Walnuts Health Benefits

February 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Nutrition

We have all been made aware that some nuts can have great health benefits to the way we live. Walnuts are one of the best nuts that we can eat to make sure that we live a healthy life. In this guide, we will explore some of the benefits of eating walnuts.

Protect Arteries – Walnuts contain ‘healthy’ fats (omega 3), which is known to improve artery functions. A study suggested that in a Mediterranean diet (which is full of salads, olive oil and fish), nuts would be more beneficial than olive oil in the diet, because of how they help the arteries after eating a ‘fatty’ meal.

Now this does not mean that you can eat unhealthy foods, then ‘flush them out’ with a handful of walnuts. All the people that were tested had a ‘healthy’ diet of salads and fish on top of nuts. However, nuts do ‘flush out’ your arteries to a certain extent. This is why those people on a Mediterranean diet have some of the highest expected life spans in the world.

Walnuts

Walnuts

Source – xtinabot

Currently, there is a five year test (due to finish this year) happening in Spain to check to see the effects of an Italian style diet on heart and artery health. Results published from the interim results proved that there is less pressure on the heart, and there are improvements in the ‘management’ of metabolic syndrome, which will help prevent the development of heart disease and diabetes.

Food For Thought – Did you know that your brain is more than 60% structural fat? For your brain to operate to its highest potential you need to make sure that the surrounding fat is ‘healthy’, and (as already mentioned) omega 3 is a healthy fat. Various studies have concluded that children that do not have enough omega 3 on average, and this can lead to increased hyperactivity, problems sleeping and more ‘tantrums’. A study conducted on in excess of 10,000 people showed that 20% of all those tested did not even show a trace of omega 3 in their system.

Prevent Gallstones – There have been plenty of tests to prove that all nuts decrease the risk of gallstones. It is believed that a couple of walnuts a day will help reduce the risk of gallstones by 25%.

Source of Melatonin – The body produces the hormone melatonin to make sure we feel tired. Walnuts have a natural source of Melatonin in them, which means that if you have trouble sleeping, then walnuts may be the perfect food for your body. Plenty of night shift workers or business travels are advised to eat walnuts to obtain the right amount of melatonin.

Protect Bone Health – The omega three fat found in walnuts helps keep your bones healthy as they decrease in strength due to age. To make sure this is the case, your body needs to consume more Omega 3 than Omega 6, when this is the case, your bones will become ‘harder’. A test of roughly 23 people over 6 weeks proved that a diet that contained walnuts showed results that the walnuts had a ‘protected effect’ on the bone metabolism, which caused them to be sturdier.

Stops Weight Gain – Plenty of people think that eating too many nuts causes you to put on weight. However, it has been proven that eating the correct amount of walnuts (a few per day) can help prevent ‘natural’ weight gain. A study conducted of over 8000 people concluded that those that did not eat walnuts were 31% more likely to put on weight. This test was carried out with all of the people eating the same diet on a daily basis. The people on the walnut diet also reduced the amount of LDL in their body (bad cholesterol) by up to 6 percent.

Helps Diabetes – A study that took place at Yale University proved that walnuts improve the blood flow of those people that have type 2 diabetes. 24 people were asked to consume their ‘regular’ diet with the addition of 2 ounces of walnuts per day, and the results proved that blood flow in the ‘test subjects’ was much quicker. It is believed that these results will mean that people with type two diabetes are less likely to suffer any cardiac problems if they include walnuts in their diet.

It is not hard to see that there are plenty of benefits of adding walnuts to your daily diet. Therefore, it may be a good idea to add walnuts to your salads or to your everyday meals, or even buy them to eat as a snack.

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