3 Foods Men Should Not Eat When Trying To Conceive
By Dr. Ryan Funk, Dr.TCM, FABORM on Wed, Jan 16 2019
Today, 1 in 6 couples are having trouble conceiving and studies are showing that male fertility is on a steep decline. The average man is producing less than half the amount of sperm compared to the men in the 1940's. The fact that sperm counts have had such a significant decline in a relatively short period of time points towards more lifestyle and environmental factors rather than genetic. The good news is that we are much more able to control our environment and lifestyle compared to trying to change our genetics!
I have seen great improvements with men who undergo treatment here at Acubalance. We use a combination of acupuncture along with herbal therapy, supplementation and Laser treatments (Low Level Light Therapy - LLLT). Diet is another area where I counsel my patients. We know diet will play a strong role in male fertility and is associated with semen quality. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28292616 Today I wanted to discuss 3 foods men should not eat to help improve the chances of conceiving by boosting their fertility.
3 foods men should not eat while trying to conceive.
1 - Sugar
Sugar plays havoc with our health in so many ways yet it's still found in massive amounts in our diet. Most of the sugar we eat is inside processed foods and we may not even know we are eating it. Flavored beverages are one of the worst sources of these sugars and studies have found men who consume more have poor sperm parameters. sugar sweetened beverages damage sperm motility Many "healthy" foods are high in sugar and should be avoided. Low fat flavored yogurt, granola, BBQ sauce, some tomato sauces. protein bars and even some pre made soups can contain a massive dose of sugar.
Sugar causes blood glucose levels to spike as well as Insulin levels. This triggers inflammation in the body and will decrease immune function. (Low to moderate intake of sugar increases inflammation on young men) These high sugar levels also drain your body of much needed nutrients such as chromium and other micro nutrients. These extra calories make men gain more weight and increases their chances of diabetes. Try to stick to a diet that is as low in processed sugar as possible. You will not only boost your chances of conceiving but your overall health will also improve.
2 - Processed Meat
I wrote a blog a few years ago about how Bacon could be used as the new Male Contraceptive due to it's fertility destructive elements. This research still holds true today. Processed meats such as bacon, sandwhich meats and sausages even eaten at small amounts per day will greatly harm the way sperm look (called morphology). This is likely due to the harmful toxins that are added into these types of meats for both flavor and preservation. This doesn't mean all meat is bad. I find small amounts of good quality meats (beef, chicken, fish, ....) can add much benefit to our health. The thing to remember is small portions and good quality.
3 - Those Dirty Vegetables!
We have all heard it since we were kids "eat your vegetables" and for the most part that has been good advice for our overall health and fertility. Unfortunately now with the amount of chemicals being used on these naturally healthy foods they are becoming toxic for our body. Men who were exposed to high levels of pesticides showed a 49% decrease in sperm count, 32% lower morphology and a 29% decrease in ejaculate volume. This doesn't mean you stop eating these foods but it does mean you try to find cleaner varieties and sources. To learn more about which vegetables damage and which boost male fertility here is some more information.
These are just 3 easy ways to adjust your diet which has shown to improve male fertility. There are many other ways a guy can increase the chances of conception. To learn more you can read about male fertility at our website or call to set up a 15 minute phone Q&A to discuss our treatment methods.
Best of Health
Dr. Ryan Funk
Doctor of Chinese Medicine
Fellow of the ABORM