Mediterranean Diet Helps Boost Fertility by Improving Men's Sperm Quality, Study Says

Mediterranean Diet Helps Boost Fertility by Improving Men's Sperm Quality, Study Says

It's no secret that the Mediterranean diet is good for you. Studies suggest it can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, lower overall mortality and provides a host of other benefits.

Now, a review by researchers at Monash University, the University of the Sunshine Coast, and the University of South Australia (UniSA) has found that the Mediterranean diet can also work wonders for a man's fertility too.

For those of you that don't know, the Mediterranean diet typically includes foods like whole grains, extra virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts, herbs, and spices, yoghurt and cheese. Lean protein sources such as fish, chicken and eggs are also included, while red and processed meats are only eaten in small amounts.

Researchers found that the anti-inflammatory properties of these foods boosted couples chances of conceiving, increasing sperm quality in men.

‘Deciding to have a baby is one of life's biggest decisions, but if things don't go as planned, it can be very stressful for both partners," said Dr Evangeline Mantzioris, researcher at UniSA.

‘Research shows inflammation can affect fertility for both men and women, affecting sperm quality, menstrual cycles, and implantation. So, in this study we wanted to see how a diet that reduces inflammation – such as the Mediterranean diet – might improve fertility outcomes.

‘Encouragingly, we found consistent evidence that by adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet – one that includes lots of polyunsaturated or 'healthy' fats, flavonoids (such as leafy green vegetables), and a limited amount of red and processed meat – we can improve fertility.’

On the flip side, the typical Western diet comprises of saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, and animal proteins. It can also lack dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals and is associated with higher levels of inflammation.

The review suggests that changing to a diet – such as the Mediterranean diet – that includes more anti-inflammatory foods is one way to increase fertility.

‘Modifying your diet is a non-intrusive and affordable strategy that could potentially improve infertility.

‘Of course, more research needs to be done, but at the very least, shifting to a Mediterranean diet will not only improve your overall health, but also your chances of conceiving.’

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