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Are Walnuts Good For You?

Published 7/22/13

What Is A Walnut?

Walnuts don’t only make a delicious snack or topping for ice cream but they are also great for overall health. Walnuts, along with pecans, cashews and hazelnut, are part of the very health tree nut family. However, what people don’t realize is the health benefits people can gain from simply eating only seven walnuts a day. Walnuts contain a wide array of beneficial nutrients such as Omega-3 fats, manganese, and copper. Unfortunately for walnuts, and other free nuts, with the high nutritional content comes a high number of colories so it is important to limit the daily intake of walnuts in a balance diet. When consumed in moderation, walnuts are a great addition to any meal and overall diet.

 

Benefits of Walnuts

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

One-cup of walnuts provides 113.3% of our recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to lower "bad" LDL cholesterol levels while increasing the "good" HDL cholesterol levels. It is also proven that Omega-3 fatty acids can help provide healthy blood lipid, which can help reduce the risks associated with coronary artery disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are not very prevolent in many foods so it makes walnuts a wise addition to a balanced diet. 

Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Oxidants

Walnuts are proven to have anti-inflammatory effects while being packed full of a wide variety of anti-oxidants, both of which can help lower the risks of certain types of cancers, such as colon, breast , and prostate cancer. The anti-oxidants in walnuts can also lower the risk of chronic oxidative stress and the anti-inflammatory properties are able to lower the risk of chronic inflammation. Both chronic inflammation and chronic oxidative stress are known to be a common cause of cancer. 

Heart Health

Walnuts have been shown to benefit the cardiovascular system and circulatory system in many different ways. Studies have shown that the omega-3 fatty acids are able to improve the quality of blood, which improves the flow and circulation of blood throughout the body resulting in the heart working more efficiently. Walnuts also lowers the risk of blot clots by decreasing the rate of platelet activation and development. 

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome is a major health problem that results in excessive blood fats, high blood pressure, obesity, and low HDL cholesterol levels. Studies show that just eating one-ounce of walnuts a day for a couple of months can reduce many of the symptoms associated with Metabolic Syndrome.

Weight-Loss and Prevention of Obesity

Obesity is caused by numerous factors, such as eating high calorie and fat foods. However one of the biggest causes of obesity is also, because of unwanted inflammations in the body. Walnuts are known to contain anti-inflammatory nutrients, which will help decrease inflammation in the body. So although walnuts are high in calorie and fat content, the anti-inflammatory nutrients balances it out and can ultimately help with weight loss.     

Tips about Walnuts

- It’s important to eat the walnut with the skin because most of the nutritional content is found in the skin of the walnut. 

- When purchasing walnuts that have not been shelled, make sure it’s heavy and has no cracks or stains on the shell. Cracks and stains are typically a sign of molding.

- Shelled walnuts should be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Unshelled walnuts can be either kept in the refrigerator or in a dark cabinet with good airflow.

Walnut Conclusion

The next time you go looking for a snack to munch on, walnuts are a great option for both your taste buds and your health. They also make great toppings for ice cream, yogurts and salads. Just by adding a few walnuts to your diet on a daily basis you can induce many positive differences within your body.  

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