Last Updated on November 27, 2020
The food that we eat heavily impacts our health. To live healthier, it isn’t enough just to exercise and sleep properly—we also have to make sure that we are eating food that provides us with real health benefits.
This isn’t to say that you need to stop eating all your delicious sinful favorites. It just means that—as with all things—moderation is important. And if you have the occasional sugary snack or processed food item, then make sure to incorporate healthy food into your diet as well.
Other than fruits and vegetables, nuts and berries are also a healthy choice. Nuts, in particular, are lauded for their omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins and minerals. Looking for a good choice of nut to consume? Walnuts are known to have many health benefits.
Read on if you want to learn more about how walnuts are both delicious and good for you!
All About Walnuts
Walnuts are part of the tree nut family. This family also includes Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, pecans, pine nuts, and pistachios. They are a single-seeded stone fruit used for their meat once they are done ripening on the tree.
They originated in Persia and spread throughout Europe and Asia. The Spanish missionaries brought them Westward in the 1700s. Today, they are grown in many places throughout the world including China, the United States, Iran, and Turkey.
Both shelled and unshelled walnuts are widely available commercially. They have many uses and can be consumed in several ways.
Why Are Walnuts Healthy?
It would be impossible to overestimate the health benefits we can get from walnuts. Several dietary studies have shown that one ounce of these nuts per day is all that we need to include in our diet to reap their significant benefits.
Walnuts provide us with calcium, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, and healthier polyunsaturated fats. To gain the benefits of walnuts, it is recommended that you consume roughly 7 shelled walnuts a day.
However, note that walnuts and all tree nuts are high-calorie, energy-dense food. It is therefore important to include these in an overall healthy diet that is within the recommended daily calorie limits.
10 Health Benefits of Walnuts
With all of their potential health benefits, walnuts are a good addition to any diet. Not only are they good for you, but they also taste delicious. They can be eaten on their own or included in salads, soups, and other healthy and delicious recipes.
Find out more about how walnuts can benefit you:
1. Walnuts Are Rich in Antioxidants
Walnuts are very rich in antioxidants, even more so than other nuts. These antioxidants help reduce oxidative damage in the body.
A study has shown that adults who eat a walnut-rich meal or are eating walnuts with their meals prevented the effects of bad LDL cholesterol compared to those who do not.
Over time, consumption of LDL cholesterol can cause oxidative damage, including plaque buildup in the arteries. Eating walnuts can help keep your arteries safe and prevent heart problems down the line.
2. Walnuts Help Improve Memory
The plant-based omega-3 fatty acid found in walnuts—or alpha-linolenic acid—is good for brain health. A study conducted in California has shown that walnuts help boost cognitive function, especially memory.
3. Walnuts Can Help Prevent Depression
A good diet can also improve the way we feel. A healthy diet is important when trying to prevent or combat depression, and adding walnuts into the mix will only help boost these efforts, largely due to their omega-3 fatty acids.
A study conducted on US adults showed that people who had walnuts regularly in their diets registered 26% lower in depression scores compared to those who did not eat walnuts.
4. Walnuts Help Battle Cardiovascular Disease
Due to their high levels of antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals, walnuts help battle plaque build-up in the arteries. This, among several other reasons, shows how consumption of this healthy nut helps battle cardiovascular diseases.
Walnuts also help prevent inflammation that can lead to heart disease. They can also help lessen the chances of blood clots. Studies have shown that eating walnuts and nuts can help lower heart disease chances by up to 50%.
5. Walnuts Boost Metabolism
Walnuts are helpful in weight management. Due to their high fiber, protein, and fat content, eating walnuts will help you feel full longer and even help you stay away from unhealthy sugary, high-calorie snacks.
Walnuts are a healthy option to load up on when you need to eat, because they are not just empty calories. Consuming one cup of walnuts a day can help you curb your cravings.
6. Walnuts Help Promote Hair and Nail Growth
Rich in biotin or vitamin B7, walnuts help both hair and nails grow stronger and longer. They help prevent hair loss, too. Plus, the vitamin E in walnuts also helps keep hair healthy and shiny.
7. Walnuts Help Reduce the Risk of Some Cancers
Some studies have shown that eating walnuts may help reduce the risk of certain cancers including breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer.
Because they are rich in polyphenol ellagitannins, these may be converted into urolithins by certain gut cancers. These urolithins have anti-inflammatory properties, which help promote gut health and combat against colorectal cancer.
Additionally, urolithins can block hormone receptors in the body, reducing the risk of hormone-related cancers like prostate and breast cancer.
8. Walnuts May Help Lower Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is another major concern for patients with heart problems. It is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Studies have shown that walnuts help promote heart health and others show that they might also help in lowering blood pressure, even that of individuals who suffer from chronic high blood pressure.
A group study put people on a diet enriched by 28 grams of nuts, half of which were walnuts, against a group that did not consume nuts. At the end of the study, participants who had the nuts registered a 0.65 mmHg decrease in diastolic pressure compared to the other patients who shared the same diet but without the nuts.
9. Walnuts Promote Men’s Reproductive Health
For men specifically, walnuts improve sperm vitality and mobility due to their being rich in folate, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, zinc, and selenium.
Walnuts also help prevent abnormal sperm growth and prevent sperm morphology. Eating 2.5 ounces of walnuts a day can boost men’s fertility and aid the baby-making process.
10. Walnuts Can Help Bolster Energy Levels
While most of the benefits of walnuts happen over time, some have more immediate effects. For instance, walnuts can help boost your energy. Thanks to their B vitamins, walnuts can help you feel energized and get you moving. They are perfect as a workout treat or mid-day snack.
We Love Walnuts!
It takes a while before many of the benefits of eating walnuts can be seen, but they are all very important and can make a positive impact on your overall health. Adding half a cup of walnuts to your diet, depending on your daily calorie intake, can make a big difference in the long run.