To say that nuts are a nutritious food is a bit of an understatement. Nuts provide healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals – and this is just the beginning of how they can support your health. In fact, there is so much interest in this nut that for the past 50 years, scientists and industry experts have gathered annually at the University of California, Davis, for a walnut conference discussing the latest research on nut health. Walnuts are an excellent source of antioxidants that can help fight oxidative damage to your body, including damage due to “bad” LDL cholesterol, which promotes atherosclerosis.
Walnuts are a good source of the plant form of omega-3 fat, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Several plant compounds and nutrients in nuts can help reduce inflammation, which is a key culprit in many chronic diseases. Eating walnuts not only nourishes you but also the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. This promotes your gut health and can help reduce the risk of illness.
Polyphenols in walnuts can reduce the risk of certain cancers, including breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. Although they are dense in calories, you may not absorb all the calories in the nuts. In addition, they may even help you control appetite and hunger. Eating 28 grams of nuts daily, including walnuts, as part of a healthy heart diet can help improve blood pressure.
A healthy diet that includes nuts can help maintain fitness, such as walking and self-care abilities as you age. Walnuts contain nutrients that can help protect your brain from the destruction of inflammation and support good brain function as we age. Regular consumption of nuts can help neutralize possible harmful effects of less than ideal eating habits on sperm health. A daily serving of nuts of 1.5 ounces (43 grams) can help reduce harmful levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which contribute to the risk of heart disease.
Walnuts are easy to add to your diet, as they are widely available in stores and an excellent addition to countless dishes.