The healthiest foods for dads-to-be

Healthy diet for dads-to-be

Apart from investing in a few foods with aphrodisiac qualities, Dads-to-be should also make sure they are eating nutritiously prior to conception. This is because there is a direct link between what you eat and the quality of your sperm.

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What to eat

Zinc and folic acid have both been found to help boost sperm count because they are essential to the creation of both DNA and sperm. You can buy both supplements at most pharmacies or health food shops.

Brazil Nuts

are rich in Selenium, a mineral which boosts sperm production and improves their swimming ability. Research shows that tomatoes contain lycopene, a nutrient which helps produce healthy, agile sperm.

Vitamin C

has been found to assist in the making of properly functioning sperm, and stops them from clumping together. About 1,000 mg of Vitamin C a day is enough.

Go Organic

Declining sperm counts have been linked to hormone-like chemical pollutants like pesticides present in the food we eat. By going organic you can reduce your exposure to these fertility-zapping chemicals.

What to avoid

  • Smoking has been linked to low sperm count and to sperm who have a sluggish mobility. Long-term use of Marijuana results in low sperm count and sperm that exhibit abnormal development. It can temporarily reduce the number of quality sperm by 50 per cent.
  • Cocaine, heroin and ecstasy have all been shown to have dramatic effects on your fertility. Typical problems men can experience whilst using these drugs are a reduced libido, abnormally shaped sperm, and low sperm count.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption damages the intricate plumbing system of the male reproductive system. It can harm your liver function, raise oestrogen levels and interfere with sperm development and hormone levels. Alcohol can also deplete the sperm generating cells in the testicles so if you drink heavily, now is the time to give up.
  • Ease up on exercise Men who exercise excessively can reduce their sperm count due to the heat that builds up in their testicles. (this is also true for cycling)
  • Tight underwear or tight trousers have both been associated with poor sperm count because in order for the testes to produce a sufficient quality of sperm, the temperature of the testes has to be lower than the core body temperature.


It is very important for men to eat a nutritious diet prior to conception, and try to cut out the fast food and sugary snacks. Think, your partner will have to cut out alcohol, and most of the food she enjoys once she is pregnant, so the least you can do is give up a few of the key fertility sapping ingredients for a few months before the pregnancy begins.

Try to include white meat (turkey or chicken, no skin), fish, veal, beef and tuna into your diet. Roughly two portions a day.

Complex carbohydrates: whole grain pasta, bread and oatmeal, potatoes, rice and cereals all contain vitamins and minerals which help encourage the flow of reproductive hormones.

A calcium-rich diet will help the functioning of your reproductive system. Try milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, broccoli and sardines.

Fruits and vegetables It is very important to get your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, not only when you are trying to conceive but for your general health and well-being.

Liquid It is essential you keep your body well hydrated as this helps to keep your energy levels high. The recommended daily intake of water is 1.2 litres, or 2.5 pints. (About 8 glasses of water). Don’t forget that vegetables , milk and many other foods also contain water.

Have a look at our Healthy diet for Mums-to-be, and also look in our Recipe section for ideas and tips on healthy eating.

The information in this feature is intended for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your health, the health of your child or the health of someone you know, please consult with a doctor or other healthcare professional.


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