Nutrition plays a key role in maintaining sexual health. For men, maintaining high levels of semen quality is important to sustain fertility. In contrast, unhealthy foods not only negatively impact overall health but also contribute to low semen quality. Here are three food types you should avoid to prevent your semen quality from deteriorating.
According to many scientific studies, a high intake of meat products, especially processed meat, negatively affects semen quality. Processed food products often contain preservative agents that can be harmful to one’s health. It’s not just preservative agents, though. Saturated fatty acids and hormonal residues are often found in processed meat products.
Because of the high concentrations of saturated fatty acids found in processed meat, they are considered as detrimental to a man’s sexual health. When you eat a lot of fat-rich foods, it can actually cause you to have lower sperm count and sperm concentration. Fat-rich foods can also lead to problems with other semen parameters.
In fact, men who have asthenozoospermia have significantly lower sperm motility than normal. Men whose sperm motility rates are lower than 40% are diagnosed with asthenozoospermia. And a high processed meat intake is considered as one of the causes of this fertility issue.
Moreover, processed meat can contribute to high cholesterol levels, obesity, and other health problems such as cardiovascular diseases. These medical conditions are all risk factors for erectile dysfunction. Men who are meat lovers should be more careful of the kind of meat that they eat.
It doesn’t mean, though, that you should stop eating meat altogether. If you can replace sausages and bacon with dishes cooked with grass-fed organic meat, that would be healthier. If you’re really craving for some proteins, skinless chicken or turkey not only taste great but are also quite healthy. Beans and lentils can also give you a lot of proteins.
Even better, you can increase your fish intake. You can get twenty grams of protein out of a hundred gram serving of salmon, plus you also get a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to help improve sperm production.
Junk food, margarine, and doughnuts – what’s common among these three is that they all contain high concentrations of trans fatty acids.
In technical terms, trans fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids wherein the carbon atoms are in a trans arrangement adjacent to double bonds. In layman’s terms, trans fatty acids are simply described as something unhealthy.
If you’re concerned about your cholesterol levels, then you should stay away from foods that are rich in trans fatty acids as they are the ones responsible for increasing the levels of bad cholesterol.
If you’ve already been advised that doughnuts will lead you to a heart disease-related death, you should believe it. In a sense, it’s true. The more doughnuts you eat, the higher your bad cholesterol levels rise, the higher your risks of developing heart diseases.
For men who are not so concerned about their cardiovascular health, here’s another reason to avoid foods that contain a lot of trans fatty acids. A high intake of trans fatty acid-rich foods results in very low sperm count.
French fries and commercially baked food products will destroy your sperm count. In fact, one study found that the more you eat these types of food, the lower your sperm count will get. Hence, men who are trying to get their partners to conceive should stay away from these unhealthy foods.
In the study cited above, it was also shown that men with a high cholesterol intake tend to have low ejaculate volume. Just like in the association between trans fatty acid-rich foods and sperm count, the same trend was also observed in the relationship between cholesterol intake and ejaculate volume. The more you eat foods that are rich in cholesterol, the lower your ejaculate volume will get.
This is not to say that you should eliminate all types of fat from your diet. The truth is, your sperm cell actually contains fat. Polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs make up a big part of mammalian spermatozoa. These types of fatty acids are much healthier than trans fatty acids, though.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are very important when it comes to male fertility. For instance, DHA, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid, is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that is found in the head and tails of the sperm. When you don’t have enough DHA, it could lead to unhealthy sperms or sperms that may have developed abnormally.
This is another reason why men should make sure that they eat a lot of foods that are rich in omega-3 like walnuts, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and tuna. The levels of fatty acids found in your sperm are very sensitive to your dietary fatty acid intake. This means that if you refrain from eating any omega-3 containing food for several days, it will start showing in your sperm’s fatty acid profile.
Sugar-rich foods don’t benefit your sperm quality. Sugar-sweetened beverages, for instance, are associated with reduced sperm motility. Snacking on sweets frequently can also cause your sperm concentration to decrease and lower your sperm motility rate.
Moreover, sugar-rich foods are usually associated with higher blood sugar levels and high body mass index. Both are associated with diabetes, which is a medical condition that has a lot of detrimental effects on your sexual functions.
To prevent your sperm quality from deteriorating, you should increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Oranges and tomatoes can help improve your sperm motility rates. If you’re concerned about your sperm count, you should eat a lot of bananas, walnuts, and citrus fruits.
Dark green vegetables can give you the antioxidants your body needs to protect your sperm cells from oxidative stress. Foods that are rich in vitamins A, C, D, and E can all help improve your sperm parameters. Poultry products and seafood, especially those containing high concentrations of omega-3, can also help improve your sperm quality.