Brazil nuts may boost a woman’s fertility

According to a new study, there is good evidence that women who are trying to get pregnant should include brazil nuts in their diets.

Selenium, a natural antioxidant found in protein-rich foods like red meat, seafood, and nuts, has been found to be important to men’s fertility. However, new research suggests that selenium is also important in the development of healthy ovarian follicles, which are responsible for the production of eggs in women. Of all foods containing selenium, Brazil nuts appear to have the highest concentration.

The study was conducted at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. The researchers identified where selenium was located in the ovary, then focused on a protein containing selenium, called GPX1. They found that levels of selenium and proteins containing selenium were higher in large, healthy ovarian follicles where eggs are produced. According to Melanie Ceko, who conducted the research:

“In some cases, eggs that yielded a pregnancy had double the levels of GPX1. We suspect they play a critical role as an antioxidant during the late stages of follicle development, helping to lead to a healthy environment for the egg.”

More research is needed to better understand how selenium levels could be optimized to improve the likelihood of conception, but for now, if you’re trying to conceive, adding a few Brazil nuts to your diet likely can’t hurt!

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