Walnuts, Fertility & Chinese Medicine

Walnuts, Fertility & Chinese Medicine

16 February 2016 by Caitlin Armit

Walnuts, Fertility & Chinese Medicine

Did you know that there is a food that both Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine endorse for optimising male fertility? Well there is – and it’s the humble walnut.

In 2012, a study was published in the Biology of Reproduction Journal which confirmed that eating 75mg of walnuts per day can improve sperm quality of healthy young males in three ways: vitality, morphology and motility. In Chinese Medicine, poor sperm quality is associated with a deficiency of kidney yang and kidney jing. Kidney yang can become weakened through lifestyle factors such as overwork and poor diet and, like kidney yin, decreases naturally with age. Fertility problems are often complicated by imbalances of the liver and spleen organs which relate also to lifestyle factors and emotional factors such as stress, anger, frustration, resentment, worry and overthinking.

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs are both used to improve kidney energy for fertility, energy, libido, prostate health, bladder control and cognitive function. In Chinese Medicine philosophy, walnuts nourish the kidneys and they also influence the lung and large intestine which is why they are considered beneficial for some types of asthma and constipation. In Chinese Medicine, foods and herbs are categorized according to their flavour, temperature (with regards to their effect on the body not in degrees celsius), and associated organs which they affect. Walnuts are sweet, which means they have a harmonizing and nourishing action, and are warm in nature thus nourishing yang. In addition to Kidney yang and yin, there is the concept of Kidney Jing. Think of anything to do with growth and development (specifically teeth, bones, hair and the brain), maturation, reproduction and ageing. Sound a bit strange? Fear not, these theories and observations of the therapeutic effects of various foods and herbs have been refined over thousands of years.

Western Medicine now recognizes walnuts as effective for benefitting osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma and other immune conditions largely because of their calcium and omega 3 fatty acid content. Incidentally, omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for sperm maturation and membrane function.

Need a recipe idea to get your started? Check out our blog Celery and Walnut soup or keep a handful of walnuts by your desk at work to snack on during the day.



For more information on this study visit Oxford Academic or the UCLA Newsroom

Walnuts Improve Semen Quality in Men Consuming a Western-Style Diet: Randomized Control Dietary Intervention Trial

Categories: Brisbane Acupuncture Blog | Brisbane Chinese Dietetics Blog | Digestive Health Brisbane

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