If you’re looking for a natural, inexpensive way of boosting sperm quality and overall fertility, the answer may lie within…tomatoes?
Recent studies have shown that lycopene, a natural, plant-derived carotenoid pigment that provides the red color of tomatoes, watermelon and other fruits, contains powerful antioxidants that protect the body’s cells—including sperm. Lycopene acts to prevent free radicals from attaching to and harming our cells, which in turn can help increase sperm count and improve the body’s overall immune system. On the flip side, men who consume low amounts of lycopene tend to have lower overall sperm quality.
According to Life Extension magazine, one study showed that after being given two milligrams of lycopene twice daily, male subjects with impaired fertility showed improved sperm concentration, improved motility and improved numbers of normal sperm forms. Furthermore, 23 percent of the subjects achieved fatherhood.
Found mostly in sun-ripened tomatoes, lycopene can be consumed through processed tomato products (contains the highest amount of lycopene), pink grapefruits, watermelons, apricots, guavas, papayas and rose hips. Canned tomatoes used to make pasta or pizza sauce, as well as ketchup, may be your best bet in consuming a larger amount of lycopene in one sitting. In terms of manufactured options, lycopene is mostly available in capsule and softgel form, with dosage guidelines from manufacturers ranging from 10-30 mg twice daily. Multivitamin and multimineral products are also available.