Dude foods like burgers, beer, pizza, bacon and chips may be the all-time guy faves, but it’s these very foods and beverages that may be stealing men’s manliness.
Several studies have found that men’s sperm quality and overall reproductive health is less resilient than previously thought. Even though men can produce around 200 million sperm a day, the quality of those sperm is on the decline and the likelihood that he’s shooting blanks is a real probability.
One recent study reported in the journal Natureconcluded that older dads have more random gene mutations in their sperm and that the father’s age accounts for some 97% of the new mutations found in children’s genes. And these mutations may be linked to autism and other brain disorders. And there’s more trouble: Danish researchers have tracked the health and sperm counts of 18-year-olds and found that nearly 45% of the young males had sub-optimal sperm counts.
A growing number of American men are what docs call sub-fertile, meaning they have low sperm counts, slow-swimmers or a higher percentage of DNA-damaged sperm. It’s estimated that 40 to 50% of infertility is linked to fathers-to be and now, one in every five couples has some degree of infertility. As a result, reproductive endocrinologists and urology specialists are focusing on what wannabe dads can do to improve the odds of achieving a healthy pregnancy.
Where Have All the Good Sperm Gone?
A typical American diet (high in sugar, fat and calories) is considered one of the main culprits for the dwindling numbers and quality of men’s sperm. A high-calorie diet rich in saturated fat and added sugars wreaks havoc on sex hormones. In addition, exposure to chemicals like certain pesticides and by-products from plastics act as estrogenlike compounds that adversely impact sperm health.
Manly Men Eat Like Women
Many factors are contributing to the decline of men’s reproductive health but diet and exercise is one place to start now to help boost his mojo and help his swimmers’ make it to the finish line.
- Size does matter…but not where you’re thinking. If your guy is overweight, try to encourage him to take steps to lose some lbs and get back in shape. If his waist is 40 inches or more, it doubles his risk of erectile dysfunction and increases risk for low-quality sperm.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet: Foods that are good for the heart are also good for his manhood, since blood flow to the genitals is key for healthy reproduction.
- Reduce saturated fat to help keep cholesterol levels lower and sperm counts higher.
- Avoid serving fried foods and focus instead on grilled lean proteins like fish, poultry or lean beef.
- Focus on adding in healthy, nutrient-rich foods that may improve sperm like plenty of fruits and veggies;
- Have him snack on nuts: A recent study found men who had 2.5 ounces of walnuts per day experienced improvement in sperm vitality, motility, and morphology.
- Don’t microwave food in plastic containers that are not considered microwave-safe.
- If you’re having problems with conception, consider that you both take a multivitamin that includes nutrients linked to improved male fertility including vitamins C and E, zinc, selenium, folate, carnitine and carotenoids.
- Keep laptops off his lap. Studies show that placing laptops on men’s thighs causes scrotum temps to soar while sperm counts plummet.