Pile of Walnuts

Walnuts have a number of benefits – loaded with vitamins, protein, phenolic acids, flavonoid, tannins and omega-3 fatty acids.

And, 90 percent of the phenols are found on the walnut skin.

The amalgamation of benefits can help improve the heart, fight against diabetes, keep cancer cells from forming, better cognitive function and even improve one’s sleep.

When compared to other kinds of nuts that have copious amounts of monounsaturated fats, walnuts are mainly polyunsaturated fatty acids and is the only nut type to have alpha-linolenic acid. On top of that, walnut health benefits include trace amounts of sodium and are free of cholesterol.

99% of the commercial U.S. production of walnuts is concentrated in California — with nearly 227,000 walnut-bearing acres.

14 Reasons to Include the Walnut into Your Diet

1 – Anti-Inflammatory

Omega-3 fatty acids can work like an anti-inflammatory, reducing the possibility of strokes, coronary artery disease, breast, colon, and prostate cancers and blood pressure problems. 25 grams of walnuts give your diet 90 percent of the recommended daily value for omega-3 fatty acids.

2 – Blood Vessel Health

There are certain things in walnuts – amino acids and l-arginine – that work to relax the blood vessels, allowing them to maintain their suppleness.  Walnuts’ omega contents can help stabilize an irregular heartbeat, keep blood clots from occurring and reduce the build-up of plaque.

Nearly 30 varieties of walnuts are commercially produced.

3 – Brain function

Walnuts are rich in neuroprotective compounds, including antioxidants, omega-3 fats, melatonin, folate, and vitamin E. A regular intake of walnuts can support brain health (increased inferential reasoning, maintain the nervous system, and sharpen the memory). A deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids can lead to learning disorders and behavioral problems.

4 – Cancer-Fighting Properties

Walnuts can reduce the possibility for certain types of cancer like breast and prostate. According to one study involving mice, those who consumed 2.4 ounces of walnuts for nearly five months had prostate tumors that grew slower compared to the group that did not have walnuts and had fat from other sources. The study revealed that walnuts did have to reduce the growth of prostate cancer by nearly 40 percent. In another study, two handfuls of walnuts each day reduce the possibility of breast cancer by half, slowing the growth of tumors nearly 50 percent.

Walnuts are staple dietary food in Asia, South America, and Mediterranean and can be used in desserts, appetizers, snacks, entrees, stuffing, and sauces.

5 – Digestive System

A diet rich in dietary fiber can help maintain the health of the digestive system. A fiber-rich diet is beneficial to promote the proper working of the bowel and reduce issues with constipation.

6 – Heart Health

Walnuts have l-arginine, an amino acid, that has an array of vascular benefits for people suffering with heart disease or who suffers with an increased possibility for heart disease because of several cardiac risk elements.   Walnuts also have alpha-linolenic acid, which acts like an anti-inflammatory and keeps blood clots from forming. People who have a high ALA diet do not have a high risk for fatal heart attacks.

U.S. walnut consumption is increasing in popularity with an estimated 0.54 lbs eaten per person.

7 – Immunity Booster

Walnuts can help the body have a health immune system and keep ailments from beginning because of the high amount of antioxidants in the nut.

8 – Insomnia

Eating just 5 walnuts in the evening can go a long way to increasing the chance of enjoying a peaceful nights sleep. Walnuts are a more healthful alternative to sleeping pills, as most patients experience side effects to some degree.

Five or six walnuts contain 10% of the daily value of phosphorus and magnesium, 2 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein.

9 – Male Reproductive Health

Walnuts also have another benefit that many people don’t realize: it can help with male fertility. Men of the Western-style diet and who eat 75 grams of walnuts had a better quality of sperm – morphology, motility and vitality.

10 – Omega-3 Fatty Acids

When people eat a high omega-3 fatty acid diet, it decreases their possibility for problems with ADHD, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. According to evidence, it can help with such inflammatory conditions like Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

On average, 67 trees are grown per walnut acre.

11 – Reduced Diabetes Risk

30 grams of walnuts every day can decrease the symptoms of type 2 diabetes by nearly 30 percent. That’s compared to people who hardly ever consume nuts. The walnuts’ mono and poly-unsaturated fats can better one’s insulin sensitivity.

12 – Skin

A diet rich in walnuts helps the skin retain its natural moisture and avoid dryness. Walnut oil is also common in massage oils (massage therapy and aromatherapy) and cosmetics. Vitamin E in walnuts is also helpful for the suppleness of the skin.

13 – Sleep

Walnuts contain melatonin, which allegedly helps to promote better sleep. Walnuts and walnut oil help to reduce stress levels and blood pressure levels caused by stress.

14 – Weight control

Adding a healthful amount of nuts to the diet (or nuts replacing other food sources) can help cut about .5 inch from the waist and 1.25 extra pounds. Also diets that include nuts can increase satiety or a feeling of being full after just 3 days.

Are Walnuts Good for You: Nutrition Facts

  1. Walnuts are very low in sodium and cholesterol.
  2. Eat walnuts for a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, copper, magnesium, manganese, and iron.
  3. Are there B vitamins in walnuts – Yes walnuts are a good source of vitamin B.
  4. A single serving of walnuts contains up to 90% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids.

 

3 Spiced Nut Recipes (Video)

 

Further reading:

  1. Do Walnuts Really Improve Artery Function?
  2. Calories in Nuts and Seeds
  3. Cooking with Walnuts

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