Technically, the almond nut that we eat is the seed of the almond fruit, which is related to cherries, plums and peaches. The health benefits of eating just one crunchy handful of almonds each day are extensive because, when compared to other nuts, almonds are the most nutrient packed of them all. So, if you are trying to conceive it really is time to go nuts about almonds to improve your fertility.
Almonds contain a high amount of monounsaturated fats and are cholesterol free, so including them into your daily diet can go a long way to helping improve your all-round health and to reduce the risk of heart disease. There are two main types of almond: sweet and bitter. We consume the sweet type whilst the bitter variety is used to make almond oil or amaretto.
Almonds provide us with many health benefits including:
- Cholesterol lowering effects – almonds are cholesterol free have been shown to reduce elevated LDL cholesterol levels when consumed as part of a healthy diet, which may help reduce atherosclerosis.
- Reducing risk of heart disease – almonds contain unsaturated fats similar to those in olive oil and also vitamin E, both are important in maintaining a healthy heart.
- They help to stabilise blood sugar levels (so important when trying to conceive) – in trials almonds appear to decrease blood sugar levels after a meal has been consumed and provide antioxidants to remove free radicals.
- Provide help with energy production.
Almonds contain many vital health nutrients and are a very good source of: manganese, copper, biotin and vitamin E and a good source of fibre, riboflavin (vitamin B2), magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and molybdenum.
Almonds and fertility
Almonds are regarded as the most fertility nutrient packed of all nuts; they are high in important reproductive system nutrients including zinc and L-arginine. They are also the best whole food source of vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant). Vitamin E is thought to improve sperm quality and motility in men (a study showed that eating seven almonds a day improved sperm quality). It is also an important regulator of sex hormones in both men and women. In women, vitamin E may help regulate the production of cervical mucus, which is important for conception, due to its ability to support live sperm for several days. Almonds also help improve insulin resistance, which is important for women with PCOS, a condition where the body becomes less effective at lowering blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance can reduce fertility in women, especially when combined with abdominal weight gain.
Easy ways to include almonds into your daily diet:
- Chop up and sprinkle onto salads
- Spread almond butter on toast or use as a dip with apple wedges – make sure you buy organic, unsweetened almond butter.
- Almonds go well as a snack with celery
- Chop, toast and enjoy on pasta
- Add to daily cereals and yoghurts
- Try substituting almond milk for some of your daily cow’s milk on cereals and in smoothies.
Almonds contain quite high levels of oxalates – so if you have kidney/gallstone issues it may be wise to avoid almonds and remember to always check with your GP if you are unsure.
Also, people who have allergies to tree nuts should avoid eating almonds.
Find out more
If you have concerns about your fertility read about our One-Stop Fertility Assessments, or you can call 01992 78 50 60 to talk in confidence with one of our experts.