Preconception nutrition is as crucial for women as it is for men of reproductive age. To a certain degree, the woman has a continuous influence on fetal development and thus, could attempt lifestyle and nutrition changes to improve pregnancy outcomes. The man, however, has limited chances of altering any part of fetal development once it is formed. For this reason, it is critical for men to ensure optimum health status prior to conception for quality sperm production.  Good nutrition is one way of achieving this.

Research suggests that men with adequate intake of nutrients have an overall better sperm quality. Poor sperm quality could result in difficulty getting pregnant and increased risks of miscarriages.

Micronutrients; selenium and zinc are very essential for sperm production and development as well as increasing testosterone levels to reduce the incidence of low sperm count. RDA for selenium is 55mcg and for zinc is 11mg for men of reproductive age.

Nuts are rich sources of both selenium and zinc. They are nutrient-dense and contain several micronutrients including magnesium, calcium, copper, phosphorus and potassium. Their nutrient profile allows for general good nutrition when consumed in adequate amounts daily.

Ways of including nuts in daily meals

  • Adding them to breakfast cereals, porridges and oatmeal
  • Eating them as healthy snacks
  • Adding them smoothies and yoghurts
  • Add nuts as salad toppings
  • Add nuts to fruit mix
  • Add whole to breads, pancakes and waffles for crunchiness
  • Make as paste and use as spread for breads and crackers

By Ansaba

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