A recent study in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility demonstrated that the more processed meats a man consumes — think hot dogs, deli meats and sausages — the less healthy his sperm tends to be. On the contrary, the study found that eating poultry might actually improve sperm health. The research didn’t show why Oscar Meyer wieners might be taking a toll on yours, but I’d put nitrates and preservatives at the top of my list of guesses.
Here are a few more tips I recommend my clients do to clean up their grub:
Choose a plant-based diet.
This is plain and simple. If it’s processed junk from a box or a fast-food restaurant, chuck it. Research has shown that men who eat a diet higher in fruits and vegetables, poultry, fish, and legumes tend to have healthier sperm than those who follow a typical Western diet.
Aim for organic.
Although this is often disregarded because of the increase to our food budgets, going organic is actually really important. A recent Harvard study found that men who ate fruits and veggies with high levels of pesticides had a lower sperm count than those who ate produce with fewer pesticides.
Going organic may be more expensive, but it's cheaper than fertility treatments, right? At the very least, choose organic for the Dirty Dozen list of produce with the most pesticides, such as apples and spinach.
Eat for "Jing."
What’s Jing? In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it's a concept that can be roughly equated with DNA and genes. It’s a "substance" that we inherit from both our parents at the moment of conception, and our job is to nurture and nourish it all our lives, through healthy lifestyles, happiness, and good nutrition.
Sperm is made from pure Jing, so it's believed that eating foods to nourish it will go a long way toward improving sperm parameters. Jing foods include eggs, oysters, liver (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!), bone broth, and bone marrow. Try to incorporate some of these foods into your daily diet.