Eighty-three healthy males aged between 18 and 35 years old participated in the study. Outside of eating nuts, they partook of a standard Western-style diet. This diet is traditionally low in produce and high in animal fats.
Including nuts in a regular diet significantly improved auto-reported orgasmic function and sexual desire.
“Compared to the control group, a significant increase in the orgasmic function and sexual desire was observed during the nut intervention,” researchers wrote in the study. “Including nuts in a regular diet significantly improved auto-reported orgasmic function and sexual desire.”
This study compared two groups of men. One group, comprised of 43 randomly selected participants, added daily consumption of specific nuts to their Western-style diet. They ate 60 grams of almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts daily, roughly two handfuls. The other group, of 40 men, ate the same diet but without the addition of supplemental nuts.
Two sources of data were used to assess changes in erectile function: participant answers in questionnaires and biomarkers in blood samples.
A 2018 analysis of trial data suggested that when men eat nuts daily, it improves their sperm quality. This recent trial used the same data but instead shifted the focus of the research. It narrowed in on questions of how nut consumption affects sexual and erectile function.
A number of studies have also linked the Mediterranean diet and consumption of different types of nuts and olive oil to a lower risk of Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and other sexual dysfunction. Research conducted in 2018 by the University of Athens suggests that regular consumption of olive oil could improve men’s sexual function by improving their full-body circulation.
Some of these studies have also linked such diets to improvements in endothelial function. In the walls of blood vessels, the endothelium helps to maintain a balance between dilation and contraction. Research findings suggest that eating nuts can also benefit endothelial function, which is what may improve sexual function.
Yet another recent study showed a link between eating pistachios and improved sexual function in men. This is thought to be because pistachios, like many other nuts, contain antioxidants and arginine. Arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide, which is a compound that increases vasodilation.
The researchers from the study have called for further and larger studies to confirm these findings. They are hopeful that further research can help to discover and explore the mechanisms that explain why nut consumption and the Mediterranean diet have this effect.