How Walnuts Help Promote Better Health

How Walnuts Help Promote Better Health

Walnuts have always been a popular and well-loved variety of nut. It’s easy to see why: despite the strange and knotted appearance, they have a very deep and scrumptious flavor profile as well as a delightfully crunchy-chewy texture. These characteristics have made walnuts a popular inclusion in many of our favorite desserts and recipes, from ice creams and cakes to even stews, salads and roasted meats.

Walnuts are also delicious to eat on their own, without any flavors or just a little touch of natural spices; they’re also a prominent inclusion in trail mixes. Alternatively, milked walnuts with no sugar added is equally delicious and creamy whether you drink it like traditional milk or add it to different beverages and recipes.

However, there are more reasons for walnuts being as popular as they are than just the pleasant taste. In fact, walnuts are one of the nutritionally dense nut varieties. From keeping your heart and brain in tip-top shape to helping you control your weight better, walnuts can be considered as a superfood when it comes to promoting better health.

Still skeptical? Let the following list convince you of the walnut’s astounding health benefits, and the studies that prove them.

Walnuts help keep your heart healthy.

Walnuts are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, both of which have been proven to decrease LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. High levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, strokes, and heart attacks, and walnuts contain essential nutrients that help bring down the risk of developing these health conditions. Additionally, some studies have also associated a diet high in walnuts with an improved cholesterol and lipid profile, as well as an overall reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation – factors that can also cause serious health complications.

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Walnuts help you manage your weight.

Walnuts are a very calorie-dense food. While this may make walnuts sound terribly fattening – as weight control is all about lessening your intake of calories and not increasing it – studies have suggested that the energy you absorb from walnuts is 21 percent lower. This means that your body doesn’t necessarily absorb all the calories in a serving of walnuts when you eat them, making them a relatively guilt-free snack.

There’s also the fact that the consumption of walnuts can hasten satiety and suppress hunger pangs. A recent study involving 10 obese people had them drinking a smoothie made with 48 grams of walnuts once a day for five days. The subjects were found to have less of an appetite and hunger during those five days, as compared to a control group who drank a placebo beverage equal in calories and nutrients.

Walnuts promote a healthy gut.

Many studies have proven that if you keep your intestinal flora – i.e., the bacteria in your gut – healthy by consuming probiotic foods and drinks, the better off you’re going to be in terms of digestive and overall health. On the other hand, neglecting your intestinal flora can result in inflammation, which can lead to various diseases and certain cancers.

Recently, it was discovered that walnuts have probiotic properties. A 2018 study that involved 194 healthy adults found that eating about 1.5 ounces of walnuts every day for eight weeks can cause a significant increase in beneficial intestinal bacteria. The routine consumption of walnuts also resulted in the increase the amount of intestinal bacteria that produces butyrate, a gut-nourishing fat that is linked to good gut health.

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Walnuts may support good brain function.

Walnuts have also been proven to help keep your brain healthy. The same elements in walnuts that help keep your heart and gut healthy – polyunsaturated fats, polyphenols, as well as vitamin E – have been proven to help reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in brain tissue.

Consuming walnuts regularly may also help with improving brain function. A 10-month study that involved mice being fed 6 to 9 percent of their daily calories with walnuts saw significant improvements in their skill-learning and memory-retaining abilities, as well as a reduction in overall anxiety. To add to this, observational studies involving older adults have also shown that walnuts can have the same effect on humans. More research is needed to verify this, but the results as of this writing is already pretty convincing!

With all these ways that walnuts can help promote better health, it’s definitely a good idea to start adding them to your daily diet. As with all kinds of food, however, always be sure to consume only the recommended daily servings, as too much of anything – even if it’s something as healthy as walnuts – may cause negative effects.

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