It's common for women to do all the work when it comes to fertility – she's the one carrying the baby, she's the one monitoring her cycle, and she's the one who becomes extra careful about her every move during the process. But plenty of studies out there have found men's diets to be just as important in the process.
According to Dr. Mark Perloe, medical director of Georgia Reproductive Specialists, infertility is a 50/50 issue. Problems with the man's reproductive system account for 30 percent of couples' infertility, while a combination of the problems that affect both men and women together account for another 20 percent.
On the positive side, because new sperm is created every two to three months, it's not hard for a man to turn his health — and his sperm — around with a few changes to his diet.
Vitamins C and E both have antioxidant properties and have the ability to protect the sperm's DNA. Men should up their amounts of citrus, broccoli, potatoes with their skins, strawberries, and liver for vitamin C. For vitamin E, try wheat germ and almonds.
Also, a man needs zinc for healthy testosterone. Because zinc can be damaged when foods are cooked, it's a common deficiency in both men and women. Foods in their raw state like pumpkin seeds, green peas and sesame seeds are good choices.
In some studies, supplementing with L-Carnitine has shown to help normalize sperm motility in men with low sperm quality. The best foods for L-Carnitine are nuts, seeds, and many vegetables, including artichokes, asparagus, beet greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, garlic, mustard greens, okra, and parsley.
And women aren't the only ones who need folic acid. According to a one study, men with a high intake of this vitamin had fewer abnormal sperm. Get folic acid from leafy greens, legumes, orange juice, and asparagus.