Pumpkin Seeds, Zinc and Babymaking
Remember that one time someone told you oysters were an aphrodisiac? No ok, well now I told you. Anyway, maybe they are who really knows. I think they feel like a big lugie going down, but they are the gold standard for zinc. They are full of it. So if you can get some oysters down, more power to you.
Do I have your attention yet?
Maybe or maybe not. As I was chowing down on my salad the other day topped with sprouted raw pumpkin seeds I started thinking about vitamins, minerals and all things needed to make and grow a human.
Dude seriously. Growing a human is hard.
You need an optimal environment, and I am not talking about a sunny warm beach with a fruity blended cocktail. I mean that works too, but let's get real for a minute. When I say environment I mean the cervical mucous has to be happy, I talk about that here. In addition to the cervical mucous being happy the sperm needs to be functioning at peak performing condition.
Here is where it ties into fertility. Zinc is present in sperm. It plays a role in cellular health, including cell division and cell growth. It is a vital mineral in the body, and iron is the only one that would be found at higher levels. It is necessary for implantation, conception and favorable outcomes. Ironically it can is one of the minerals that can be depleted in many due to a low zinc diet and or a diet high in phytates. I would venture to say that a standard american diet full of grain and legumes is high in phytates and probably low in zinc.
Zinc is not only supportive in fertility, it also supports the immune system and assists in wound healing. It is a pretty necessary and often overlooked piece of the nutrient puzzle.
So what foods are high in zinc? How and where do we get it? And how much of it do we really need?
Now back to the pumpkin seeds. As I was pondering the nutrients needed to support fertility and overall babymaking from a male and female aspect I looked at my pumpkin seeds and thought, these taste WAY better then oysters.
So how do they compare?
1 cup of pumpkin seeds contains about 6.6mg or 44% DV
6 medium oysters contains 76.3mg or 154% DV
Obviously we see who the winner is. That being said. I would opt for pumpkin seeds, I would recommend the Go Raw Sprouted option due to the dehydrating process, and sprouting the nutrients in them are more bioavailable. The sprouting process gets rid of a good portion of the phytic acid, which is what can hinder the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the gut.
Why does all of this nutrition stuff have to be so hard.
If you are wondering how much zinc we even need. Here is a graph from the NIH
Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Zinc 
Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
0–6 months 2 mg* 2 mg*
7–12 months 3 mg 3 mg
1–3 years 3 mg 3 mg
4–8 years 5 mg 5 mg
9–13 years 8 mg 8 mg
14–18 years 11 mg 9 mg 12 mg 13 mg
19+ years 11 mg 8 mg 11 mg 12 mg
* Adequate Intake (AI)
Here are some other foods that are great sources of zinc.
(The key here is that it is mostly meat, sorry my veggie friends)
Eating a diet rich in quality meat sources, health fats, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds will supply you with adequate zinc that being said if it is infertility you are struggling with you might want to add in some oysters to your diet. Let me know how that works out for you. I know it might not win me any friends, but even if you do it once a week your upping your intake way more then you can with any other actual food source.
Zhao, J., Dong, X., Hu, X., Long, Z., Wang, L., Liu, Q., … Li, L. (2016). Zinc levels in seminal plasma and their correlation with male infertility: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Scientific Reports, 6, 22386. http://doi.org/10.1038/srep22386