Try This: 15 Foods for Strong, Healthy Sperm

Markers of health

Healthy sperm are an important factor in male fertility. If you’re trying to conceive, you can improve the quality of your sperm by choosing the right foods.

Markers of sperm health include:

  • Sperm count. The concentration of sperm cells in a given sample is an important marker of sperm quality.
  • Sperm morphology. The average size and shape of sperm cells in a sample is an indicator of fertility.
  • Sperm motility. Motility refers to movement. Sperm cells must be able to swim to reach and fertilize an egg cell.
  • Semen volume. A minimum volume of semen is required to carry sperm cells through the female reproductive tract.

Read on to find out which nutrients and foods promote sperm health.

1. Zinc

Zinc has been shownto play a role in regulating sperm count and quality. Men who are infertile tend to have lower zinc levels than men who are fertile.

You can up your intake by eating:

  • oysters
  • red meat and poultry
  • shellfish, such as crab and lobster
  • fortified breakfast cereals
  • nuts and beans
  • whole wheat grain products
  • dairy

2. Folate

Folate is a B vitamin that has been linked to sperm health. Low folate is associated with damaged sperm DNA, lower sperm densities, and lower sperm counts.

You can up your intake by eating:

  • green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus
  • fruits and fruit juices, especially oranges and orange juice
  • nuts, beans, and peas
  • whole grains
  • fortified breakfast cereals
  • enriched flour products, such as breads and pasta

3. Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 is a critical nutrient to overall sperm health. Research has shown that it improves sperm motility, increases sperm count, and reduces sperm DNA damage.

You can up your intake by eating:

  • fish and seafood, especially clams
  • meats and poultry, especially liver
  • dairy products, such as eggs and milk
  • fortified breakfast cereals
  • nutritional yeasts

4. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that plays an important role in male fertility. Increasing vitamin C intake has been shown to improve sperm motility, count, and morphology.

You can up your intake by eating:

  • citrus fruits and their juices
  • sweet peppers
  • other fruits, such as kiwi, strawberries, and cantaloupe
  • other vegetables, such as tomatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, potatoes
  • fortified breakfast cereals, dairy, and other food products