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Infertility is described as the inability to conceive even after 12 months of regular unprotected intercourse without contraception. Around 20% cases of infertility are caused due to a problem in men, while about 40-50% cases of infertility are caused due to a problem in women and around 30-40% cases of infertility are caused due to problems in both men and women. In most cases, our present lifestyle is held as the chief cause of infertility. Stress is one of the most important causes of infertility among women.
Major Causes of Infertility in Both Men and Women
Infertility can be caused by a variety of diseases and medical conditions and one in every six couples have a form of infertility during their reproductive lifetime.
- Heavy use of alcohol affects both the generation of sperm and ovulation, thus increases the chance of infertility.
- Smoking reduces a couple’s chance of conceiving. Men who smoke cigarettes usually have low sperm counts and poor sperm motility. Women who smoke can suffer from reduced ovarian reserve and chromosomal abnormalities.
- In a man, stress reduces his sperm count and in case of girls, it may cause her period to be irregular.
- Excessive body weight lowers the chances of a woman’s pregnancy and at the same time increases the risk of developing abnormal sperm in men.
- Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea may affect both male and female fertility. They can cause serious damage to a woman’s reproductive system and inflame the scrotum in men.
5 Male Fertility Boosting Foods
Male infertility is described as a male’s inability to cause pregnancy in a fertile female. One of the most important reasons for male infertility is low sperm production. Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes can help boost male fertility.
A perfect fertility diet should include Quinoa. It is a grain crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal as it is not a member of the true grass family. It is a great source of iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E, fiber and folate. According to researchers, both folate and vitamin B12 are transferred from the blood into male reproductive organs and the concentration of B12 strongly parallels sperm concentration.
Vitamin E increases sperm health and motility. Vitamin E helps to neutralize the oxidant effect of free radicals that damage collagen and it is the main reason of wrinkles, fine lines and skin dryness. Vitamin E reduces the chain reaction of free radicals.
Broccoli is one of the most important fertility foods. It is an edible green plant which belongs to the cabbage family. It is a great source of Vitamin C, calcium, Vitamin K, omega 3 fatty acids and glucosinolates. It reduces the risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, allergy reaction and inflammation as well. The presence of calcium and Vitamin K improves bone health and prevents osteoporosis.
It is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to help fertility by helping regulate hormones in the body. It is important to note that we can get Omega 3 fatty acids by eating fishes like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon. To gain all the benefits of Omega 3 Fatty acids, we should consume fish and fish oil twice a week.
An ideal fertility diet should include red capsicum which is rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and Vitamin A. Antioxidants are chemicals that transfer electrons or hydrogen from a substance to an oxidizing agent and they can prevent or slow cell damage. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is needed for the healthy production of sperm.
It can also increase count and motility of sperm and reduce clumping of sperm. Other sources of Vitamin C include rosehips, cherries, sprouted alfalfa seeds, cantaloupe, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, black currants, mangos, grapes, kiwi fruit, pineapples, asparagus, peas, potatoes, parsley, watercress, and spinach.
Ginger is one of the best known foods to increase fertility in men. It is a great source of Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese. Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body. It has been proven that regular intake of ginger tea increases a man’s sperm count.
Manganese reduces the risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease and infertility. Other sources of manganese include whole grains, green leafy veggies, carrots, broccoli, ginger, legumes, nuts, pineapples and eggs.
Infertility treatment should include snacks like pumpkin seeds in the daily diet. Pumpkin seeds are a very good source of phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron and protein. Zinc is important for the cell division and the production of healthy sperm. It is the most critical trace mineral for male sexual function.
It is needed for testosterone metabolism, testicle growth, sperm production, motility, count, reducing excess estrogen in male reproductive tissue. Other sources of zinc include fish, seafood, chicken, eggs, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and oats.
5 Female Fertility Boosting Foods
Difficulties in ovulation are one of the most common reasons for female infertility. Infertility in women can be caused by hormonal imbalance, failure of the ovary to produces eggs and damaged ovaries.
An almond is the seed of the fruit of the almond tree. It is a great source of Vitamin E, manganese, copper, Vitamin B2, phosphorous, magnesium, fiber and biotin. It prevents cancer, reduces the risk of heart attack and lowers the level of cholesterol too.
Vitamin E helps prevent egg defects and improves overall egg health. It has been proven that it reduces the chances of birth defects and miscarriage. According to researchers, Vitamin E can lengthen the luteal phase of the cycle as well. The luteal phase is the latter phase of the menstrual cycle.
Egg is one of the best known foods to increase fertility in women. Eggs are rich in Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, calcium, folate, phosphorous and selenium. They provide the best quality protein, protect our bones and promote healthy hair and nails.
Vitamin D controls the genes involved in making estrogen. Estrogens are hormones that are important for sexual and reproductive development, mainly in women. They are also known as female sex hormones.
Asparagus is a spring vegetable that is a great source of Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, magnesium, zinc, fiber, selenium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin B6, iron, copper and manganese. It helps immensely to nourish the ovum and increases a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. Use of asparagus during pregnancy decreases the chances of miscarriages and birth defects in the baby.
Vitamin B6 helps increase the levels of progesterone. Progesterone is a steroid hormone secreted by the female reproductive system and it is linked with the female menstrual cycle, pregnancy and embryogenesis.
Tofu is described as a food made by coagulating soy milk. Tofu is a great source of magnesium, iron, Vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin B6, iron, copper, manganese and selenium. It prevents breast and prostrate cancer, and lowers the chances of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
It has been proven that women who do not get sufficient amounts of iron may suffer anovulation (lack of ovulation) and poor egg health, which decreases the chances of pregnancy. An anovulatory cycle is a menstrual cycle during which the ovaries do not release an oocyte. Therefore, ovulation does not take place. Chronic anovulation is one of the common reasons for infertility in women.
Banana is one of the most important foods that increase fertility in women. Banana is a good source of Vitamin B6, Manganese, Vitamin C, Potassium, Dietary Fiber, Protein, Magnesium, Folate, Riboflavin, Niacin, vitamin A and iron. It prevents cancer, asthma and reduces the chances of heart attack and diabetes. Vitamin B6 and potassium play important roles in sex hormone production. Vitamin C is needed to help the body create sex hormones which in turn affects ovulation and hormonal balance. Ovulation is when an egg is released from the ovary and it’s the fertile time of the menstrual cycle.
Include these foods in your fertility diet and don’t worry about the problems of infertility because there are several fertility tests for both men and women through which the problem can be diagnosed easily and treated effectively.
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