Walnuts are very nutritious nuts that’s why we will point out several important reasons why you should keep using them in your diet.
Walnuts not only provide us with macronutrients, such as fats (in a form that does not harm the body, on the contrary) and proteins, but they are also rich in micronutrients that are essential for the body such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. In recent decades, scientists have been quite interested in the composition of walnuts and their benefits. A series of studies have been made that provide quite interesting and useful information.
Rich source of antioxidants
Walnuts have been shown to have the highest antioxidant effect of all nuts. This activity is generally due to vitamin E, melatonin, and plant components called polyphenols. Polyphenols are found in the skin covering the nut.
An early-stage study of post-meal oxidative stress in healthy individuals found that eating walnuts prevented oxidative damage to LDL cholesterol after meals, while refined oils did not.
This is important because LDL or “bad” cholesterol, when oxidatively damaged, tends to build up in the blood vessels. Such deposition can lead to more serious conditions, such as atherosclerosis and, ultimately, heart attack or stroke.
Rich source of omega 3 fatty acids
Walnuts have a significantly higher amount of omega 3 fatty acids than all other nuts. About 10g to 100g nuts.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, which means that we must get them through our diet. The recommended daily intake of this essential ingredient is 1.6g for men and 1.1g for women. These essential needs can be met with a meal containing nuts.
Some studies go so far as to reduce the risk of heart disease by 10% if we regularly consume omega 3 fatty acids within the recommended limits, every day.
Walnuts can reduce inflammatory processes and help maintain beneficial intestinal microflora
Inflammatory processes in the body can be the result of oxidative stress. They are the root cause of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. The polyphenolic compounds contained in walnuts can help fight oxidative stress and inflammation, especially a subset of polyphenolic compounds called ellagitannins.
Ellagitannins, according to the study that deals with this issue, are converted from the present beneficial microflora in the stomach, into urolithins. Urolithins, on the other hand, according to research, are directly involved in the fight against inflammation. Several studies indicate that the consumption of walnuts stimulates the development of beneficial intestinal microflora. Inadequate composition and condition of the microflora can increase the risk of inflammatory processes in the body, which in turn, in the long run, lead to dangerous diseases.
Omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium and amino acids such as arginine, which are part of the composition of walnuts, also help prevent and reduce inflammatory processes.
They can reduce the risk of some types of cancer!
Numerous studies in animals and humans have shown that eating walnuts can reduce the risk of some types of cancer, such as breast, prostate and colon cancers. The anti-inflammatory compounds already mentioned can help prevent colon cancer through their anti-inflammatory action in the digestive system.
Also, urolithins have a hormone-like form, so they can block some hormone receptors in the body. This can help reduce the risk of hormone-related cancers, especially breast and prostate cancer.
Other studies indicate the positive effect of walnuts in other types of cancer.
Walnuts can help manage type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of getting this disease
Observation studies suggest that nuts may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes because they help control weight (help control appetite and the energy absorbed by them is 20% less than it would be expected according to composition). Weight gain increases the risk of high blood glucose and chronic diabetes.
In a controlled study, 100 subjects with type 2 diabetes consumed one teaspoon of cold-pressed walnut oil at 3-month intervals (during the study, had a balanced diet, and used appropriate medications). The level of blood sugar (on an empty stomach) decreased by 8%, compared to the control group that did not consume the oil.
They help healthy aging
Although walnuts are high in calories, they are a rich source of essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and other plant components that become more essential as we age.
In an 18-year study, 50,000 adult women were studied and scientists found that healthy living habits and proper nutrition reduced the risk of physical immobility by 13%. Walnuts were among the foods that had a strong impact on what proper nutrition meant.
Walnuts help maintain good reproductive health in men
The typical Western diet, rich in processed foods, has been linked to reduced sperm function.
Eating walnuts can help improve sperm health and, in general, male fertility. This is shown by some studies, and more research is needed to fully confirm these benefits.
They are good for controlling blood fats
Elevated triglyceride levels and LDL cholesterol have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Regular consumption of walnuts is successful in lowering cholesterol levels. For example, in a recent study, 194 healthy individuals ate 43g of walnuts a day for 8 weeks. The level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood of this group was 5% lower than the control group.
Walnuts can also help lower blood pressure, as some studies suggest.
They are good for brain health and functioning
The shape of the walnuts, reminiscent of the human brain, may not be accidental!
Through their anti-inflammatory action, walnuts can reduce oxidative damage to the brain, which can reduce the risk of some diseases.
In a 10-month Alzheimer’s study, subjects had laboratory mice fed (6-9% of calories) walnuts. Mice had significant improvements in memory, learning ability, and anxiety reduction compared with the control group. Studies have also been done on humans. They also indicate a positive effect of nuts on brain health.