When it comes to pregnancy, figuring out that you want a baby is usually easier than conceiving one! There are many reasons why sperm may not fertilize an egg on the first try. Believe it or not, food choice is one of them. Diets that are heavy in fats are unhealthy for numerous reasons, one of the newest being that they may reduce the quality of sperm, according to the journal Human Reproduction.
Most Fats are Bad - One in Particular Has Fertility Benefits
Researchers from Harvard Medical School recruited approximately 100 men and divided them into three groups according to the amount of fats they consumed.
The team found that high total fat consumption correlated with lower sperm count and concentration. However, not all fats are bad. As a rule of thumb, it's good to avoid saturated and trans fats. But, scientists also found that men who ate more omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish and plant oils, had higher quality sperm compared to men who ate less.
"In the meantime, if men make changes to their diets so as to reduce the amount of saturated fat they eat and increase their omega-3 intake, then this may not only improve their general health, but could improve their reproductive health too," said Jill Attaman, a professor at Harvard Medical School while the research was being conducted.
Attaman also believes that adopting a healthy lifestyle can improve overall wellness and decrease an individual's risk of cardiovascular disease.
Incorporate Omega-3 Fatty Acids into Your Diet
Men who incorporated the most omega-3 fatty acids into their diets were found to have slightly more correctly formed sperm (in regards to biological structure) than men who had the lowest intake. Seafood is one of the richest sources of these healthy fats. In fact, the most recent government dietary guidelines recommend that a minimum of 3.5 ounces of seafood should be consumed per week. If an individual eats 8 ounces, or 250 milligrams, they are less likely to experience a cardiac failure or have heart disease.
If you're not a big fish eater, you can always throw some flaxseed oil, beans, nuts and seeds in a spinach salad and you've got yourself a smorgasbord of omega-3 fatty acids.
Do you know any good recipes for fish or other omega-3 sources that you can share with our readers? Have you and your partner made any adjustments to your diet when trying to conceive? Do you think it positively or negatively impacted your chances? Leave your answers in the comments section!