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Food and sex: What should dads eat to make a baby?

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 29-05-2006

Your diet affects the quality of your sperm. According to research, an inadequate diet in men often hampers conception. Besides, alcohol consumption is also linked to low testosterone levels and, in the case of fathers, to lower birth weight in babies.

To ensure healthy conception, your diet should contain these essentials:

  • Vitamin C and antioxidants: These are important nutrients for healthy sperm production. Your diet should provide you with 90 mg of vitamin C daily, though you’ll need 125 mg if you are a smoker. Orange juice is one of the richest natural sources of vitamin C. Other such good sources include other citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, leafy greens, sweet and white potatoes, and broccoli.
  • Calcium and Vitamin D: The daily requirement is 1,000 mg of calcium and 10 micrograms of Vitamin D. You can get calcium from milk products such as skim milk, and yogurt, almonds, beans, peas, green leafy vegetables, tofu, and soymilk. Cheese, eggs, liver, and salmon are good sources of vitamin D.
  • Folic acid: You need at least 400 micrograms of folic acid (also called vitamin B9 or folate) daily to maintain a healthy sperm count. You can meet this requirement with fortified cereal, leafy vegetables, legumes, and orange juice, or by taking a supplement.
  • Zinc: You need 11 mg of zinc daily to maintain an adequate level of semen and testosterone. Oysters, beans, dark poultry meat, liver, eggs, and whole-grain are rich sources of zinc.