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November 11, 2014
By L. Carr, Contributing Columnist

Who doesn’t want to boost their sperm quality, protect their heart and
cut their prostate cancer risk? Any health-conscious man will want to
know the secret of these health advantages. What if we told you that
one simple food could help do all this and more? For sperm, heart and
prostate health, eat walnuts. Here’s why walnuts need to be on your
shopping list.

Why Are Walnuts So Good For Guys?

Walnuts are packed with protein, which is essential for men with an
active lifestyle, and also contain plenty of fiber.

But the main reason why walnuts pack such a powerful health punch is
the heart-healthy fat they contain. A 30g serving of walnuts provides
almost 3g of omega-3 fatty acids, which is 113 percent of the DV.
Omega-3 fatty acids lead to a reduced risk of heart attack as well as
stronger bones – and these polyunsaturated fatty acids can even help
improve the quality of your sperm. (Read more about the
ability of zinc
to increase testosterone.)

Walnuts also contain arginine, an amino acid that converts to nitric
oxide, which in turn helps blood vessels dilate and improves blood flow
to your muscles. In addition, walnuts contain
zinc, selenium,
manganese and copper (good for fighting the free radicals that
contribute to inflammation and premature aging), and vitamin E.

How Many Walnuts Do You Need?

You don’t need to overdose on these nuts to reap the health benefits.
14 walnut halves (a handful) a day is enough. Eating this amount of
walnuts a day will not cause you weight-gain problems (the nuts
contain a high percentage of calories) – as part of a healthy diet,
walnuts will help you meet your weight management and wellbeing

Eat More Walnuts – Here’s How

It’s surprising that more men don’t eat walnuts, given that it’s the
simplest thing to put a packet of walnuts in your gym bag, briefcase or
car for snacking on during the day.

If you’re not a fan of plain walnuts as a snack, boost your intake by
having them at breakfast crushed with granola, low-fat yogurt and

Or sprinkle them into a chicken salad or veggie stir-fry. Make a heart-
healthy smoothie with bananas, yogurt and walnuts blended to a
smooth pulp, or make a dip from walnuts, yogurt, mustard, garlic and
olive oil.

We checked out recent scientific reports on how walnuts make a
difference to your health. Do your body a favor and increase your
walnut intake for these top five reasons.

Walnuts Improve Sperm Quality

The top reason for men to eat more walnuts is simple – one small pack
of walnuts a day improves the quality of your sperm.

A 2012 study from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
reports that 75g of walnuts each day improves the vitality, motility, and
structure of your sperm.

If you are having problems conceiving, eating walnuts could help
improve your fertility and make it easier to conceive a baby,
researchers say. What’s responsible for this health benefit? Scientists
believe that polyunsaturated fatty acids are key to improving sperm’s
ability to mature and move. (Read more about
foods that actually
destroy sperm counts.)

Lower Your Cholesterol with Walnuts

Thirty-two percent of men in America have high cholesterol, according
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Taking monounsaturated fat out of the diet of men in a 2000 trial by
the University of Barcelona, Spain and replacing it with walnuts helped
reduce cholesterol levels.

Participants in the trial replaced 35 percent of the energy they received
from monounsaturated fats with walnuts, and experienced a dip of 4.1
percent in total cholesterol levels and a 5.9 percent reduction in LDL
cholesterol. Eating walnuts with a meal also helps counteract the effect
of saturated fat and keeps your arteries flexible.

Walnuts Cut Your Risk of Prostate Cancer

Eating just two handfuls of walnuts a day could cut your prostate
cancer risk, according to a 2013 report from the School of Medicine at
The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

The study involved a trial of a walnut-enriched diet for mice. The mice
that ate the diet enriched with walnuts experienced fewer tumors and
the average size of the tumor was smaller than in those mice that fed
on a regular diet. A 2014 study from the College of Veterinary
Medicine, Konkuk University , Seoul, South Korea also demonstrated
that walnuts reduced prostate tumor growth.

Think Smarter with Walnuts

If you want to work smarter and harder, put a bag of walnuts in your
desk. Snacking on walnuts can help your verbal reasoning skills,
according to a 2012 study from Andrews University.

The vitamin E, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants in walnuts
help improve verbal reasoning skills by 11 percent, according to the
trial on 64 college students.

Walnuts Help Men React Effectively to Stress

More than half of all the deaths due to heart disease in the US in 2009
were men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. Men are particularly at risk of heart attack and heart
disease. Decrease your risk by helping your body react to stress in a
healthier way. Walnuts are proven to lower the inflammatory response
to stress that has such a biologically damaging effect on the heart,
according to a 2010 study from Penn State University.


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