Today, we often forget (or ignore) how food affects our health. Food is fuel and there is something to the adage, “you are what you eat.” Our food provides important vitamins, minerals and nutrients which are needed for our bodily processes to work correctly. Food intake has been linked to chronic diseases such as obesity, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Could it be linked to testicular function as well?
A new study at Harvard University found that men who consumed a Western diet higher in fats, junk food, and processed foods had lower sperm counts than those who ate a Mediterranean diet consisting of fruits, vegetables and lean protein. A CNN article, Junk food loving young men have lower sperm counts than healthier eaters, provides more detail.
This has large implications for infertility, which has been rising over the last few decades. While eating a healthy diet is not a cure for sperm count and function, it does make us think twice about what we ingest daily. While many of us lead busy, stressful lives and feel that there isn’t time to prepare healthful meals, we need to reprioritize the importance of what we feed ourselves. Eat a diet filled with vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and some fruit. Avoid sugar, processed foods and fast foods, and drink plenty of water. Follow this diet prescription and future generations may thank you for it!