A recent study has shown that including nuts in a regular western diet significantly improves fertility in men by improving the quality and function of sperm. The duration of the randomized trial was 14-weeks, and was comprised of young healthy men between the ages of 18-35 years-old. The intervention group added 60 grams, or about 2 ounces, of mixed nuts to their normal western diets. The control group adhered to their typical western diets without nuts.
By the end of the study, there were significant improvements in: sperm count, motility, vitality and morphology in the men who ate 60 grams (2 ounces) of nuts per day. Morphology refers to the shape of the sperm, because sperm have to be a particular shape in order to penetrate an egg. These are important parameters that are strongly associated with male fertility. In addition, there was a significant decrease in sperm DNA fragmentation in this group, which is associated with male infertility. Sperm DNA fragmentation is when the genetic material inside the sperm is abnormal. Have less fragmentation is what is believed to improve the sperm count, motility and morphology. The participants in the control group did not experience any significant improvements in the measured parameters for male fertility.
A diet that includes 1-2 servings of nuts per day is congruent with a Mediterranean style diet that is mostly plant-based, and includes plenty of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that can be found in nuts and seeds. Although we cannot conclusively say that just adding nuts to your diet will definitely reduce infertility, it can certainly help to become more fertile by improving parameters that are strongly associated with fertility. Plus, nuts have many other benefits, so consuming them in moderation are likely to have a positive impact on overall health.
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