Trouble Having Kids? Eat Some Walnuts
A new study has found that men who eat a healthy serving of walnuts every day will improve their sperm quality and boost fertility. The chemical in the walnut, omega-3, is also common in many other tree nuts. The researchers from the UCLA School of Nursing believe it is the omega-3 that provides the fertility boost. A previous study found that one in six couples is infertile, and that 40 percent of these cases were due to a male factor. Fortunately, walnuts can be found at many local supermarkets and convenient stores, as well as on the branches of the many walnut trees throughout the world, and most likely cost less than going to a fertility clinic or fertility medication.
The UCLA 12-week study looked at 117 men between age 21 and 35, divided into two groups. One group added 75 grams of whole-shelled walnuts to their daily diet. The other avoided tree nuts altogether.
"We found a significant improvement in sperm parameters in the group that consumed the walnuts," said Wendie Robbins, a professor at the UCLA School of Nursing and UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health and lead author of the study. "The men who ate no tree nuts saw no change.
It is already well known that a women’s diet and nutrient intake is related to her reproductive success. This study shows men that they too must be mindful of what they eat when trying to reproduce. The typical western-style diet simply lacks the optimal nutrients for sperm and fertility.
"Walnuts provide a particularly rich source of a-linolenic acid, a natural plant source of omega-3, which we suspect may have been responsible for the improvements we observed," said study co-author Catherine Carpenter of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition and UCLA schools of nursing and medicine.
Further research will involve couples who go to infertility clinics to determine if putting the men on a walnut-rich diet will give them a better chance.
This research can be found in the journal Biology of Reproduction
Walnuts image via Shutterstock