It’s one of the most common medical problems among young men, it’s a strong predictor of long-term health and longevity and it’s one of the leading causes of infertility, which affects 1 in 6 Australian couples.

Yet could it be reversed by simple dietary changes? New research published in the Oxford Journal of Human Reproduction suggests yes.

Sperm health is something most men think little about until the time comes when they want to start a family. Even then, fertility is often seen as a female domain. Ovulation apps, calculators, saliva tests, temperature charting, there are a myriad of resources to support female in the baby making process yet the male partner, who is the primary cause in 40 – 50% of infertility cases, is often overlooked. New research shed light on how you can improve sperm health through simple dietary changes.

It has long been known that occupational exposure to pesticides has a detrimental effect on semen quality with many men being rendered completely infertile. However even those with little or no obvious exposure may still be at risk.

Dietary exposure to pesticides has increased dramatically over the past 50 years. Even healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables are often exposed to a vast array of chemicals and pesticides. The study revealed reduced semen quality in those in the highest quartile of pesticide exposure related to fruit and vegetable intake.

So minimising your pesticide intake by consuming organic where possible, using the clean 15 and dirty dozen list for choosing the lowest pesticide sources or starting your own veggie patch, could help improve sperm health.