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10 Tips to Increase Fertility for Men


Updated May 16, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Tip #1 to Increase Fertility: Consider Adding Some Antioxidants to Your Diet
Oysters with a slice of lemon, a fertility super food

Oysters are fertility superfoods due to their high zinc content. Zinc is an essential mineral for healthy sperm development.

Richard Boll / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

Whether you’re just starting to try and get pregnant, or been trying for a long time, making lifestyle changes to increase your fertility is essential. Lifestyle habits are rarely the sole cause of infertility. However, making changes could possibly push you over the "infertile" line if your sperm health is borderline. They may even help fertility treatments work better.

Here are 10 tips to increase male fertility.

Tip #1 to Increase Fertility: Consider Adding Some Antioxidants to Your Diet

You've probably heard of antioxidants as cancer and heart disease fighters. They may also increase fertility.

In short, antioxidants are substances that prevent cell damage from free radicals. Free radicals are produced naturally by your body when it breaks down your food, but are also created when you're exposed to things like toxic chemicals, radiation, cigarette smoke, or pollution.

Remember that sperm are also cells, so it makes sense that adding antioxidants to your diet may help improve their health. In fact, researchers have found that men who took antioxidants in supplement form had less DNA damaged sperm than men who did not take antioxidants. Some researchers found that couples had higher pregnancy rates if the men took additional antioxidants.

There are many antioxidants, but the ones that have been specifically studied in regards to improving sperm health are:

  • Zinc - found in oysters, crab, red meat, poultry, and beans.

  • Vitamin C - found in many fruits and vegetables, with the highest levels found in red peppers, kiwi, oranges, and grapefruit.

  • Selenium - found in high amounts in brazil nuts (1 oz provides 780% of your daily recommended value). Also found in tuna, cod, beef, turkey and chicken.

  • Vitamin E - found in nuts, seeds, oils, and leafy greens.

  • Folic Acid - found in beef liver, leafy green vegetables, fruits, beans, and peas, and often in fortified grains.

  • Lycopene - found in tomatoes, apricots, pink grapefruit, and watermelon.

You can try to add more of these foods into your diet, or consider taking a supplement. As with all things, moderation is still best. Don't eat too many of these foods. (Brazil nuts should not be eaten every day, for example.)

Also, because some supplements can interfere with other medications, it's best to consult with a doctor first. You can also ask your doctor about the proper amount of antioxidant foods in your diet.

Be sure to click Next (see below) for the next tip to increase your fertility.

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