related to higher sperm concentration and increased sperm motility.
Don’t like the taste of milk? Try flavouring your milk with a pinch of turmeric, a combination of turmeric and a pinch of pepper, a tea spoon of honey etc.
7. Add garlic to your curies
Garlic is rich in vitamin B6 and selenium, both of which play roles in healthy sperm production. Selenium, by the way, is an antioxidant that improves sperm motility.
Garlic contains allicin too, which improves blood flow to your sexual organs and protects your sperm from damage. You could have a clove of garlic a day. Or maybe two.
Food Supplement to Increase Male Fertility
1. Ashwagandha the power house aphrodisiac
Ashwagandha was known to medical practitioners in India since ancient times. Today, studies suggest that this medicinal herb helps improve male fertility by boosting testosterone levels.
It was found to increase sperm count, semen volume and sperm motility. Ashwagandha is easily available in ayurvedic medicine stores and is usually sold as a stress reliver and energy booster.
By the way, did you know that Ashwagandha, in translation, means ‘scent of a horse’?
[Ashwagandha image courtesy Neha Vindhya via Wikimedia Commons.]
Food Habits to Avoid to Increase Male Fertility
1. Avoid food stored in plastic containers
Plastics carry BPA that affect fertility and the development of the baby. BPA has an adverse effect on sperm count, motility and density that easily leads to infertility.
If you store food in plastic containers or use plastic containers to re-heat your food in the microwave, stop doing it now. Stainless steel and glass containers are healthier options.
Stop buying restaurant food packed in plastic containers. If your food arrives in a plastic container, transfer it to a food safe container, especially if you intend to store them for later.
2. Avoid fish with high mercury content
If you have fish containing high amounts of mercury regularly, it could lead to infertility. King mackerel, certain verity of tuna, shark and other fishes are high on mercury. Avoid these.
You can load up on shell fish if you must have sea food. You’ve already seen that oysters are great for male fertility – almost an aphrodisiac.
[Tuna image courtesy Maliz Ong via www.publicdomainpictures.net]
There you are! That’s “how to increase male fertility with easy food and lifestyle changes.” Hope you found it of value enough to put into action some of the points you are comfortable with.
Here’s wishing you the very best!