If you want to invigorate your sperm then apparently the answer is beans! Beans are the seeds of one of several types of plants, which are used as vegetables for human or animal food. They have been eaten for thousands of years and can be boiled, fried or baked. They are high in protein, complex carbohydrates, folate and iron. They also have significant amounts of fibre, with one cup of cooked beans providing between 9-13 grams. That is about half the daily recommended intake for women and a third of the daily recommended intake for men.

Magic beans and male fertility

In terms of male fertility, a type of bean called the Bengal velvet bean seems to have some utility. This interesting bean has pharmacological properties and has been used in traditional Indian medicine for thousands of years, primarily to address sexual dysfunction.

Bengal velvet beans

The beans contain about 3.1% – 6.1% of L-DOPA, which makes them unique. This biochemical is the precursor to the important neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and epinephrine (adrenaline). The key one here is dopamine. Scientists state that available evidence provides strong support in favor of a participation of the dopaminergic system in the control of sexual function.

L-DOPA – a precursor to important neurotransmitters

Powdered bean research

Mucuna pruriens also seems to effect sperm quality and researchers have investigated this, albeit in a limited way. One study examined the effect of the powdered beans on sperm quality. Men who received the bean powder showed a marked improvement in sperm volume and movement. Another study found that men who took the bean supplement enjoyed better fertility, sperm count and sperm mobility.

Other researchers have noted that supplementation with Mucuna pruriens seems to improve testosterone production in men, normal levels of which are necessary for a healthy libido.

As an added bonus, men involved in these studies also reported significant stress reduction. This is a plus because stress may negatively influence fertility. Mucuna pruriens is readily available as a supplement and can be ordered online.

Mad beans

The downside is that the beans do indeed appear to be pharmacologically active. That means that they are a medicine and need to be treated with respect. In fact, in the wild their seed pods cause unbearable itching, hence the name pruriens – Latin for itch, to the extent that they are called mad beans in some parts of the world. They are not the kind of beans that come in a can with tomato sauce!

You should always consult a qualified healthcare professional if you are considering taking them as a supplement. Finally, never exceed the stated dose.