If you and your partner are trying to conceive and are finding it difficult to do so despite having regular sex without contraception, your sperm might be the culprit. If the sperm in your ejaculate has less than 40 percent motility, it could reduce the chances of pregnancy. If your reports state that your sperm health is indeed the problem, there are a few foods you can count on, to get your sperm back in shape (literally!).
Your sperms must have the right shape and structure – an oval head and a long tail – so that they can swim inside the female reproductive tract and fuse with the egg. To improve the shape and motility of your sperm, eat a handful of walnuts every day! These humble nuts are known to improve your sperm health and increase your chances of conceiving. Here’s how.1
The Link Between Walnuts And Sperm Health
Your sperm health is decided by the following factors.
- Sperm count
- Sperm motility (movement)
- Sperm shape
Eating a handful of walnuts (in combination with other tree nuts) daily is linked with increased sperm shape and size, motility, and vitality. Walnuts contain high levels of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acid that improve sperm motility and increase sperm count.2
One study observed the effects of walnuts on 117 healthy men. The participants were divided into 2 groups. One group of 59 men were encouraged to eat about 75 g walnuts every day, whereas the other group of 58 men were advised against eating any tree nut. The men who consumed walnuts showed an increased level of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. They not only displayed an improvement in the sperm motility and structure but also had fewer chromosomal abnormalities in their sperm.
However, a drawback of this study is that the participants were healthy and did not have fertility problems. It is, therefore, unclear whether the benefits of walnuts extend to those with fertility issues.3
Role Of Omega-3 And Omega-6 Fatty Acids
As discussed earlier, walnuts are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The fatty acids increase the antioxidant-activity in your semen and your sperm density. This results in improved sperm count, structure, and motility.4
How To Eat Walnuts
Walnuts are a great way to add flavor and crunch to salads. By itself, a small serving (of about a handful of walnuts) serves as a nutritious mid-afternoon snack. You could also opt to make walnut brownies, walnut-banana muffins, or honey roasted walnuts.
Other Foods That Improve Sperm Health
Apart from walnuts, the other foods that enhance your sperm health include tomatoes, spinach, eggs, broccoli, asparagus, bananas, pomegranate, orange, avocados, ginseng, garlic, and pumpkin seeds. Throw in some of these foods in your daily diet to improve your fertility and increases the chance of conception.
Before eating walnuts, make sure you’re not allergic to them. Consuming walnuts when you have a tree nut allergy can prove to be harmful. Additionally, remember to eat walnuts in moderation. Consuming more than a handful of walnuts could lead to gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Eating walnuts can help you improve your sperm health, but don’t let it be the only thing you do. Try adding yoga to your exercise routine, as it is believed to help you maintain the health of your sperm. Poses that involve twists and upside-down positions are considered effective.5
|↑1||Infertility in men. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑2||A pack of walnuts a day keeps the fertility specialist away? Society for the Study of Reproduction.|
|↑3||Kelso, K. A., S. Cerolini, B. K. Speake, L. G. Cavalchini, and R. C. Noble. “Effects of dietary supplementation with α-linolenic acid on the phospholipid fatty acid composition and quality of spermatozoa in cockerel from 24 to 72 weeks of age.” Journal of Reproduction and Fertility 110, no. 1 (1997): 53-59.|
|↑4||Safarinejad, Mohammad Reza, and Shiva Safarinejad. “The roles of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in idiopathic male infertility.” Asian journal of andrology 14, no. 4 (2012): 514.|
|↑5||Sengupta, Pallav, Prasenjit Chaudhuri, and Koushik Bhattacharya. “Male reproductive health and yoga.” International journal of yoga 6, no. 2 (2013): 87.|