10 Foods That Can Increase Sperm Count and Motility Fast
If you’re wondering how to increase sperm count and motility by food, then you’ve come to the right place.
Approximately half of all cases of infertility are caused by men with the most notable issues being decreased sperm count and motility. Fortunately, men are constantly producing new sperm, and many of the issues that cause poor sperm health can be improved by eating foods that increase sperm count and motility and avoiding food and other behaviors known to harm sperm health.
Sperm health matters whether you’re trying to conceive naturally or with the help of fertility treatments like IUI (aka artificial insemination), IVF, or even Donor Egg IVF; so listen up, as this article will cover 10 of the top foods that increase sperm count and motility fast.
Beef: Loaded with Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin B 12, and Carnitine for Sperm Count and Motility
Beef is one of many foods that can support healthy sperm count and motility. It is loaded with all sorts of important nutrients for motility, sperm development, and overall sperm health, including zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, carnitine, and more.
|1 lb Ribeye Steak||Amount|
|Vitamin B12||6.4 mcg||56%|
The benefits of zinc for sperm quality are well documented, and zinc is one of the nutrients found at its highest concentration in beef. Zinc has been shown to improve many aspects of male fertility, including sperm count, motility, morphology, and more. Research has shown that zinc is found at a higher concentration in human seminal plasma compared to any other human tissue.
The results of a systematic review and meta-analysis on zinc and its relationship to male fertility showed that getting more zinc can significantly increase sperm volume, motility, and percentage of normal sperm morphology. Many other studies have produced similar findings and found that zinc can improve several aspects of male fertility.
Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALC), also known as carnitine, plays a pivotal role in the maturation of sperm. Most of the research surrounding carnitine indicates it is most effective at improving sperm motility, but it can also help to improve sperm morphology and overall male fertility.
So if you’re wondering how to increase sperm count and motility by food, the best place to start is likely a nice juicy steak.
Liver – Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Folate
Liver is a premium source of many different vitamins that have been shown to play a crucial role in supporting male fertility, like vitamins A and B12, folate, and Co Q10.
|3.5 oz Liver||Amount||%DV|
|Vitamin A||14196 IU||285%|
|Vitamin B12||49.8 mcg||831%|
|Co Q10||4.5 mg||–|
Co Q10 is beneficial for men suffering from infertility issues, particularly asthenozoospermia (poor sperm motility.) Co-Q10 can help to improve several semen parameters, including; sperm concentration, count, and motility. That said, 4.5 mg of CoQ10 is much less than the recommended dosage of CoQ10 for Fertility so you may want to consider a male fertility supplement.
Still, the Vitamin B, B12, Folate, and Protein content of liver makes it one of the best foods to boost sperm count and other aspects of sperm health.
Salmon + Sardines- Omega 3
Salmon and sardines are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to provide a laundry list of health benefits like lowering blood pressure, reducing the development of plaque in arteries, and many more.
|Food||Amount of Omega 3s||%DV||Amount of Vitamin B12||%DV|
|Salmon (1/2 filet 198g)||3996 mg||–||6.3 mcg||105%|
|Sardines (1 cup)||2205 mg||–||13.3 mcg||222%|
Omega 3s are one of the best 10 vitamins and supplements to increase sperm count. They play a vital role in the structure and formation of sperm cells and all other cells. Consuming omega 3s can help to improve sperm motility, morphology and enhance sperm count.
All this makes fatty fish like Salmon and Sardines some of the top foods that boost sperm count and motility.
Oysters – Zinc, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Selenium
We mentioned zinc content as one of the reasons beef is the number one food to boost sperm count, but there’s no doubt that when it comes to zinc alone, Oysters are king. Oysters contain the greatest amount of zinc of any food on this list, but they are also an excellent source of vitamin B 12, Vitamin D, and Selenium. This combo makes oysters one of the top foods for boosting sperm count and motility.
|Oysters (6 medium)||Amount||%DV|
|Vitamin B 12||16.3 mcg||272%|
|Vitamin D||269 IU||67%|
Since vitamin B12 plays an important role in sperm development, especially DNA synthesis, it makes sense that B12 improves the DNA integrity of sperm. Another study on vitamin B12 showed that in addition to improving motility, B12 can also help to improve sperm vitality.
Vitamin D and fertility are closely linked. The vitamin D receptor (VDR) and vitamin D metabolizing enzymes are found in male reproductive tissues. Unfortunately, low vitamin D status has been associated with low semen quality. This is likely due to the influence that vitamin D has on the testis. Vitamin D directly affects hormone production and the development of sperm.
In addition to vitamins B12 and D, oysters also contain a high concentration of selenium which has been shown to improve several aspects of male fertility.
Brazil Nuts, Tuna, Beef, Pork – Selenium
While you may have never heard of brazil nuts, they are an excellent source of selenium. Selenium is fundamental to human health and is involved in many bodily processes including, proper immune system function, the production of active thyroid hormone, and sperm motility.
If Brazil nuts are hard to come by for you, selenium can also be found at high concentrations in tuna, different sources of beef and pork.
|Brazil Nuts (1 nut)||68-91 mcg||123%-165%|
|Tuna (3 oz)||92 mcg||167%|
|Bottom Round Beef Steak||33 mcg||60%|
|Pork (3 oz)||33 mcg||60%|
In one study, researchers measured the effects of selenium on infertile men. After selenium treatment, 52.6% of participants experienced an increase in sperm motility and morphology. Over 10% of participants in the study achieved spontaneous pregnancy with their partners. Several other studies have produced similar results in support of selenium for improving sperm parameters. Studies show that consuming more vitamin C can increase blood antioxidant levels up to 30% which reduces cellular damage.
In one study, men who received 2,000mg of vitamin C per day for 2 months showed substantial increases in their sperm count and motility.
As you can see from the figure above, vitamin C supplementation caused the men in the studies’ sperm counts to more than double.
Although the fruits mentioned in this section are packed with vitamin C, and make it onto our list of foods that boost sperm count and motility it can be near impossible to achieve appropriate vitamin C levels through diet alone without risking toxic levels of sugar. Sugar as you likely know is bad for many areas of health and can actually be quite detrimental to sperm health.
As such, we recommend supplementing your diet with male fertility supplements.
Tomatoes – Lycopene, Vitamin C
Tomatoes are another good source of vitamin C, but they also contain a substantial amount of the plant nutrient lycopene. Lycopene is what gives many different fruits their red color. It is known to be a powerful antioxidant with several positive effects on male fertility.
|Tomato (1 medium)||Amount||%DV|
|Vitamin C||22.9 mg||38%|
In one study, researchers found that consuming 4 mg of lycopene daily (the amount found in a medium-sized tomato) improved men’s sperm counts by on average 22 million/ml, their motility by 25%, and morphology 10%. Other studies have confirmed these findings and shown support for lycopene improving male fertility.
That makes tomatoes one key food that helps boost sperm count and more.
Walnuts – Omega 3, Folate, B6, Zinc, Antioxidants
Walnuts contain multiple beneficial nutrients already mentioned in this article and also that haven’t been discussed yet. Two B vitamins that are particularly supportive of male fertility and sperm quality are folate and B6.
|Walnuts (1 cup)||Amount||%DV|
|Omega 3||10,623 mg||–|
Like some of the other nutrients previously mentioned, folate is essential for male fertility and plays an important role in spermatogenesis. During sperm development, sperm DNA undergoes multiple replications. Folate is required for proper DNA synthesis and replication.
Vitamin B6 is growing in popularity in the fertility field. Evidence suggests that B6 plays an important role in maintaining normal sperm parameters. In one study, men with diminished sperm motility were found to have lower seminal plasma B6 when compared to men with normal sperm motility.
And that’s four reasons this yummy food increases sperm count.
Garlic – A Surprise Food to Increase Sperm Count
Garlic contains significant amounts of several vitamins and nutrients mentioned in this article, but garlic as a whole has been found to have positive effects on male fertility.
|Garlic (1 cup)||Amount||%DV|
|Vitamin C||42.4 mg||71%|
|Vitamin B6||1.7 mg||84%|
Likely due to its antioxidant properties, garlic has been found to improve sperm production and testosterone levels. Although additional studies are required to confirm the efficacy of using garlic to improve other aspects of male fertility, evidence suggests that garlic may also protect against damage to sperm production and testosterone levels caused by chemotherapy treatments.
Next time you’re looking too cook a meal with foods that increase sperm count, throw in some extra garlic.
Amla Berry (Indian Gooseberries)
Similar to garlic, amla berries in whole have been shown to positively impact sperm quality and male fertility. Amla berries are known as super antioxidants. In a review of 119 different berries, amla berries were one of thirteen berries categorized as having the highest antioxidant capacity.
A significant amount of research exists in support of antioxidants’ ability to improve male fertility, especially sperm quality. Antioxidants shield our organs and cells, including those involved in spermatogenesis and other male fertility processes, from harmful reactive oxygen species.
Alma berries may be a tad bit hard to find, but due to their high antioxidant levels they deserve a spot on our list of foods that boost sperm count and motility.
Avoid These Foods to Increase Sperm Count or Motility
As there are foods you can eat to improve sperm count and motility, there are also foods you should avoid.
Research shows that eating processed meats may reduce a man’s ability to fertilize an egg. Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health tracked the diets of 141 men undergoing IVF treatment with their female partner. A link was established between frequent processed meat consumption and lower fertilization rates. Men from the study who ate the least amount of processed meats had a 28% better chance of achieving pregnancy compared to to men who ate the most processed meats.
When you’re trying to increase sperm count by food, you should steer clear of fried foods.
Fried foods contain high levels of trans-fat, and trans-fat can be extremely harmful to male fertility. Studies have shown that eating fried foods 1-2 times per week can decrease sperm counts by an average of 10.5% and sperm concentrations by 13.7%. Eating fried food 3 or more times per week can decrease sperm counts by an average of 24.5% and sperm concentrations by 17.2%.
Soy products contain xenoestrogens called phytoestrogens which are known to harm sperm. Phytoestrogens can reduce sperm concentration. Other studies agree with these findings and show that a higher intake of soy is associated with lower sperm concentration. The results of these studies have been published and discussed in the Harvard Health Publishing
Everything in moderation. It’s a wonderful adage, especially when it comes to alcohol and fertility health. Studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption doesn’t have a significant impact on fertility. On the other hand, many studies exist showing that the fertility of alcoholic men suffers greatly.
One study, in particular, focused on the difference in sperm quality between alcoholic and non-alcoholic men. Researchers concluded that decreased semen quality is linked to increased alcohol consumption. A meta-analysis of 15 studies on alcohol and its effects on male fertility found that daily alcohol consumption had a consistently negative impact on sperm morphology and volume
The Bottom Line on Foods That Increase Sperm Count and Motility
There are many foods that increase sperm count, motility, and overall sperm health. Eating these specific foods and avoiding others are easy ways to improve your natural fertility and the chance of getting pregnant.
That said, even when consuming a great diet with all of the food listed above, it can be difficult to get all of the nutrients you need in proper amounts and impossible to get nutrients like CoQ10, PQQ, and Ashwagandha.
Because these hard to get nutrients are even better than many of the foods in this article, our experts recommend that men take a high-quality male fertility supplement to ensure they are achieving appropriate levels of the nutrients mentioned in this article and the many others vitamins, minerals, biomolecules, and herbs that have been shown to provide the ultimate increase in male fertility.