Pass the carrots, tomatoes, beer and peanut oil lube, please!
Remember when we broke your guy's heart when we told you that some of his favorite things, from eating bacon to watching TV, are harming his fertility? Well, we're ready to talk more about his sperm—but this time we're bringing you good news!
Just like his lifestyle can harm his sperm production, simple changes can also increase it. The most recent study even found that drinking a pint of beer a day doubles a man's odds of becoming a father.
Below, we count down the simple foods and activities that help improve your man's chance at becoming a dad.
1. Drinking Beer, Daily
In a recent study, researchers from Boston studied 105 men whose wives and girlfriends were undergoing IVF, and there's great news for beer lovers. The men who drank the most (meaning they knocked back under three units a day on average—a pint of Stella Artois has 2.7 units) had a 57 percent chance that a session of IVF would work. This was 2X the success rate of the men who drank the least. More reasons to get your butt to happy hour, fellas.
2. Eating Nuts
If your guy munches on trailmix, you're in luck, ladies. Italian doctors at Azienda Ospedaliera Citta della Salute e della Scienza di Torino believe eating nuts, seven per day to be exact, will help improve his sperm count and quality since polyunsaturated fatty acids have been shown to have a number of effects that help, including reducing inflammation.
3. Eating Greens
Scientists say it's not just women who need to pay attention to what they eat pre-conception. A new study published in the Nature Communications, suggests that lack of folic acid, which is form of vitamin B that is known to be key in the prevention of brain and spine defects, can make subtle changes to the chemistry of the sperm's DNA. Researchers advise prospective fathers to cut back on junk food and load up on greens, which are good sources of folic acid. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, asparagus and peas can all improve sperm quality and reduce the risk of birth defects.
4. Eating Carrots
Did he finish all the carrots again? Even if he ate the entire bag just so he could dig into that amazing hummus you always by, the orange veggie makes a much better game day snack for your man than chips or buffalo wings. Aside from their nutritional value, the beta-carotene-rich food improves the swimming ability of sperm. A new study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility discovered that men who ate the most carrots had the best sperm motility.
Need some inspiration to keep him munching on the root veggie? Meet carrot aficionado @RealCarrotFacts, a Twitter user who posts about carrots daily, and someone who we suspect has ideal swimmers.
5. Eating Tomatoes
Throw it on his sandwiches, salads, maybe even with that hummus. There's plenty reasons to keep those beefsteak, plum and heirlooms coming, but did you know better sperm morphology was one? According to the study, men with diets high in lycopene had lower levels of abnormally shaped sperm. In addition to tomatoes, lycopene can be found in other red fruit and vegetables, such as red bell peppers, watermelon and papayas. Go red or go home.
6. Having Sex Frequently
Rejoice! Here's one he'll keep doing even without the science to persuade him. A lot of couples think "saving up" will help chances of conceiving, but researchers say it can actually have adverse effects on sperm count and motility.
For guys with low sperm counts, abstaining from even one day of sex can decrease their production even further, according to researchers at Soroka University Medical Centre in Israel. Abstaining from sex also causes sperm to change in shape, a sign that the sperm is going stale. Stale sperm? No thanks. Keep it going, folks.
7. Eating Fish
Listen, cod is no bacon — we all know that. But when it comes to increasing his chances of becoming a father, cod's the winner. In a recent study where Harvard University researchers assessed men who ate a range of foods including processed meat, white meat, red meat, white fish and tuna or salmon, they discovered that guys who had white fish at least every other day had far better sperm quality than those who rarely ate it. White fish is rich in zinc, which is believed to boost fertility.
8. Trying A Different Lube
Use lube in the bedroom? With all that sex you're having after seeing #3 above, the answer is probably yes. If you're trying to get pregnant, use lubes that don't have spermicidal agents or water-based lubricants, which can interfere with sperm movement. Instead, Mayo Clinic recommends using canola oil, safflower or peanut oil when you're getting busy.
We all know it's important to exercise, but for your guy, a more balanced, moderate lifestyle is best for his sperm. This may be good or bad news, depending on how much of a gym rat your dude is and what type of exercise he prefers. More active males have more sperm and more active ones, but according to Mayo Clinic, ultra-athletes, like runners, cyclists and swimmers, who put strain on their body on a regular basis can interfere with sperm production.
10. Taking Ginseng
Who needs Viagra when you have this magical herb? Not only does it enhance sexual desire, relax muscles and treat erectile dysfunction, but according to the National Institutes of Health, men who take Panax ginseng supplements have higher sperm counts and increased sperm motility.