There has been a rapid decline in sperm counts among men, according to a recent study. It has fallen by 62.3% between years 1973 and 2018.
Factors such as prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals and poor health behaviors in adulthood. Environmental factors include exposure to pollutants, toxins in the air, radiation hazards from mobiles, laptops, plasticizers in plastics or pesticides in our food along with a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, alcohol, junk food, endocrine disruptors, chronic illnesses and their medications, anabolic steroid use, etc. — all impact sperm health.
This study equates that while a sperm concentration above 40 million per ml and does not imply a higher probability of conception, but fertility could be impacted if sperm concentration falls below this level. The ramifications implies that this marker can be considered an endpoint for a man’s overall health. A decline is correlated with a worsening of overall health and an increased future risk of morbidity. Studies have exemplified that a decline in sperm count is associated with an increased risk of testicular cancer, decreased lifespan and chronic illness. The risk is especially higher for men with comorbidities such as diabetes, immunodeficiency, alcoholic liver disease, and hypertensive nephropathy. Environmental and genetic factors may not be in one’s control, lifestyle choices that are known to help with sperm health can be adopted. Modifications to one life style and diet include maintaining a healthy BMI, regular exercise (at least 3 times a week), getting adequate sleep, avoidance of hypertension and diabetes, limiting intake of salt and sugar, quitting nicotine, moderating alcohol consumption and preventing STDs. Mental health is also vital in maintaining adequate stress levels that result in the inhibition in hemoglobin access and a hormone decline.
Finally, the proper intake of various foods can help the sperm count. The following foods are indicative of assisting in the healthy formation of sperm. Eggs have an abundant amount of protein. They also protect the sperm from free radical damage and improve motility.
Spinach: It is an excellent source of folic acid, which helps in healthy development of sperms and reducing abnormal sperms in semen.
Bananas: Vitamins A, B1, and C in bananas help the body produce healthier sperm cells. They also contain bromelain, a rare enzyme that prevents inflammation and boosts sperm quality and count.
Dark chocolate: Loaded with an amino acid named L-arginine HCl, dark chocolate is proven to contribute to higher sperm counts and volume.
Walnuts: Healthy fat is required for the production of the cell membrane for sperm cells, and omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts promote blood flow to the testicles.
Pumpkin seeds: Phytosterols in them boost testosterone production, while omega-3 fatty acids improve blood circulation and semen volume.
Zinc-rich foods: Foods such as barley, beans and red meat are rich in zinc, aiding in increased higher sperm count. Deficiency of zinc can even lead to a decrease in sperm motility.
Pomegranates: They boost sperm count and semen quality, and are full of antioxidants that fight free radicals. Tomatoes contain vitamin C and a substantial amount of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant beneficial for male fertility.