Researchers have found that a couple handfuls of walnuts a day can make a man’s sperm stronger, faster and better looking. It is possible that this will lead to further investigations examining walnuts as a natural solution to male fertility problems.
The researchers recruited 117 healthy men – none of who were infertile – ages 21 to 35, who were eating normal Western diets.Half the men got a batch of snack-sized packs of walnuts to eat every day on top of their normal diets, while the others just continued normally. The researchers tested their sperm at the beginning and after three months.
Results showed that the men who were eating the walnuts had more sperm that had normal shapes compared to men just on the regular diets. This is attributed to the walnut’s healthful omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins such as folic acid, and minerals such as zinc and selenium which are all known building blocks for sperm development.
Because nuts are high in fat, the dose of walnuts had to be considered. The study used about 75 grams a day which was an amount high enough to raise the omega-3 fatty acid levels in the blood, but did not result in weight gain or elevated cholesterol.
About 20 percent of the men in the study had lower than normal sperm counts, although they hadn’t been diagnosed as infertile. The sperm of these men, it turned out, improved the most after eating walnuts every day for three months.
Other studies in the past have shown that taking fish oils with omega 3 fatty acids also raise a man’s sperm count, however this study wanted to test this phenomenon through real, sustaninable foods like the walnut, rather than from fish based supplements.
The next wave of research will likely look into men with fertility problems, to see if the same elevation in sperm quality and quantity exists.
Bottom line: If you are trying to conceive, add just less than 2/3 of a cup of walnuts to your daily diet. You can eat them plain, or put them over your morning cereal or yogurt.