It would be somewhat of an understatement to describe walnuts as a nutrient-dense food option. So in this article, we are going to go through the incredible walnut health benefits to our bodies.
Walnuts are an excellent source of fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, and this is only the beginning of the ways in which they can potentially benefit your health.
The English walnut is the most prevalent type of walnut and also the type that has received the greatest research attention.
What Are The Amazing Walnut Health Benefits?
High in several types of antioxidants
Walnuts contain more antioxidant capacity than any other type of nut that is commonly eaten.
Vitamin E, melatonin, and plant components known as polyphenols are responsible for this function. Walnuts have a very high concentration of polyphenols in their papery skin.
A pilot investigation involving a limited number of healthy adults found that consuming a dinner that was high in walnuts reduced the amount of oxidative damage caused to “bad” LDL cholesterol after eating, in contrast to consuming a meal that was high in refined fat, which had no such effect.
This is good news because oxidized LDL has a tendency to accumulate in your arteries, which can lead to the development of atherosclerosis.
To protect against atherosclerosis and other forms of oxidative damage, including that caused by “bad” LDL cholesterol, walnuts are a great choice.
A Powerhouse Omega-3 Food Source from Plants
The omega-3 content of walnuts is substantially higher than that of any other kind of nut, coming in at 2.5 grams per ounce (or 28 grams) of serving size.
Alpha-linolenic acid is the name given to the omega-3 fatty acid that is found in plants like walnuts (ALA). Because it is an essential fat, you have to make sure you get enough of it in your diet.
According to the Institute of Medicine, the recommended daily intake of ALA for men is 1.6 grams, while the recommended daily intake for women is 1.1 grams. That recommendation can be satisfied with a single helping of walnuts.
Observational studies have shown that your chance of dying from cardiovascular disease is reduced by 10% for every gram of ALA that you consume on a daily basis. Omega-3 fat from walnuts may lessen heart disease risk.
Has the potential to reduce inflammation
Oxidative stress is a potential contributor to inflammation, which has a role in the development of several diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.
Walnuts include polyphenols that are beneficial in the fight against oxidative stress as well as inflammation. There is a possibility that ellagitannins, a type of polyphenol, play a particularly important role.
Good bacteria in your intestines are responsible for the conversion of ellagitannins into chemicals known as urolithins. These urolithins have been discovered to defend against inflammatory responses.
Walnuts contain ALA, which is an omega-3 lipid; magnesium; and arginine, which is an amino acid; all of these components have the potential to reduce inflammation.
Walnuts Contain a Number of Various Plant Compounds in Addition to Nutrients, Which May Help in Decreasing Inflammation.
Helps Maintain a Sound Digestive System
According to a number of studies, if your digestive tract is full of beneficial bacteria and other microbes (together referred to as your gut microbiota), you are more plausible to have a healthy digestive tract as well as good overall health.
The risk of developing obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer can all be raised by having a microbiome that is poorly balanced.
What you consume can have a big impact on the composition of the bacteria in your gut. Consuming walnuts could be one method to promote the health of both your microbiota and your digestive tract.
Consuming walnuts provide nourishment not only for you but also for the good bacteria that are already living in your digestive tract. This is good for your gut health and may lower your risk of getting sick.
Eating Walnuts Could Lower the Risk of Certain Cancers
Consuming walnuts could lower your risk of developing certain cancers, such as breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers, according to research conducted in test tubes, on animals, and in humans who participated in observational studies.
As was mentioned before, walnuts have a high concentration of the polyphenol known as ellagitannins. Certain microorganisms found in the gut have the ability to transform these substances into substances known as urolithins.
Eating walnuts may help lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer because they contain urolithins, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in the digestive tract. Urolithins’ anti-inflammatory properties may also help them stave off other malignancies.
In addition, urolithins can inhibit hormone action by binding to and blocking hormone receptors. Your likelihood of developing hormone-related malignancies, in particular breast and prostate cancers, may go down as a result of this.
To verify the effects that eating walnuts has on lowering the risk of this and other cancers, as well as to define all of the ways or mechanisms by which they may be helpful, more research on humans is required to be conducted.
Walnuts contain polyphenols, which have been linked to a reduced risk of several malignancies, including breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. However, this hypothesis has to be confirmed by additional research on humans.
Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight
Walnuts have a high-calorie density, however, research suggests that the amount of energy that can be extracted from them is 21% less than what one would anticipate based on the nutrients that they contain.
In addition to this, research suggests that consuming walnuts can assist in the regulation of hunger.
Walnuts have a high-calorie density, but it’s possible that you won’t even come close to absorbing all of those calories. In addition to this, you may find that they help you control your appetite and feel less hungry.
May Assist in the Management of Type 2 Diabetes and Decrease the Risk
Walnuts may reduce type 2 diabetes risk by controlling weight, according to observational research. Your chance of developing diabetes and high blood sugar is increased if you are overweight.
However, consuming walnuts may help reduce blood sugar levels through mechanisms that are separate from their effect on weight control.
Consuming one tbsp of chilly walnut oil per day for three months, in addition to the standard diabetes medication, and maintaining a healthy diet, resulted in an eight percent reduction in the participant’s blood sugar levels when they were fasting. This research was conducted in a controlled setting with one hundred people who had type 2 diabetes.
In addition to this, those who consumed walnut oil had around an 8% reduction in their hemoglobin A1C levels (3-month average blood sugar). The A1C and fasting blood sugar levels did not indicate any improvement in the control group. Both groups did not experience any changes in their weight.
Walnut consumption may help you maintain a healthy weight, which in turn may lower your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. This is due to the fact that walnuts have been shown to have a weight-regulating effect. Walnuts may have further direct impacts on the regulation of blood sugar levels as well.
Could Contribute to a Decrease in Blood Pressure
One of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke is high blood pressure.
Eating walnuts may lower blood pressure in high-blood-pressure patients and healthy people under stress, according to some research.
People who followed the Mediterranean diet that was high in nuts experienced a drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) that was 0.65 mmHg larger than those who followed a heart-healthy control diet that was identical to the Mediterranean diet but did not include nuts in their diet.
According to this evidence, the advantages of a heart-healthy diet on blood pressure may be marginally improved by eating nuts. This is significant because it is believed that even slight variations in blood pressure can have a significant effect on the likelihood that a person would pass away from heart disease.
A number of studies have found that consuming approximately 1 ounce (28 grams) of nuts on a daily basis, particularly walnuts, as part of a diet that is good for the heart may assist in lowering blood pressure.
Contributes to a Healthy Way of Aging
If you want to keep your mobility and freedom as you become older, having strong physical functioning is really necessary.
Maintaining healthy eating habits may be one item that can assist you in keeping your physical abilities.
In an observational study that spanned 18 years and included more than 50,000 elderly women, researchers discovered that those participants with the cleanest diets had a 13% decreased risk of developing some form of physical disability. One of the foods that contributed the most to a healthy diet was walnuts. Walnuts were among those foods.
Walnuts are rich in critical vitamins, minerals, fiber, lipids, and plant chemicals that may help promote optimal physical performance as you age. Despite their high-calorie content, walnuts are a healthy choice.
Eating walnuts may help you maintain physical functions like walking and self-care as you age.
Contributes to healthy brain function
It’s possible that the shape of a walnut’s shell, which resembles a miniature brain, is merely a coincidence, but a study indicates that eating walnuts may actually be beneficial to your mental health.
Walnuts include polyunsaturated fat, flavonoids, and vitamin E, which may prevent brain oxidative damage and inflammation.
When compared to a control group that did not consume walnuts during a ten-month study on Alzheimer’s disease, mice that were given 6–9% of their daily calories in the form of walnuts (equivalent to 1–1.5 ounces or 28–45 grams daily in people) showed significant benefits in learning skills, memory, and anxiety reduction.
Eating walnuts has been related in observational studies conducted on adults of a certain age to improved brain function, including increased processing speed, increased mental flexibility, and improved memory.
Even though these findings are encouraging, in order to draw certain conclusions, we need to do additional research investigating the effects of walnuts on the brain function of humans.
Walnuts are rich in a variety of nutrients, including those that may help shield your brain from inflammation that can be harmful and maintain brain health as you become older.
Contributes to the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Men
Researchers have shown a correlation between a typical Western diet, which is strong in processed foods, sugar, and refined carbohydrates, and decreased sperm performance.
Consuming walnuts may be beneficial to the health of sperm and to male fertility.
In a study including 117 healthy young men, those who consumed walnuts on a daily basis at a rate of 2.5 ounces (75 grams) as part of a Western-style diet for a period of three months had increased sperm shape, vitality, and movement in comparison to those who did not consume nuts (31Trusted Source).
Walnut consumption may help safeguard sperm by lowering the level of oxidative stress in their membranes, according to a study conducted on animals.
There is a need for additional research to verify these benefits; however, if you are a man who is concerned about his fertility, you can easily test out the hypothesis by eating walnuts.
Consuming walnuts on a daily basis may help mitigate the possible adverse effects that less-than-ideal dietary habits may have on the health of sperm.
Promotes Improvements in Blood Fats
It has been known for a long time that an increased risk of heart disease is associated with having high levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
It has been demonstrated over and again that eating walnuts on a regular basis can bring cholesterol levels down.
A new study including 194 healthy people found that those who had 1.5 ounces (43 grams) of walnuts per day for eight weeks saw a 5% reduction in total cholesterol, a 5% reduction in LDL cholesterol, and a 5% reduction in triglycerides compared to those who did not consume walnuts.
Additionally, apolipoprotein-B, a marker for total LDL particle count in the blood, was about 6% lower in walnut eaters. A high level of apolipoprotein B is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Walnuts are one of the most nutrient-dense types of nuts. They surpass all other popular nuts in terms of their antioxidant activity and contain a notably greater quantity of heart-healthy omega-3 fats.
Walnuts are connected with a number of health advantages, including a reduction in the inflammatory response and an improvement in risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These benefits are in part attributable to the walnut’s rich nutritional profile.
The many ways in which the fiber and plant compounds found in walnuts, such as polyphenols, may interact with the bacteria in your gut and contribute to your overall health are still being investigated by scientists.
As more studies investigate the potential health benefits of walnuts, you can expect to hear more about them in the future.
Nevertheless, there are a lot of reasons why you should start including them in your diet right once.
Did we mention all walnuts’ health benefits? Let us know in the comments section.