Eating at least seven nuts, especially almonds, could improve a man’s sperm count and quality, according to a new theory proposed by Italian doctors.
Researchers at the Azienda Ospedaliera Citta della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, a hospital in Turin, are currently conducting a study on 100 men to prove the theory that a handful of seven nuts - even walnuts, peanuts and hazelnuts - could have a significant impact on male fertility. One test group will add seven nuts to their normal diet, while a second group will reduce their intake of saturated fat, meaning processed meat and diary products, followed by an increase of polyunsaturated fats, like oily fish and seeds.
Researchers believe both methods, conducted on men who are currently being treated for infertility, will be effective in improving sperm count and quality.
The study will be especially useful, considering one in five young men have low sperm count or abnormal sperm - and the problem is on the rise, according to a Danish study conducted in 1992. Since both issues are commonly attributed to factors such as diet, boosted fertility in men could simply mean an extra snack between meals if researchers are proven correct.
A similar study was conducted in 2011 and published in Ecology Letters, which found that almonds did indeed boost male fertility; however, the study was conducted on crickets. Similarly, the Romans were known to shower newly weds with almonds. The current study conducted by the researchers in Turin, however, will be unique in that the theory has seemingly never been tested on infertile human men before.
In the past, almonds and walnuts have been shown to increase sperm production because of the amino acid arginine that they contain. Similarly, peanuts have been shown to increase sperm count and motility because of their zinc content. All types of nuts are also useful for boosting energy and delivering protein to the body.
Sources: The Independent, IOL Lifestyle