Conceiving a baby is a problem for one in six couples in Australia(i). While most couples are aware that leading a healthy lifestyle is ideal when trying to have a baby, many women might be surprised to learn that a third of all fertility problems are due to male infertility issues and despite being in complete health, men can still produce poor quality sperm(ii).
There are certain foods and ingredients that can help to support fertility. Here are 6 Key Ingredients that might help boost your and your partner’s fertility.
Ubiquinol is a powerful antioxidant which is found naturally in the body, however, it has been indicated that your Ubiquinol levels can decrease over time, suggesting that it has a close relationship with ageing and oxidative stress.
Now, scientists have discovered that Ubiquinol could be one of the key ingredients in fertility and may help to support healthy sperm. A recent study found that Ubiquinol was significantly effective in men with unexplained infertility issues, for improving sperm numbers, sperm motility and abnormally shaped sperm[iii].
- Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are a rich source of selenium and selenium is essential for normal sperm production, with the highest concentration being found in the testes.
Men only require around 2 Brazil nuts per day to achieve their daily intake, or 100- 200 mcg/day if taken in supplement form. Semen is high in selenium and needs to be replenished regularly as a deficiency can cause fragile sperm with easily broken tails.
Brazil Nuts are also high in antioxidants and they contain natural cholesterol, which gets converted into testosterone.
Zinc is an antimicrobial mineral and one of the most important nutrients for male, as well as female fertility.
Foods packed full of zinc include spinach, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, dark chocolate and mushrooms.
Zinc also boosts immunity which may help ward off the dreaded ‘man flu’ and assist you and your partner’s energy levels in the bedroom.
Salmon is a rich source of healthy, omega-3 fats, which can help support female reproductive hormones and blood flow and reduce inflammation in the body; all of which are believed to have a positive effect on fertility.
- Folic Acid
A Dutch(iv) study has found that men with fertility problems who took 5mg of folic acid and 66 mg of zinc sulphate per day for 26 weeks had a 74% increase in total normal sperm count.
Further to this, a study(v) on 89 healthy and non-smoking males found a link between high levels of the nutrients in a man’s diet and the genetic quality of their sperm.
The researchers found that total folic acid intake is associated with a statistically significant reduction in frequency of sperm abnormalities in healthy males.
Foods high in folic acid include dark leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus and avocado.
Beetroots are a rich source of folate (different to folic acid) and are believed to help boost male fertility as poor levels of the vitamin (also known as vitamin B9) have been linked to low sperm count and decreased sperm mobility.
Beetroots also contain lots of nitrates which have been said to help combat age related infertility.
Always read the label. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare practitioner.
For more information visit http://www.kanekaqh.info/
By Stephen Eddey, Nutritionist and Naturopath
About Stephen Eddey
Stephen Eddey is a qualified Nutritionist and Naturopath and is the Principal of Australia’s longest established natural medicine college, Health Schools Australia. He has completed a Bachelor of Complementary Medicine as well as a Masters in Health Science and is studying a PhD in Nutritional Medicine.
- [iii] Safarinejad, M et al, 2012, Journal of Urology, ‘Effects of the reduced form of coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol) on semen parameters in men with idiopathic infertility: a double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized study’, 188(2):526-31 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22704112