Eating nuts provides boost to sperm health

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Eating nuts provides boost to sperm health

Men, if you want a higher sperm count and quality, start eating more nuts.  This is news from a recent study in Spain that looked at whether adding more nuts to a man’s diet could improve sperm health.

The 14-week study was in response to findings showing male sperm quantity and quality has been in decline over the years which is believed to be attributed to pollution, smoking, and trends toward a Western-style diet.  The aim of the researchers was to examine if adding a portion of nuts would show improvement in overall health, quantity, and quality of male sperm.

There 119 healthy and fertile men between the ages of 18 and 35 who participated with the research.  Roughly half of the men were asked to consume 60 grams of mixed almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts to their diet, while the rest of the participants were to continue to eat their normal diet.

Findings from the study showed that men who added 60 grams of nuts to their overall eating pattern saw a 16 percent improvement of their sperm count, 4 percent improvement in sperm vitality, 6 percent improvement of sperm motility (how efficiently sperm move) and a one percent improvement in sperm morphology (the size and shape of sperm).   Also shown was a significant fall in sperm DNA fragmentation that is associated with infertility.

At this point, it is too early to say and more studies are needed to simply recommend that adding more nuts to a man’s diet will improve fertility.  What is known however, is that men who lead a healthy lifestyle such as eating health-promoting foods like nuts may be a key factor in helping a couple conceive. It was also noted that by adding more nuts to one’s diet, this falls in line with the key components of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet.

The exciting news from this study is that it concurs with previous studies that have also shown that men who consume diets high in anti-oxidant rich foods can improve sperm health.  A 2011 study in the journal Ecology Letters, found the best way to protect damage to sperm was for men to be consuming foods rich in two powerful antioxidants: vitamin E and beta-carotene.

Foods sources rich in beta-carotene include cantaloupe, carrots, apricots, pumpkin and mangos, while rich food sources of vitamin E include almonds, soybean oil, and broccoli.