Nutrition is the most important part of lifestyle intervention for men who are looking to improve their fertility and give their sperm a boost.
There are several micro and macronutrients present in our food that are essential for healthy sperm production . Adequate intake of micronutrients such as zinc, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin E seems to have a high impact on increasing fertility status . Numerous healthy fatty acids (EPA & DHA) are also important to maintain a healthy sperm – Click here for our guide on micronutrient for fertility
Following a healthy diet is the key to a balanced reproductive system. We advise it [healthy diet] should be the first priority in every fertility plan. You can find more information about a healthy diet approach in our blog articles “Nutrition & Fertility” and “The ExSeed fertility diet”.
So, to help you start your fertility journey, we have created a list with the 20 top fertility superfoods, which are beneficial to include in your daily meal plan:
1. Asparagus is a nutrient-dense plant and a good accompaniment for your food. By adding 3-4 spears of asparagus on your plate you can ensure that you are getting a good amount of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin B9, copper, iron and selenium .
2. Avocado is a fruit known for its rich flavor and high nutrient value. It is a great source of healthy fatty acids, vitamin K, B6, B9, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium and potassium .
3. Bell peppers come in a variety of glossy colours and are a top source of vitamin C and carotenoids. It is best when consumed raw. You can also include them in a variety of cooking recipes to get some nutritional benefits .
4. Beef refers to cattle meat. Lean beef is a great source of nutrients and especially of zinc, selenium, vitamin B12 and B3. Relatively small amount of beef (120-150 g) can deliver the Recommended Daily Amounts (RDA) of these nutrients. And it can be included in numerous recipes .
5. Berries there is a big variety of berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cranberries. All of them are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, magnesium, iron and potassium. Berries are fruits with the lowest sugar content, which make them a healthy option .
6. Brazil nuts are packed with selenium and are also rich in zinc and vitamin E. Just 3-4 nuts can cover your daily need of selenium. You can consume them as a snack or add them in a smoothie. So you will get the benefits either way .
7. Broccoli is a nutritious vegetable and an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, and various minerals. Broccoli contains other bioactive compounds which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties .
8. Dark Chocolate that contains over 70% cocoa can deliver good amount of minerals including zinc and selenium. It also contains a high amount of antioxidant polyphenols and flavanols .
9. Flaxseeds are an excellent source of healthy fatty acids, minerals and vitamin B1. It is best when consumed in a ground form because their healthful components are better absorbed. Flaxseeds will also give a creamy texture to your food or smoothies .
10. Kale is a highly nutritious leafy green vegetable and a great source of antioxidant compounds. One serving of kale (85g) contains plenty of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A and many minerals such as copper, calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc. After removing the thick fibrous stalk, you can add it raw to a salad or slightly cook it according to your preference .
11. Kiwi is a popular fruit and well-known for its unique taste and texture. Kiwi has a high content in vitamin C. Also, it is a good source of vitamin K, vitamin E and folate .
12. Olive oil comes from crushing olives and is one of the most nutritious oils. Olive oil is primarily made of oleic acid (an omega-9 fatty acid) and its consumption has shown many health benefits. It is a good source of vitamin E. Also, it contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. The best type is the Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) which is the unrefined oil drawn from the first pressing of olives and has the most delicate flavour and greatest health benefits .
13. Pomegranate is popular not only for its great taste but also for its nutritional profile. Pomegranate is loaded with vitamin C and several minerals. What is special about this fruit, though, is its content of phytochemicals called punicalagins, which have shown very strong antioxidant properties .
14. Quinoa is a curled cereal grain with a nutty flavor. It contains 9 essential amino acids, which make it an excellent protein source. It is also rich in vitamin E and minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, and calcium .
15. Salmon is a family of fish best known for their rich taste and high amount of healthy fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids). Wild salmon is richer in omega-3 fatty acids and carotenoids compared to farmed salmon. Salmon is also an excellent source of vitamin B3, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium .
16. Spinach is a dark leafy green vegetable packed with vitamins and other nutrients. A serving of 100g is enough to cover your daily needs in vitamin A and vitamin K. It is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin E. Spinach can be added as an ingredient to many dishes and either served raw or cooked .
17. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A. However, the reason tomatoes are so popular for fertility is that they contain lycopene, a very powerful antioxidant that has been linked to many health advantages . The amount of lycopene does not change significantly whether they are consumed cooked or fresh.
18. Shrimps or prawns belong to a family with a large variety of species. They are high in protein and important micronutrients such as vitamin B12, B6 and B3, vitamin E, vitamin D and selenium .
19. Oysters are known for their fleshy texture and oceanic flavor and are considered a great delicacy. They are exceptionally high in zinc and selenium and are also loaded with vitamin B12, iron, and copper. Oysters are a true fertility superfood and can be found raw, frozen, or smoked in your local store .
20. Walnuts are the nuts with the highest content of healthy fatty acids. They are also rich in protein, fibers, vitamin B6, folate, and minerals including copper, zinc, and magnesium. A handful of walnuts is an excellent option for a healthy snack. They are one of the foods that have shown beneficial effects on fertility in a study on solely nut supplementation .
The amount of vitamins and minerals coming from our nutrition is crucial for sperm production and a healthy reproductive system. A balanced diet can ensure that you are getting all the necessary nutrients you need to remain healthy. We gathered the most nutritious foods in a comprehensive list. You can now start implementing them in your daily meal plan and get all the benefits.