News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Monday, August 20, 2012

Health benefits of walnuts


Lower Blood Pressure
Thanks to the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids they contain, walnuts are very beneficial to all aspects of the cardiovascular system. Research has found that just a few walnuts per day may help to reduce blood pressure.

Lower Cholesterol
Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to effectively lower cholesterol levels. People with high cholesterol can significantly lower their levels by eating walnuts and other foods that are high in fiber and essential fatty acids.

Cancer Prevention
Research has found walnuts to be promising in the fight against cancer. Studies on human subjects found that a few walnuts per day significantly reduced the risk of prostate cancer, while animal studies have found similar results on the risk of breast cancer.

Brain Health
The omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts are great for the brain. Eating walnuts as well as other foods high in omega-3s such as seafood and flaxseed can maintain and improve memory and overall cognitive function.

Good Digestion
Because walnuts are rich in fiber, they are a great way to keep your digestive system healthy. Getting enough fiber on a daily basis is essential to keeping your bowels functioning correctly. Most sources of protein, such as meat and dairy, are lacking in fiber. So, you can get both the protein benefits and fiber benefits at the same time by eating walnuts.

Healthy Hair
The selenium, zinc, biotin and essential fatty acids in walnuts help to promote healthy, shiny, strong hair.

Gallstone Prevention Recent studies have shown that eating nuts on a daily basis can help to prevent gallstones. Add walnuts to your cereal or snack on a few between meals to prevent gallbladder disease.

Better Sleep
Walnuts contain bio-available melatonin, which has been found to improve sleeping patterns. Adding a few walnuts into your daily meal plan may help you to rest better at night.


Strong Bones
One of the essential fatty acids in walnuts is called alpha linolenic acid, and this compound has been associated with stronger, healthier bones. When you are getting omega-3 fatty acids on a regular basis, inflammation will decrease, and lower levels of inflammation are related to stronger bones.


Weight Management
Even though walnuts are high in calories and contain fat, they can actually help you to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. The fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals can boost your health and help you to avoid eating too many other foods that are high in calories but low in nutrition.



To fight free radicals that can damage our body's cells and cause disease, walnuts are the top nut to eat, according to new research.
That's because these nuts pack large loads of antioxidant polyphenols, compounds that interact with free radicals to stabilize them and prevent them from doing damage to cells. Harmful free radicals are charged particles that are produced from reactions in our body, as well as by pollution and cigarette smoke. When they collide with cells, they can start a chain chemical reaction that disrupts the workings of the cell, which can damage or kill cells.
Walnuts have almost twice as many antioxidant polyphenols as almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias and pecans, researchers said.
"A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut. But unfortunately, people don't eat a lot of them," Joe Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton, said in a statement. "This study suggests that consumers should eat more walnuts as part of a healthy diet."

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