Eating 60 grams of a mix of raw almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts each day has improved male sexual health for those who are eating a standard, Western diet with little to no emphasis on healthy fats, such as nuts.
This study, recently published in the June edition of Nutrients, focused on 83 healthy, adult men and the Western diet, which is characterized by a diet low in fruit and vegetables but very high in animal fats. One group of men continued to eat the Western diet without any changes, and the other group ate the Western diet but added in 60 grams of a mix of raw hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds each day.
The researchers chose the mix of hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds because they are very nutrient dense and provide unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive phytosterols and phenolic compounds.
The trial lasted 14 weeks and asked the participants to answer a questionnaire about sexual function at the beginning and end of the trial. The participants answered questions about erectile function/dysfunction, desire, and satisfaction. Those who were in the group who added nuts to their unhealthy diet experienced a positive change in these areas.
The addition of nuts to an otherwise unhealthy diet demonstrated that the high levels of arginine in the nuts (a nonessential amino acid and neurotransmitter) functioned as a precursor to nitric oxide (which has an important role in blood vessel dilation). Studies to further investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of a diet rich in nuts, and the other mechanisms behind the improvements seen in this study, are continuing.
- Salas-Huetos, Albert, et al. “Effect of Nut Consumption on Erectile and Sexual Function in Healthy Males: A Secondary Outcome Analysis of the FERTINUTS Randomized Controlled Trial.” Nutrients, vol. 11, no. 6, 2019, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061372.