Your daily intake of antioxidants can influence your fertility. All metabolic processes in the body produce free radicals and antioxidants are required to prevent overwhelming oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is implicated in damaging the DNA of sperm, affecting oocyte (egg) quality and hindering the process of embryo implantation. If you can increase your intake of natural antioxidants this is a great tool to give your fertility a boost.
Antioxidants include vitamins such as Vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene and phytochemicals which are natural plant compounds. It seems that antioxidant supplements do not offer the same health benefits as antioxidants in foods and indeed, high doses of some antioxidants e.g. Vitamin E supplements may actually increase the risk of heart disease, while high doses of supplemental Vitamin C can impair adaptations from aerobic training. Enjoying a wide variety of healthy foods is the best way to get your antioxidants.
Boosting Your Antioxidant Intake
• Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and dairy products every day.
• Eat lots of different fruits and vegetables each day to ensure a variety of minerals and vitamins.
• Include plenty of nuts, seeds and legumes (lentils, dried beans, chick peas).
• Steam, stir fry or microwave vegetables using a small amount of water to prevent antioxidant loss in the cooking process.
• Drink cocoa made from raw cocoa powder which has more antioxidant power than dark chocolate.