Many couples trying to conceive focus on the preconception health of the mother-to-be, often ignoring the importance of male preconception health. The health of the expectant father plays a vital role in the future health of his baby. Like their partners, men should eat healthy foods, exercise and drop bad habits such as smoking. Certain vitamins are crucial for men when trying to conceive, and can be gained through a healthful diet and supplements.
Folic acid, also known as folate, helps enhance male fertility, according to WhatTo Expect. In addition, doses of folic acid above 700 mcg have been found to greatly decrease the chances of birth defects. Folic acid is one of the B vitamins, and can be found in spinach, kale, avocados, enriched breads, beans and chick peas. Another B vitamin important in male preconception health is vitamin B12, which increases sperm count, consequently enhancing your chances of conception.
A vitamin-C deficiency will cause sperm to "clump together," notes Fertility Factor. To enhance sperm mobility, consume plenty of foods rich in vitamin C, including oranges, strawberries, grapefruits and other citrus, in addition to many other fruits and vegetables.
WebMD notes research published in Cleveland Clinic's "Urology News," which suggests that free radicals may be to blame for male infertility. Antioxidants like vitamins C and E may "neutralize" this damage, according to WebMD. While WebMD notes that more research is necessary to determine the effectiveness of these vitamins in repairing sperm damage caused by free radicals, these vitamins are not harmful and are vital for overall good health. Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E is plentiful in eggs, poultry, nuts and spinach.
Zinc is necessary in the production of testosterone. Zinc deficiencies can also affect sperm quantity and mobility, according to Fertility Factor. Meats such as beef, pork and chicken are all good sources of zinc, as are whole grains and seafood. Choosing foods rich in zinc and taking a daily multivitamin should provide your body with the zinc it needs to increase your odds of conception. Too much zinc can cause problems, so talk to your doctor before taking additional zinc supplements.
If your sperm count is low, eating plenty of red meat, chicken, whole grains and tuna may help increase your count, according to Fertility Factor. These foods contain selenium, which has been shown to boost sperm count.