Aside from salted peanuts, most men in the UK don’t eat nuts regularly, and adding them to the diet could improve male fertility levels. Several studies have shown that tree nuts, especially walnuts, can measurably improve sperm quality. One such study by the UCLA Centre for Human Nutrition, found that men who ate walnuts every day experienced a small but statistically significant improvement in the concentration, vitality, movement and shape of their sperm, as well as a lower occurrence of abnormalities. The amazing properties of walnuts don’t end there however, as they can also help you to live a longer and healthier life, enabling you to enjoy your children into your old age.
All edible nuts contain valuable nutrients that can benefit health, but walnuts are rich in a-linolic acid, which is a plant-based form of omega-3. Omega 3 oils are essential for reproductive health, as well as brain and heart health. They also help to slow cognitive decline in old age and help to prevent certain diseases. Walnuts can also help to reduce levels of lipoprotein or “bad cholesterol”, helping to prevent heart disease and strokes.
Sperm counts have declined by around half in the last 40 years, which has contributed to the growing problem of infertility worldwide. While a lot of the nutritional advice pertaining to fertility focuses on the woman’s reproductive health, men are starting to take more of an interest in fertility-focused nutrition, and adding walnuts and other tree nuts to the diet is a great place to start.
All nuts are fairly high-calorie foods, so it’s best to eat them in moderation if you’re trying to lose weight. Walnuts can be eaten raw, and the men in the study ate 75 grams of walnuts per day, which is equivalent to 25-30 full walnuts, over a short space of time. While it might not be necessary to religiously eat 30 walnuts a day, replacing some unhealthy foods with walnut-based food could help you to improve your overall and reproductive health.
Tips to include more walnuts in your diet
High-powered blenders can pulverise nuts in seconds, but if you don’t have a nutribullet, soaked walnuts are easily shredded by an ordinary blender.
Similar to peanut butter, walnut butter is delicious in both sweet and savory dishes, as a dip or spread on toast. If you make your own hummus you can use walnut butter or walnut oil instead of tahini or olive oil.
Plant-based cheese has come a long way since the inedible blocks of bland “fake” cheese from health food shops. Gourmet cheese can be made from all types of nuts, and walnut cheese is incredibly moreish and great with crackers.
Walnut oil is very concentrated, and it’s possible to replace some of your cooking oil with walnut oil. It has a low smoking point, so it’s not possible to deep or shallow fry at high temperatures, but it can be added to salad dressings, homemade hummus, soups, curries, and many other dishes.
Everyone loves pasta, and homemade walnut pesto is a very tasty way to cram in your daily walnuts. There are many recipes online, but fresh herbs, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and oil are all popular ingredients.
Walnut pate is delicious, contains less saturated fat than regular pate, and is crammed with omega 3. Some larger supermarkets stock it, but it’s easy to make your own.
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