Do a 90-day detox
Bet you didn’t know it takes somewhere between 75 and 90 days for sperm to form and mature before shooting out into the world. That means your guy needs to start taking care of his body at least three months before he starts thinking about making babies.
“Have him look at his lifestyle habits,” says RSCBA’s renowned reproductive endocrinologist Carmelo Sgarlata, MD. “You want him to be free of anything that could hinder sperm production. The goal is to have a healthy environment from the start.” Translation: If he only cuts back on drinking, smoking or junk food when you’re ovulating it won’t make much difference, but having him embrace an anti-inflammatory diet and an exercise routine on a daily basis leading up to when you plan to get pregnant will.
It turns out consuming healthy nuts leads to, well, healthy nuts! UCLA researchers studied more than 100 men to investigate the effect of eating walnuts. Three months later, the men’s semen quality was analyzed and showed that those who consumed 2.5 ounces each day had significantly increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
That translated into better sperm vitality, mobility and fewer chromosomal abnormalities. “Eating any type of nut could reduce oxidative stress in your body,” adds Sgarlata. “And, in turn, potentially improve sperm production.”
Make like a Mediterranean
Maintaining a healthy weight ups his chances to fertilize your egg. And while there are many ways to go about dropping pounds, his best bet is to follow the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes plant-based foods including whole grains, greens and nuts as well as fish and poultry. “Consume five to six servings of fruits and veggies every day,” adds Sgarlata.
“Make sure you eat across the color spectrum—from eggplants to strawberries—to get the most antioxidants.” Just check that your produce is low in pesticide residue, which can negatively affect sperm quality. You’ll also want to cut back on processed meats, like bacon. One study showed that men who ate one to three servings per day had worse sperm quality. On the other hand, those who ate fish, especially fatty fish such as salmon, had 34 percent higher sperm count.