It should not really be shocking news, that fruit and veggies are good for male fertility. The more produce a man consumed, the less sluggish his sperm, researchers reported at a meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Forty-eight infertile men and 10 fertile men who had fathered children in the last year completed questionnaires about their diets. Results showed that eighty-three percent of the infertile men had a low intake of fruits and veggies, defined as fewer than five servings a day, compared with forty percent of the fertile men.
And overall, men who ate the fewest fruits and veggies had the lowest sperm motility.
“We think that sperm quality is affected by dietary antioxidant intake,” said study author Dr. Vivian Lewis, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y.
Antioxidants, like those found in fruits and vegetables, may help prevent damage to sperm that causes them to become sluggish and lose the ability to fertilize an egg, she said.
In particular, the antioxidants glutathione and cryptoxanthin, which are abbundant in brightly colored produce such as leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers and oranges, were associated with strong, healthy sperm, Lewis said.
Dr. Rebecca Sokol, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, who was not affiliated with the study, said it’s important for men trying to impregnate their partners to improve their diets. It could potentially help their sperm, and it certainly helps their overall health, she said.
Men also should avoid prolonged soaks in the hot tub and smoking cigarettes and marijuana, all of which may damage sperm, she said. All things most men do as teenagers, when they don’t want women to get pregnant.