The overall health of men’s sperm globally is in decline, but a new study from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology may have found a possible answer: two handfuls of nuts a day. According to their results, nuts may improve male fertility. The only catch: the study was funded by the International Nut and Dried Food Council, so you can take it — like you take your cashews — with a grain of salt.
Researchers at Rovira I Virgili University in Spain studied 119 men between the ages of 18- and 25-years old. They asked half of them to eat 60 grams of nuts per day, while the other half was instructed not to. After 14 weeks, men in the nutty group registered both higher sperm counts and higher sperm mobility. They also noted much lower levels of DNA fragmentation, meaning their sperm wasn’t damaged as a result of day-to-day activities.
“Evidence is accumulating in the literature that healthy lifestyle changes such as following a healthy dietary pattern might help conception — and of course, nuts are a key component of a Mediterranean healthy diet,” said the study’s co-author Albert Salas-Huetos.
While it’s well documented that Omega-3 and vitamin C — high quantities of which are found in nuts — can improve sperm health, this is the first time that scientists have declared “a beneficial role for chronic nut consumption in sperm quality.”