New research has found that nuts are good for your… ah, nuts. The happy coincidence was discovered in a study looking at male fertility and the factors that impact the quality of sperm, which include genetic and environmental, lifestyle and diet.
When looking at the relationship between sperm quality and diet, researchers found tree nuts — specifically almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts — to have a particularly positive effect.
The benefits are so great that, according to the New York Post, people who typically ate a “Western-style diet” heavy in red meat, sugars and processed foods (which aren’t great for sperm quality) found almost immediate benefits to the genetic profile of their sperm after consuming tree nuts.
These new findings corroborated previous research from Spain, which looked at the molecular process behind why nut consumption produces healthier sperm. In the 14 week trial, which studied 119 healthy men aged between 18 to 35, researchers looked at how eating nuts versus avoiding nuts played a role in certain sperm changes.
To do so, half of the group were asked to continue eating their usual Western-style diet with the inclusion of 60 grams of mixed almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts per day, while the other half simply kept on with their normal diets sans nuts.
Researchers found that men in the nut-eating group experienced significantly higher levels of sperm count as well as improved sperm vitality, motility and morphology (shape). Sperm count was the most positively impacted, with nut-eaters experiencing a 16% increase in the number of sperm.
The men in this group also experienced a change in the level of DNA fragmentation in their sperm cells, which according to Science Daily, probably explained the improvement in the areas of count, motility and shape.
As with most studies, researchers are cautious of these findings as few outcomes are ever conclusive. When posed the question as to whether men who are hoping to conceive a child (either naturally or via IVF) should add nuts to their diet, researcher Dr Albert Salas-Huetos was measured in his response.
“We can’t yet say that based solely on the results of this study,” he said. “But evidence is accumulating in the literature that healthy lifestyle changes such as following a healthy dietary pattern might help conception — and of course, nuts are a key component of a Mediterranean healthy diet.”
If you, like us, don’t love the taste of dry, flavourless nuts, we recommend trying out Red Rock Deli’s new range of flavoured nuts. Noshing on Balsamic, Vinegar & Chill Roasted Mixed Nuts for your sperm health is the way forward, obviously.