Men’s sexual health changes as they get older. However, they can, and do father children well into their 70’s. But, impregnating a woman at a later age, at the very least, is a little risky. As males get older the shape and volume of their sperm declines resulting in fewer and slower swimming guys (or girls?), which makes it harder for them to fertilize an egg. The shape of the sperm indicates the quality of the genetic content within that particular piece of DNA. A higher number of misshapen sperm conveys a greater chance of birth defects and abnormalities in a baby. However, if men consume enough vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and folate they increase the amount of healthy sperm produced in the testes by 20%.
According to a study printed in the August 27th, online journal Fertility and Sterility, which was led by scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, men can increase their sperm count and the quality of their swimming DNA. In an analysis of 80 healthy men, ages 22 to 80, the men that ate the most micronutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and folate produced 20% more healthy sperms. Therefore, when you eat a diet high in these micronutrients you can actually turn back the clock on your sperm production. The good news is men who want to have children later in life can do something to ensure that they consummate their mate with healthy sperm and produce a healthy baby.
Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, bell peppers, brussels sprouts (which also have copious amounts of vitamin K), and dark leafy greens. You can find substantial amounts of vitamin E in almonds, sunflower seeds, dried apricots, avocados, leafy greens, and olives. Zinc, a powerful sex vitamin, assists men in making sperm. Foods high in zinc are oysters, salmon, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, garlic, and chick peas. Folate, an essential vitamin in reproductive health in both men and women, increases sperm count in men, and ensures healthy pregnancies in women. Beets along with broccoli, asparagus, citrus fruits, beans and avocado contain a suburb amount of zinc.
The trend of having children later in life has sprung a huge body of studies concentrated on helping people have healthy babies later in life. This choice to hold off on our childbearing years is subjective, but a little planning never hurt anyone.