Walnuts are nutrient-dense nuts that offer a variety of health benefits due to their rich nutritional profile. Here are some key benefits of walnuts:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Walnuts are an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3s are known to support heart health by reducing inflammation and improving cholesterol levels. Multiple studies have shown that walnuts boost endothelial function. A study at Yale University’s Prevention Research Center showed that walnuts, at least 2 oz per day, improved flexibility in the artery of the forearm.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts may also contribute to brain health, supporting cognitive function and potentially reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
Polyphenols: Walnuts contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. This can contribute to overall health and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Satiety: The combination of protein, fiber, and healthy fats in walnuts can help promote a feeling of fullness, making them a satisfying and nutritious snack that may aid in weight management.
Blood Sugar Control
Fiber Content: Walnuts are a good source of dietary fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
Omega-3s and Polyphenols: The omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols in walnuts have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in the body.
Improved Gut Health
Fiber: The fiber in walnuts contributes to better digestive health by promoting regular bowel movements and supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
Copper and Manganese: Walnuts are a good source of minerals like copper and manganese, which are essential for various bodily functions, including bone health and enzyme activity.
Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases
Regular Consumption: Some studies suggest that regular consumption of walnuts may be associated with a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer.
Vitamins and Minerals: Walnuts contain vitamins such as vitamin E, B vitamins, and minerals like magnesium and phosphorus, contributing to overall nutritional intake.
The Best Way To Eat Them
Soaking walnuts overnight makes them easier to digest and absorb.
It's important to note that while walnuts offer numerous health benefits, moderation is key due to their calorie density. Incorporating a variety of nuts into a balanced diet can be a healthy choice, but portion control is essential. If you have specific health concerns or conditions, it's advisable to consult with a Functional Medicine Practitioner, healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice.