The Impact of Eating More Nuts on Your Sperm Quality

Hand picking up nuts

In previous blog posts on male infertility, I’ve mentioned many factors that could have a negative impact on sperm count, quality and viability, but many men are surprised to hear the next tip to help increase your fertility  – eat more nuts. Because sperm use the components derived from different food sources to divide and grow adequately, fortifying your meal plan with a diet rich in proteins and vegetables can help decrease your chances of infertility.  And given the results of the most recent research study, while you’re making your grocery list, you should also consider adding more nuts to the list.

Why Do Nuts Impact Sperm Quality?

While we know that healthy dietary habits may increase the chances of conception, recent trends toward a western-style diet, in addition to smoking and pollution have contributed to a general decline in the quantity and quality of sperm. Since the medical community became aware of this, diets rich in omega-3 (and other polyunsaturated fatty acids), folate, vitamin C, selenium, and zinc have been promoted as being beneficial to maintaining a good quantity and quality of sperm. Nuts are rich in these essential nutrients and more.

Which Type of Nuts are Best in Aiding Fertility?

According to a recently-published research study, eating 60 grams (a little over a handful) of nuts comprised of mixed almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts every day for two weeks led to an increase in sperm count by 16%. In addition to having higher amounts of viable sperm, men who eat a diet rich in nuts could have healthier sperm as sperm motility was shown to increase by 6% as well.

The Benefits of an Overall Balanced Diet

A diet which checks all the boxes is useful for building DNA, which ultimately makes up the sperm cells. Adding nuts to your daily diet can reduce the rates of DNA fragmentation – a term which describes breaks in strands of DNA, which when seen in sperm is frequently associated with infertility. Because sperm are built to be flexible and highly mobile, they lack all the tools to repair DNA breaks adequately. This makes it essential to make sure you are taking the right variety of foods and making the lifestyle changes to prevent the breaks from occurring in the first place.

I am not saying that once you want to have a baby, you should immediately eat lots of nuts to make that possible. Instead, I am simply advocating that a healthy balanced diet, with a handful of nuts sprinkled-in, could go a long way to ensure that you have the best chance.

If you are heading towards fatherhood and are concerned about your fertility, and you’re in the New York area, please contact Dr. Harry Fisch for a consultation.

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Salas-Hietos et al. Effect of nut consumption on semen quality and functionality in healthy males: a randomized controlled trial.