Want your "guys" to swim like Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps -- good kick, perfect physique and great speed? Well, you can spur on your sperm by adding walnuts to your daily menu. (Mike likes 'em roasted; Mehmet? Soaked in water.) Turns out this nut is packed with alpha linoleic acid, one of the omega-3s that help protect you from inflammation and associated diseases, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis and osteoporosis.
Male infertility problems typically have to do with how many of the swimmers there are, how they move and their physical shape. You may have too few because you're overweight, smoke cigarettes or use certain drugs, both recreational and prescription. There's a genetic component for about 6 percent of guys with a low count, and environmental toxins also can play a role. Slow-moving spermatozoa may be the result of too high a temperature in your pants, tight underwear or deficiencies of vitamins and zinc. And misshapen sperm are caused by all of the above -- lifestyle choices, environmental toxins and genetic mutations.
If you want to boost your fertility, here's the four-part plan:
1. Eat 2 1/2 ounces of walnuts -- about 35 walnut halves -- a day.
2. If you're obese (that's a BMI of 30 or more), losing 15 percent of your weight increases your sperm count and improves their shape.
3. Manage stress; sperm density booms with acupuncture -- that Chinese practice can greatly reduce stress.
4. Increase your vitamin C intake from food (our choice), or take a 1,000-milligram supplement twice a day.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.