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Foods That Enhance Male Fertility: A Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Perspective

From a Chinese medicine perspective foods and herbs are prescribed based on their ability to enhance specific energy systems in the body. Although your ultimate goal is to increase sexual vitality, sperm production and quality, making significant changes to your diet will also dramatically improve your overall health creating a natural balance in the body. There are multiple causes for male infertility, most of which respond well to dietary changes and TCM.

One of the main causes of male infertility is Kidney energy deficiency. This does not refer directly to how your kidney organ is functioning but rather to your meridian or energy system. The kidney system is important because it is the foundation of yin and yang for all of your other organs. Kidney yin is the fundamental substance for birth, growth and reproduction and kidney yang is the motive force of all physiological processes.

Kidney meridian weakness can be caused by a multitude of activities including, too much sexual activity, over consumption of food and alcohol, drug abuse, overwork, unmanageable levels of stress and lack of nourishing foods. Some common signs of kidney meridian dysfunction are moodiness, rapid body temperature changes, low back and chronic knee pain, ringing in ears, fatigue, premature hair loss, low sex drive and infertility. Because the kidney system is the foundation of energy it is always beneficial to support this meridian.

Foods that improve your kidney energy, therefore enhancing your fertility, include:

Anchovy

Chicken

Eggs

Fish

Fish oils

Ghee

Kidneys

Liver

Mussels

Oysters

Salmon

Sardines

Trout

It is important that the foods you consume are free range, wild or organically raised to minimize your risk of exposure to hormones, antibiotics and pesticides.

Also incorporate these plant-based foods to enhance fertility:

Avocados

Brussels sprouts

Carrots

Leafy greens

Sprouts Barley

Black beans

Black soybeans

Other Legumes

Millet

Mung beans

Whole grains

Almonds

Black sesame seeds

Chestnuts

Coconut

Flax seeds

Flaxseed oil

Pumpkin seeds

Walnuts

Honey (sparingly)

Mulberries

Raspberries

Barley grass

Chlorella

Kelp

Kombu

Micro algae

Nettles

Sea salt

Wakame

Wheat grass

All food is best consumed fresh and unprocessed, i.e. not out of a can, jar or box. Please visit www.mytcm.ca for recipe ideas and ways to integrate these foods into vegan, vegetarian and whole food diets.

Foods that harm the reproductive system include:

Alcohol

Cold and raw foods

Excess rich foods

Foods that you find difficult to digest

Juices

Peanuts

Processed foods

Spicy-hot foods

Sugar

Too much salt

Common daily activities that should be avoided when trying to conceive:

Car seat warmers

Drugs

Hot baths

Hot computers on the lap

Hot tubs

Late night eating

Microwave ovens

Overeating

Saunas

Smoking

Remember, it takes three months for your body to produce mature sperm. During this time acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine used in tandem with diet and lifestyle can successfully create balance and enhance fertility.

Dr. Jeda Boughton is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and director of BodaHealth in Vancouver, B.C. www.bodahealth.ca.