Date: 24 Oct 2023
Did you know that walnuts are one of the healthiest foods you can eat?
Walnuts are delicious and are full of nutritional benefits as well. They even make it into the top 10 heart-healthiest ingredients, best foods to fight inflammation, and healthiest types of nuts.
Nuts are rich in protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants that you can take with you on the go. They are a staple of the mega-healthy Mediterranean diet and are the most versatile food.
Here are some health benefits you'll reap when you snack on walnuts.
1. Immune system support
A serving of 25-30 grams of walnuts is packed with important nutrients including protein, fiber and magnesium , which are important for maintaining your immune system and overall health. Walnuts are also a good source of vitamin B6 and an excellent source of copper, which support the functioning of our immune system.
2. Healthy fats
Walnuts are unique among nuts because they contain almost entirely beneficial polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 alpha-linolenic (ALA). In fact, walnuts are the only nuts high in ALA, which has been associated with heart, brain and inflammation health benefits This is good to know since omega-3 ALA cannot be produced by the body and therefore must come from foods.
Walnuts have the highest amount of polyphenols among tree nuts. These are antioxidant plant compounds that can play a beneficial role in boosting health in a variety of ways, including heart health, cognitive health, inflammation, and some cancers.
4. Gut health
Choosing the right foods to fuel the gut microbiome is key. Studies show that walnuts may be a good choice because of their prebiotic properties, which support gut health and enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria.
5. Cognitive health
Walnuts offer important nutrients that support brain health, and scientific evidence suggests that including walnuts as part of a healthy diet may play a role in maintaining and improving cognitive health as we age. For example, according to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, consuming walnuts may help improve cognitive function test scores for memory, concentration and information processing speed in older adults.
6. Weight management
Some foods are good for satiety and studies show that walnuts may be one of them. A long-term observational study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that increasing daily walnut consumption by just half a serving was associated with less weight gain and a lower risk of obesity.
7. Versatility and convenience
There are countless ways to incorporate walnuts into your diet, and when it comes to healthy eating, affordability is key. Nuts are a versatile nut that pairs well with a variety of ingredients, contributing different flavor (sweet or salty) and texture (raw, toasted or ground) profiles that help satisfy cravings and regulate weight.