This One Food Could Boost Fertility In Men

When trying to conceive a baby, you want to give your body every advantage it can have. And now there's research showing that one simple dietary change makes a big impact on male fertility, increasing sperm count as well as sperm health.

The key is adding nuts into the diet, according to Insider. In a study, by researchers at Rovira I Virgili University in Spain, a group of men gave semen and blood samples and then ate about two handfuls of nuts each day for 14 weeks. The nuts were a combination of hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts. Follow-up testing showed there was an increase in the number of sperm per sample, that they moved better, and the overall health of the sperm cells was better than that of the initial samples.

One limitation noted by the study's authors is that all the men tested were fertile to begin with. It's still unknown how the addition of nuts to the diet would affect men who are struggling with infertility issues.

Sperm counts have taken a drastic fall

There has been a precipitous decline in sperm counts over the last four decades, according to the University of Chicago's School of Medicine. One study showed that average counts have decreased by 50 percent since 1973. Researchers point out a plethora of factors that are harming sperm, including pesticides, chemicals affecting the endocrine system, stress, smoking, obesity — and yes, diet.

Dr. Sarah Vij, a male infertility specialist, recommends a balanced diet that includes high-antioxidant fruits and vegetables, like blueberries, strawberries, artichokes, and kale (per Cleveland Clinic). Food that has been shown to negatively affect sperm counts include anything high in fat, sugar, animal protein, soy, and excessive alcohol.

Getting weight under control is also a factor, according to Vij. "Research shows that obesity can lead to poor sperm quality. It can also lead to low testosterone and high estrogen, which can negatively affect male fertility," she told the Cleveland Clinic.

So, if you're struggling to get pregnant, it's good news that a change as small as adding nuts to your diet could help. It's a simple enough change, and since nuts are also associated with good heart health, it's one that can positively impact your overall wellbeing as well.