Nuts and seeds are not only good for your health but also make for a delicious snack. Carrying them around is just as easy as including them in your diet, especially during the autumn and winter seasons. But if you’re looking for the one type of nut that rules them all, walnuts are what you need.
Walnuts are extremely nutrient-dense since they have high amounts of plant proteins, phytochemicals and antioxidants apart from also being packed with vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Eating walnuts is associated with a number of health benefits.
Walnuts for the heart
A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology indicates that consuming walnuts regularly is really good for your heart health and can even reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases. This study says that apart from lowering cholesterol levels, long-term walnut consumption is also linked with reduced inflammation in the body. Both of these factors improve heart health immensely.
So, eating walnuts regularly can keep your heart healthy and happy. But that’s not the only benefit you can gain from consuming walnuts every day. The following are five other advantages:
1. Improves cognitive function: You may have noticed that walnuts look like tiny brains, and that’s just nature’s way of hinting at one of the biggest benefits of eating walnuts. Walnuts have polyphenols, vitamin E, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, all of which are great for your brain. Not only do walnuts reduce oxidative stress and damage to the brain but also improve memory and other cognitive functions.
2. Aids weight control: Studies show that eating walnuts can help you control your appetite better and thereby help you keep your weight in check. This is not only because walnuts are nutrient-dense and can keep you feeling full for longer but also because the polyphenols in walnuts are believed to activate the part of the brain that helps regulate food cues. Eating walnuts can therefore also help you manage your cravings.
3. Supports gut health: Eating enough walnuts every day can help you maintain your gut microbiota, which plays a significant role in all digestive functions. Studies indicate that walnut consumption is positively correlated to an increase in good gut bacteria and it may even help the bowels produce an enzyme called butyrate that promotes gut health.
4. May improve blood pressure and glucose levels: Many studies indicate that walnuts can help keep blood pressure levels in check and some even suggest that consuming higher quantities of walnuts can lower the diastolic blood pressure levels. Similarly, both walnut and walnut oil consumption is considered to help control blood sugar levels, thereby reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
5. May reduce cancer risks: As mentioned before, walnuts are packed with antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress and cell damage. A type of polyphenols in walnuts, which are called ellagitannins, are particularly effective in this regard. Studies show that these polyphenols prevent colorectal cancer as well as hormone-related cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer.
For more information, read our article on Walnuts.
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