The study was published in the journal Nutrients.
Researchers from Spain conducted a 14-week trial involving 83 healthy men, aged 18-35, who were separated into two groups. All the participants had no history of erectile dysfunction and followed a "Western-style" diet, which is high in fats and low in fresh fruits and vegetables.
The researchers instructed the volunteers to continue their normal diets but gave one group 60 g of mixed nuts -- 30 g of walnuts and 15 g each of almonds and hazelnuts -- every day. These nuts are rich in antioxidants, as well as essential vitamins like folic acid and minerals like calcium and potassium.
The researchers found that daily consumption of walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds boosted sexual desire in men and gave them better orgasms.
The male participants reported improvements in their sex life after eating two large handfuls of nuts every day. The Spanish researchers explained that the nutrients in those nuts helped transmit signals to the penis, naturally boosting sensitivity and performance.
The nuts consumed for the study were also rich in antioxidants that are good for the cardiovascular system. These compounds promoted healthy blood circulation that helped boost libido.
As part of the study, the researchers also measured each participant's waist circumference, blood pressure and semen quality. Additionally, they asked the participants to complete a questionnaire that asked about their sexual function and performance during the trial.
While nut consumption did not prolong the duration of sexual intercourse, it still increased sexual desire and improved orgasm in the participants.
The trial was conducted as part of the larger FERTINUTS project, which revealed that regular consumption of nuts helped improve semen quality.
Dr. Albert Salas-Huetos, the lead author of the study, explained that some antioxidants, like the polyphenols and vitamins in nuts, are believed to be effective treatments for erectile dysfunction. These compounds also offer benefits for the cardiovascular system. (Related: Natural remedies for male infertility: CoQ10 and L-carnitine found to improve sperm health.)
Salas-Huetos added that, based on the study findings, following a healthy diet and consuming mixed nuts regularly can help boost erectile function and sexual desire.
The study was funded by the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council, and its findings align with previous research.
Walnuts are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
A 1 oz or 28 g serving of walnuts contains:
Walnuts can help reduce risk factors for heart disease since they are rich in ALA and other nutrients.
Research also suggests that consuming walnuts helps reduce total cholesterol and "bad" LDL cholesterol and increase "good" HDL cholesterol levels. Additionally, walnuts can help improve other factors linked to heart health, such as blood pressure and blood circulation.
Finally, walnuts can help reduce inflammation, which is linked to the development of chronic diseases.
If you and your partner wish to conceive, follow a healthy diet and consume moderate amounts of walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts regularly to boost your libido.