Avoid these 5 Foods That Will Hurt Male Fertility

Men always worry about the sperm that they are producing when trying to impregnate their women and sometimes they forget that the sperm quality is just as important to fertility.

This has caused about fifteen percent of couples to have problems when they are having unprotected sex for a year or more without conceiving a child.

If you don’t know this, nutrition will have a direct impact on the sperm’s potency, so there are some foods that you should avoid if you want to get pregnant. Read on further to know about 5 foods that will hurt male fertility.

There are several factors that could cause male infertility including the blockage, motility, and production of sperm. For a long time now, excessive use of tobacco and alcohol has been linked to decreasing sperm production as well as damage its quality, but other environmental and behavioral factors could affect a man’s ability to produce viable sperms.

For instance, the food that a man eats throughout the preconception stage will be just as important as what the woman eats, especially when fertility issues are involved.

Here are some of the important reasons why men should maintain a healthy fertility diet:

Encourage good sperm health: A healthy, nutrient rich diet will help to prevent sperm damage and promote sperm health. Zinc, Vitamin C, selenium, and many other nutrients can help to increase sperm mobility, motility, and health.[1]

Protect and promote healthy DNA: Sperm is responsible for making half of the child, so it’s important to have healthy DNA. There are certain nutritional deficiencies and chemicals that could damage the DNA, whilst healthy foods with DNA protecting nutrients and antioxidants will aid in reversing the damage caused by smoking, alcohol, chemicals, and pesticides.

Avoid These 5 Foods That Will Hurt Male Fertility

1. Processed meats: Most men love meat, but eating the wrong kind could compromise your sperm quality. Studies[2] show that men who consume a lot of processed meat, such as hamburgers, bacon, bologna, salami, and hot dogs, will have twenty-three percent less sperm than those who eat smaller amounts.

This is possible because the processed meats have more hormonal residues which could potentially affect the reproductive system.

milk dairy2. Full-fat dairy: If you drink whole milk, you could have just a portion of the healthy sperm that you should have.

Those who have at least two servings of the full-fat dairy such as whole milk and cheese daily—especially young males—have much less motile sperm.

3. High mercury fish: Both men and women can be affected by the mercury in some fish. This substance will damage the omega-3 in the body and lower fertility.

Some of the fish with the highest mercury content include king mackerel, swordfish, shark, tuna steak, and tilefish. You should avoid these and have seafood such as shellfish that is rich in zinc, and salmon that is rich in omega-3.

drink_alcohol4. Caffeinated beverages and alcohol: Studies has shown that excess amounts of alcohol and coffee or energy drinks and tea can seriously lower sperm count to ultimately affect male fertility.

If you are drinking alcohol on a regular basis and your diet is very poor this can lower your sperm quantity and quality to make conception even more difficult. This happens because copious amounts of alcoholic drinks can result in total body oxidative stress—a key cause of infertility in males.

Alcohol will not have any effect on the quality of your semen, so if you are a drinker you should limit your intake to one or two drinks daily. When caffeine is present in drinks it can cause damage to your reproductive cells. If you can’t do without your favorite brew, you should limit your caffeine intake to two cups daily.

5. Soda: A study shows that regular drinking of sugar-sweetened drinks or beverages—a little more than one serving each day—is connected to poorer sperm motility. If you are drinking sugary beverages, including soda, sweet tea or sports drinks, your insulin resistance can increase and this will in turn result in oxidative stress than could damage your sperm.

Another thing to avoid is junk foods which are not only harmful to the digestive system or heart, but to male fertility as well. These foods are full of fats and various other harmful nutrients. Your sperm cells are not able to grow when you eat junk foods, so it’s best to avoid them completely.

Illicit drugs are also dangerous anti-nutrients which disturb fertility because they lower the sperm count. In addition to those, you should avoid anabolic steroids because they can shrink your testicles’ size and affect male fertility.

Overall, infertility is almost as much a man’s problem as a woman’s with around a third of the fertility issues linked to men. For this reason, you need to eat healthy foods to increase your chances of getting pregnant.


  1. https://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/news/20020320/supplements-boost-sperm-count
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4056648/
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