People rarely ever give walnuts much consideration, favoring instead exotic superfoods from around the globe. Before you turn to foods with a massive environmental footprint because they have travelled many miles to get to your local store, you might want to reconsider walnuts.
Few foods have as many healing properties as walnuts. Here are some of the best reasons to eat more walnuts.
Walnuts can even help those looking to drop a few pounds. A Harvard Medical School double-blind randomized study that involved 20 women and men who had metabolic syndrome showed that even though these subjects all consumed the same diet with the same number of calories, the ones who received a shake that contained walnuts said that they were less hungry and felt more satisfied during the day than the control group.
Walnuts can give your brain a boost, particularly if you eat them along with their skins. That’s because, according to research in theJournal of Nutrition, walnuts contain natural polyphenolic compounds, which are natural antioxidants that destroy free radicals that might otherwise damage the brain. The study found that polyphenolic compounds reduce brain inflammation, improve signals between brain cells, and increase the generation of brain and nerve cells, making them an all-around great brain food. About 90 percent of the phenolics are found in the skins of the walnuts, so don’t remove them even if many chefs or cooking sites state otherwise. Note: the skin is not the same as the hard shells, which need to be removed.
Promote Eye Health
High in vitamin E and a source of the eye-healing nutrient rutin, eating more walnuts can be a great way to protect your eyes against harmful free radicals.
Reduce Pain And Inflammation
Because walnuts contain plentiful amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids that decrease pain and inflammation they are a great addition to a daily diet to help reduce your pain levels. They work by addressing the source of the pain so you won’t likely notice immediate results. Stick with them on a daily basis to reap the rewards.
Reduce The Risk Of Death From Heart Disease
Another study found that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by nearly half. The study scientists found that a low intake of nuts and seeds was the leading dietary risk factor for death from cardiovascular disease (CVD), accounting for 11.6 percent of deaths due to CVD. And, as you’ve learned, walnuts are superior choices because they are rich in gamma-tocopherols and Omega 3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation throughout the body, including within the arteries.
Increase Male Fertility
UCLA researchers studied 117 young men that were consuming a typical American diet. After giving 59 of these subjects 75 grams of walnuts each day for a 12 week period, it was found that the group that ate walnuts had significantly improved the quality, motility, and sperm vitality.
Reverse Damage From Heart Attacks
In addition to their heart-healing vitamin E, walnuts contain high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation in the blood vessels. Research in the medical journal Circulation found that Omega 3 fatty acids can even help to heal the heart and reverse some of the damage caused by a heart attack.
Walnuts, like many foods, contain plentiful amounts of vitamin E; however, they are unique in that their vitamin E content is in the form of gamma-tocopherol, rather than alpha-tocopherol, which is superior for heart health.
Because of the microbiome benefits discovered in the Journal of Nutrition study, researchers found that increased gut health resulted in improved blood sugar levels and may have additional benefits for diabetics.
Research published in the Journal of Nutrition found that walnuts can transform the microbiome. A microbiome is the sum of all the microbes that reside in or on our bodies. Every person or other living beings have a microbiome that is a unique signature of that particular being. In other words, no two people have the same microbiome. It is like our microbial fingerprint. The study found that walnut consumption increased gut bacteria, which in turn secreted butyrate, which is linked to improved bowel health and reduced gut inflammation.
Reduce Your Colon Cancer Risk
Adding even one ounce of raw, unsalted walnuts to your daily diet significantly cuts your colon cancer risk, according to research. That’s because walnuts are both anti-inflammatory and act like probiotics in the intestines to ensure a healthy gut, which in turn protects against cancer.
Rich in anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids, walnuts can help lubricate the joints to help keep them healthy.
Fresh, raw walnuts make a great addition to salads, atop yogurt or bowl of fruit, chopped and added to quinoa or rice salads, or chopped and added to previously-cooked vegetable dishes. You can add a handful of walnuts to smoothies or even make a fermented cheese from them by soaking a cup of walnuts in half a cup of water, along with the contents of a capsule of probiotics, and leave them overnight to culture. Then, blend them with any flavor additions and a bit of coconut oil until it forms a smooth cheese. And, of course, you can just snack on a handful of walnuts on their own or tossed in a little walnut oil and spices, or eaten alongside dried fruit.
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