As a consequence of bad dietary habits, lack of physical activity, and a stressful lifestyle, sexual problems related to erectile function, libido, and fertility are becoming increasingly common among men around the world. Actually, a recent study has shown that young men tend to eat significantly less fruits and vegetables than women, which translates into a number of health issues as they get older.
The effects of nuts on the human body have been largely investigated and shown to be beneficial for preventing a wide variety of health conditions among both men and women. However, a new study explored the potential benefits of nuts for men's health, while aiming to determine whether nut consumption can reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED).
This randomized controlled study was carried in Spain by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from different health institutions with the goal of identifying the effects of a nut-enriched diet on the average male sexual health. The results were published in August 2019 in the scientific journal Nutrients.
The participants were 83 healthy men within an age range of 18-35, separated in two groups. Both groups were given a healthy Western-style diet during the 14-week trial, but only one of them received a daily supplementation of 60 grams of assorted nuts. Before and after the clinical trial, all participants have filled out the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF), an international questionnaire for evaluating men's sexual health. Other markers for ED have also been assessed.
After the clinical trial, the group that consumed a nut-enriched diet showed significant improvements in overall men's sexual function, including orgasms and libido. Other ED markers, such as nitric oxide levels in the blood (which play a key role in vasodilation) and E-selectin (a glycoprotein that helps regulate inflammatory processes) didn't exhibit significant differences between both groups.
What Does this Mean?
The daily addition of a variety of nuts to a healthy diet, rich in all food groups (including fresh vegetables and fruits as well as whole grains and lean meats), has been shown to improve male sexual health and performance, thus reducing the risk of developing ED later in life.
Among the best nuts for men's health are almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamia nut, pistachio, pecans and walnuts, all of which provide cardiovascular benefits that reduce the risk of a wide number of conditions that can ultimately affect men's sexual function.
- Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy, The role of nitric oxide in penile erection (2001)
- Nutrients, Effect of Nut Consumption on Erectile and Sexual Function in Healthy Males: A Secondary Outcome Analysis of the FERTINUTS Randomized Controlled Trial (2019) | “That is an Awful Lot of Fruit and Veg to Be Eating” (2019)
- ScienceDirect, E-Selectin