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Diet for Healthy Sperm

author image Christa Miller
Christa Miller is a writing professional with expertise in massage therapy and health. Miller attended San Francisco State University to earn a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing with a minor in journalism and went on to earn an Arizona massage therapy license.
Diet for Healthy Sperm
What you eat can affect your fertility. Photo Credit father and baby image by Andrii Oleksiienko from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

You probably already know that women need to make healthy dietary choices when they're planning to become pregnant and especially once they become pregnant. However, if you're a dad-to-be, you aren't exempt from making healthy choices. Some fertility problems can be linked to the man's poor dietary choices, according to WhattoExpect.com. Although no food can correct all potential causes of male fertility problems, some foods may help you improve the health of your sperm.

Zinc-Rich Foods

Even a temporary zinc deficiency can cause your testosterone levels to drop and lead to reduced semen volume, according to BabyCenter.com. Men should get at least 11 mg of zinc per day, but you shouldn't have any trouble taking in enough if you eat a diet that is rich in oysters, says BabyCenter.com. Pumpkin seeds are also high in zinc, but also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve sexual function by sending blood flow to sexual organs, according to WhattoExpect.com. Other foods that contain zinc are baked beans and dark chicken meat.

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Fruits and Vegetables

Eating your five-a-day of fruits and vegetables will supply you with the antioxidants you need to keep your sperm protected from cellular damage, according to WhattoExpect.com. Vitamin A, found in foods such as spinach, red peppers and apricots, can keep your sperm moving at a speedy pace; vitamin C, found in foods such as tomatoes and broccoli, keeps your sperm healthy and moving in the right direction; vitamin E, found in vegetable oils, can help your sperm's vitality, according to WhattoExpect.com.


A study at the University of Wisconsin at Madison found that men who take in about 1,000 mg of calcium and 10 mcg of vitamin D per day have improved fertility, according to BabyCenter.com. Milk contains both nutrients, but you may also get calcium from dairy products such as yogurt and vitamin D from foods such as salmon, says BabyCenter.com.


Getting at least 400 mcg of folic acid, a B vitamin, can reduce your chances of having a low sperm count, according to BabyCenter.com. Although you can acquire your daily recommended amount of folic acid through foods such as leafy greens and fortified cereals, taking a multivitamin that contains folic acid can help ensure that you're getting enough, says BabyCenter.com. Also, low levels of an amino acid called L-carnitine have been linked to male infertility, according to BabyZone.com. Taking a pharmaceutical-quality supplement of L-carnitine may help improve your sperm count, says BabyZone.com.

Foods to Avoid

Eating too much sugar and fat can lead to impaired fertility, warns WhattoExpect.com. Other potentially dangerous foods are fish that are high in mercury, including swordfish, tuna steak and mackerel, according to WhattoExpect.com. Finally, alcohol and caffeine can decrease your sperm count; cut out alcohol and stick to two or fewer cups of coffee each day, suggests WhattoExpect.com.

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