Statistics show that conceiving a baby is a problem for approximately one in six couples in Australia, according to The Fertility Society of Australia. So, apart from ample exercise between the bedsheets, what are the fertility ingredients to help conception?
Most people are aware that a healthy lifestyle is key when trying for a baby. There are also many women who may feel a sense of guilt, and think it is their fault when they do not fall pregnant immediately. In fact, according to IVF Australia’s Male Fertility Test, a third of all fertility problems are due to male fertility issues, with men still able to produce poor quality sperm despite being in good overall health.
Here, Stephen Eddey, qualified Nutritionist and Naturopath and Principal of Australia’s longest established natural medicine college, Health Schools Australia, shares five fertility ingredients you may not be aware of that may assist in boosting fertility. “While these foods may assist with his quality of sperm, it’s important to remember that consuming these foods are not guaranteed to improve serious fertility issues – always consult your doctor,” he advises.
“Brazil nuts are a rich source of selenium and selenium is essential for normal sperm production, with the highest concentration being found in the testes,” explains Stephen.
“Men only require around two Brazil nuts per day to achieve their daily intake, or 100- 200 mcg/day if taken in supplement form. Semen is high in selenium and needs to be replenished regularly as a deficiency can cause fragile sperm with easily broken tails.”
“Brazil Nuts are also high in antioxidants and they contain natural cholesterol, which gets converted into testosterone.”
“Zinc is an antimicrobial mineral and one of the most important nutrients for male, as well as female fertility,” explains Stephen. “Foods packed full of zinc include spinach, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, dark chocolate and mushrooms.”
“Zinc also boosts immunity which may help ward off the dreaded ‘man flu’ and assist you and your partner’s energy levels in the bedroom.” Bonus!
Related: 5 Popular Fertility Myths Debunked
“Ubiquinol is a powerful antioxidant which is found naturally in the body, however, it has been indicated that your Ubiquinol levels can decrease over time, suggesting that it has a close relationship with ageing and oxidative stress,” says Stephen. “Now, scientists have discovered that Ubiquinol could be one of the key ingredients in fertility and may help to support healthy sperm. A recent study found that Ubiquinol was significantly effective in men with unexplained infertility issues, for improving sperm numbers, sperm motility and abnormally shaped sperm.”*
“Salmon is a rich source of healthy, omega-3 fats, which can help support female reproductive hormones and blood flow and reduce inflammation in the body; all of which are believed to have a positive effect on fertility,” says Stephen.
“Beetroots are a rich source of folate (different to folic acid) and are believed to help boost male fertility as poor levels of the vitamin (also known as vitamin B9) have been linked to low sperm count and decreased sperm mobility,” explains Stephen. “Beetroots also contain lots of nitrates which have been said to help combat age related infertility.”
ABOUT: Stephen Eddey is a qualified Nutritionist and Naturopath and is the Principal of Australia’s longest established natural medicine college, Health Schools Australia. He has completed a Bachelor of Complementary Medicine as well as a Masters in Health Science and is studying a PhD in Nutritional Medicine.
*Safarinejad, M et al, 2012, Journal of Urology, ‘Effects of the reduced form of coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol) on semen parameters in men with idiopathic infertility: a double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized study’, 188(2):526-31.
Blackmores Conceive Well
For male fertility support, Blackmores Conceive Well Men™ is scientifically formulated, providing an advanced combination of key nutrients to support sperm health including the active form of CoQ10 Ubiquinol.
Co-enzyme Q10 and Ubiquinol are present at high levels in sperm, protect sperm cells from damage and play a role in sperm cell energy production and motility. Ubiquinol is an antioxidant, the active form of co-enzyme Q10. Always read the label. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare practitioner.
Photography by Simona Janek