“Findings demonstrated that walnuts added to a Western-style diet improved sperm vitality, motility, and morphology.” (Source)
Study on Walnuts for Healthy Sperm
Walnuts Improve Semen Quality in Men Consuming a Western-Style Diet: Randomized Control Dietary Intervention Trial
Study Key Points
- Healthy men aged 21-35 years old were tested to see if eating 75 g (roughly two handfuls or 3/4 cups) of walnuts a day over 12 weeks affected their semen quality.
- Those that ate walnuts (n=59) “experienced improvement in sperm vitality, motility, and morphology, but no change was seen in the group continuing their usual [Western-style] diet but avoiding tree nuts (n = 58).”
- Omega-3 and omega-6 levels also increased in those who ate walnuts, with no such increase in those who avoided tree nuts.
[wproto_divider style=”gap”]Walnuts: A Chinese medicinal called “Hu Tao Ren” (胡桃仁)
Chinese herbalists have been using walnuts (aka 胡桃仁, Hu Tao Ren), as a medicinal remedy for hundreds of years; the remedy was first published in the 備急千金要方 (Bei Ji Qian Jin Yao Fang), 7th C CE. I loved seeing this study because it reinforces what we already believe and know to be true in Chinese medicine — that walnuts tonify the Kidney (Chinese medicine term; not the same as the Western organ) and replenishes the jing (i.e. “essence”). It’s considered a warm and sweet medicinal that enters both the Kidney, Lung, and Large Intestine channels.
Maintaining and Protecting Healthy Sperm
The Kidney in Chinese medicine is responsible for reproductive function and storing the essence, which is thought to be carried by sperm in men and eggs as well as menstrual fluid in women. For this reason, Chinese medicine not only encourages nourishing Kidney jing in men and women to increase fertility, but also strongly cautions against the loss of jing through ejaculation in males. William Collinge, author of Subtle Energy: Awakening to the Unseen Forces in Our Lives explains:
What else can I do?
The Taoists went to some extreme measures to protect their jing (I’ll leave that to you to pursue if you’re that interested!). And while men looking to nurture healthy sperm might not want to follow all their recommendations at first, there are some easy places to start in supporting male fertility. Start with diet and limiting exposure to glues, solvents, paints, heavy smoking and heavy marijuana use. In addition, consider acupuncture and Chinese herbs to tonify the Kidney, nourish essence, and reduce stress.