A couple of handfuls of walnuts a day can make a man’s sperm stronger, faster and prettier, researchers said — and it’s possible the nuts could provide a natural solution for some men with fertility problems.
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Tests on healthy, young men — none of whom were infertile — showed walnuts perked up their sperm considerably. Dr. Wendie Robbins and UCLA researchers want to test men with fertility problems next.
The nuts provide healthful omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins such as folic acid and minerals important for sperm development such as zinc and selenium, Robbins says.
“I don’t think we have paid enough attention to young men and their diet when they are ready to start a family,” Robbins said. “It’s all about the woman. There is not a lot that we know to tell men. This was really fun.”
For the study published Thursday, the researchers recruited 117 healthy men, ages 21 to 35, who were eating normal Western diets. Half the men, 58 in all, got a batch of snack-sized packs of walnuts to eat every day on top of their normal diets, while the others just continued normally. The researchers tested their sperm at the beginning and after three months.
“The men who were eating the walnuts had more sperm that had normal shapes compared to men just on the regular diets,” Robbins says.