Healthy benefits of walnuts

by | Health & Fitness |

Healthy benefits of walnuts

Walnuts are round, single-seeded stone fruits. Walnut trees are native to eastern North America but are now commonly grown in China, Iran, and within the United States in California and Arizona. Walnuts are available both raw or roasted and salted or unsalted.

Walnuts provide healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals - and that’s just the beginning of how they may support your health. Walnuts are also a good source of manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, iron. They are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a good source of protein. As research shows they may boost your health in a number of ways.

So, here are some health benefits of walnuts -

Good for the brain

Walnuts contain important phytochemicals as well as high amounts of polyunsaturated fats which do offer potential benefits for both brain health and brain function. Omega-3 plays a part by helping to reduce oxidative stress in the brain, but also by helping to improve brain signaling and neurogenesis, which is the creation of neurons. As well as the good fats, other important nutrients such as vitamin E, folate and ellagic acid are all found in walnuts and also contribute to neuroprotection and memory function.

Improves Heart Health

Walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids that help to improve heart health. Fresh raw walnuts are rich in amino acid l-arginine,  and monounsaturated fatty acids (72%) like oleic acid. It also contains EFAs like linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and arachidonic acids. The inclusion of these nuts in any diet helps prevent coronary heart diseases by favoring a healthy lipid supply. Consuming walnuts lowers the LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases the level of HDL (good) cholesterol. Researchers at the University of Munich Medical Center, Germany found that consuming walnuts also reduced ApoB levels, a marker used to evaluate the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

For Immunity

Walnuts have high amounts of antioxidants in them that keep your immune system healthy and prevent the onset of diseases. Add some walnuts to your diet every day to keep yourself fit as a fiddle.

Walnuts

Boosts Mood

Omega-3, found in walnuts, is important in the development and function of the central nervous system. There has been positive research and clinical evidence to indicate that omega-3 fatty acids could well play a role in certain mood disorders.

Cancer-fighting properties

Walnuts may help reduce not only the risk of prostate cancer but breast cancer as well. In one study, mice that ate the human equivalent of 2.4 ounces of whole walnuts for 18 weeks had significantly smaller and slower-growing prostate tumors compared to the control group that consumed the same amount of fat from other sources. Overall, the whole walnut diet reduced prostate cancer growth by 30 to 40 percent. According to another study on mice, the human equivalent of just two handfuls of walnuts a day cut breast cancer risk in half and slowed tumor growth by 50 percent as well.

Improves Bone health

Walnuts are a good source of the mineral copper. Severe copper deficiency is associated with lower bone mineral density and an increased risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become thinner and less dense, making them easier to fracture and break. Walnuts contain a high amount of manganese. Manganese has been shown to prevent osteoporosis in combination with the minerals calcium and copper. Magnesium, another mineral in walnuts, is important for bone formation as it helps with the absorption of calcium into the bone.

Promotes a Healthy Gut

Studies suggest that if your gut is rich in health-promoting bacteria and other microbes, you’re more likely to have a healthy gut and good overall health. An unhealthy composition of your microbiota can contribute to inflammation and disease in your gut and elsewhere in your body, increasing your risk of obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Eating walnuts may be one way to support the health of your microbiota and your gut.

Weight Management

Walnuts help you feel full, which means that it increases satiety. Researchers from Harvard Medical School found that people who consumed shakes containing walnuts had an increased level of fullness during the day as compared to people who had placebo shakes. The rich source of protein and fiber makes it a healthy snacking option, especially for vegetarians.

Prevents Breast Cancer

The American Association For Cancer Research has published in its 2009 research volume that consuming a few walnuts each day can help reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Good for the digestive system

A recent study has shown that consuming walnuts can enrich the gut microbiome and increase particular good bacteria strains, which could offer benefits to humans with more research.

Walnuts

Powerful antioxidants

Antioxidants are crucial to your health, as they are believed to help control how fast you age by combating free radicals, which are at the heart of age-related deterioration. Walnuts contain several unique and powerful antioxidants that are available in only a few commonly eaten foods. This includes the quinone juglone, the tannin tellimagrandin, and the flavonol morin. Walnuts contain antioxidants that are so powerful at free radical scavenging, and research has shown that walnut polyphenols may help prevent chemically-induced liver damage.

Controls Blood Pressure

Some studies suggest that eating walnuts may help lower blood pressure, including in people with high blood pressure and in healthy people when under stress.

Supports Male Reproductive Health

Some research suggests that eating walnuts may help protect sperm by reducing oxidative damage in their membranes. Eating walnuts may help support sperm health and male fertility.

Hair Care

Walnuts are also responsible for healthy hair as they strengthen hair follicles and makes scalp dandruff free. It also provides thicker, longer and stronger hair. You could also use its husk as a natural highlighter.

Skin Care

The vitamin E present in walnut helps in maintaining and protecting the skin from free radicals that are harmful in nature. It also helps in preventing wrinkles and dry skin. Regular use of walnuts also lightens the dark circles. Walnut scrubs act as a natural exfoliator and help keep the skin young and fresh.

Pregnant Women

The rich source of vitamin B-complex present in roasted unsalted walnuts is essential for fetal growth.

Astringent Properties

Walnut oils have significant astringent properties. Toasted walnut oil has a rich, nutty flavor that helps bring aroma and flavor to the food. This flavor gives a pleasant taste, but only when it is used in moderation. It is used as a carrier/base oil in various therapies like aromatherapy, and massage therapy, as well as in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry.

Walnuts

Regulate Sleep

This nut makes melatonin, a hormone that helps induce and regulate sleep, and is present in the bioavailable form in them. So, it’s best to add walnuts to your dinner dishes to ensure a good, restful sleep.

For Internal Cleaning

Walnuts are your internal vacuum cleaners as they literally cleanse the digestive system of uncountable parasites. As a designated superfood on account of its nutrient content, the snack food is beneficial to heart health and weight loss as well.

Good for Diabetes patient

The beneficial dietary fat in walnuts has been shown to improve metabolic parameters in people with Type 2 diabetes. Overweight adults with Type 2 diabetes who ate one-quarter cup of walnuts daily had significant reductions in fasting insulin levels compared to those who did not, and the benefit was achieved in the first three months.