A study suggests that men should eat about two handfuls of nuts daily for 14 weeks if they want to enhance the quality of their sperms and boost fertility.

The nuts can be the combination of almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts, according to the study. The researchers said their findings complement previous studies saying a healthier diet can improve sperm quality. Specifically, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, selenium, zinc, and folate. All these beneficial ingredients are abundant in nuts as well.  

Nuts And Men

For the study, the scientists from the Rovira I Virgili University and the Autonomous University of Barcelona recruited 119 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 35. They separated the men into two groups. The first group added 2 ounces of nuts daily with the usual food they ate every day. The second group did not make additions to what they normally eat every day.

The group who ate nuts daily aside from their usual meals improved sperm counts by 14 percent, sperm vitality by 4 percent, sperm agility by 6 percent, and sperm size and shape by 1 percent.

The researchers also examined the quality of DNA among the sperms of the men from the first group. They found that these men had sperm with reduced fragmented DNA. Disjointed sperm DNA has been linked to problems with infertility. 

"[E]vidence is accumulating in the literature that healthy lifestyle changes such as following a healthy dietary pattern might help conception," said Dr. Albert Salas-Huetos, the lead author of the study.

The researchers clarified, however, that their findings may not yet be applicable to men who have existing infertility issues. They noted that participants in the study were all healthy men. 

The results of the study were presented on July 4 at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. The study was funded by the International Nut and Dried Food Council. The article currently appears online in the BioMed Central.

Sperm Counts Of Western Men Declined In Half In The Last 40 Years

In 2017, a study found that men in North America, Europe, and Australia have shown a decline in sperm count over the past 40 years. Specifically, their sperm concentration dropped 52.4 percent. The researchers examined data from 185 previous studies, and records of 42,000 men around the world between 1973 and 2011.

Interestingly, there were men examined who were younger, and have not fathered anyone, and yet shown a decline in their sperm counts. These men were estimated to have an average sperm concentration of 99 million per milliliter in 1973. In 2011, however, these men already had reduced sperm concentration to only about 47 million per milliliter.

According to the World Health Organization, men with a sperm concentration of less than 40 million are already at low risk of impregnating their partners. Men with a sperm count of less than 15 million are unlikely to produced offspring.  

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