Eating seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day (that’s the latest recommendation, in case you hadn’t heard)? Good for you. But, if you’re eating conventional produce instead of the organic stuff, you may be doing more harm than good. Produce sprayed with pesticides may significantly decrease your sperm count, according to research published in the journal Human Reproduction.
In the study, scientists collected semen samples from 155 men over a five-year period. They found men who consumed 1.5 daily servings of produce previously sprayed with pesticides had a total sperm count of 86 million. Seem like a lot? That’s 49 percent lower than men who chowed down on an organic diet. Those men had a sperm count of 171 million.
But don’t chuck all the fruits and veggies from your fridge just yet.
“There is also no evidence at present that switching to organic fruit and vegetables will improve semen quality, although it will obviously do no harm. But I hope that this paper will encourage other studies to take place in this area, so that we might be able to answer the question once and for all,” British fertility expert Professor Allan Pacey, from the University of Sheffield, told the Huffington Post.
Until we know more, stay particularly mindful of the foods the United States Department of Agriculture Pesticide Data Program says are in the “high pesticide” category, including apples, pears, peppers, spinach and strawberries.