Foods for Dudes: Get in fertile-fighting shape with these 4 nutrition tips

For all those thinking about fatherhood, here are 4 honest tips from one of our top fertility nutritionists in NYC, Aishling Whelan, RD. 

1. Shed Some Pounds. Studies show that men of normal weight (BMI 20-25) produce more sperm and less abnormal sperm compared with men who are overweight or obese. Regular exercise combined with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein is a good place to start.  

2. Take Your Vitamins. A healthy diet is key for supplying your body with the nutrients it needs to function like the stud that you are. Unfortunately, many healthy diets still don’t supply the appropriate amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, which can put a damper on conception. For increasing your fertility focus on folic acid, vitamin E, vitamin C, and zinc--a standard multivitamin should provide you with sufficient amounts of each nutrient.  

3. Reduce Your Exposure to Pesticides: Eat Organic. There is a growing body of evidence supporting a link between pesticides and reduced sperm concentration as well as other sperm quality factors. One of the ways people are exposed to pesticides is by consuming conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. To stop your swimmers from taking a dive, choose organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. For a list of foods to avoid, check out www.ewg.com for a list of produce with the highest quantity of pesticide residue. (‘The Dirty Dozen’) as well as the conventional produce shown to have the least amounts (‘The Clean Fifteen’). 

4. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake. This just in: Several thousand sperm with promising futures seriously injured in an alcohol related incident! The evidence is pretty clear that excessive alcohol intake can lead to the production of defective sperm. Defective sperm are less capable of fertilizing an egg and conceiving your future genius. When it comes to light or moderate drinking, the research is less clear. So, play it safe by not overdoing it and sticking with the recommended two drinks per day or less.