They are crunchy and can turn everything, from salads to desserts, into something truly delicious. While they might be tiny, Walnuts are quite the superfood.
If you have noticed the kernel of a walnut, it looks quite similar to the human brain. In fact, it is this resemblance that gave it a reputation as brain food.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, this hearty tree nut was used to treat head ailments, boost intellect and calm emotions. But this resemblance is not just for show.
Walnuts are packed with a variety of nutrients which have health benefits ranging from improving and protecting your brain health to helping you manage your weight and much more.
Keep reading today’s article if you want to find out all the health benefits of Walnuts and why you should make it a part of your daily diet.
1. You will Sleep Better.
Sleep is an extremely important body function and not sleeping for at least 7-8 hours every night can lead to your body developing a series of problems.
This is because sleep allows your organs and body to rest, letting them catch up on more energy for the next day.
It also allows your mind to rest and the lack of proper sleep can lead to impaired brain function and can affect your day to day life.
Eating just a handful of delicious walnuts on a daily basis can help regulate your sleep patterns.
This is because walnuts are rich in melatonin, a compound that works by conveying messages regarding the cycle of light and dark to the body.
You make it yourselves, but eating walnuts for an added boost increases the blood levels of melatonin, thereby inducing a peaceful sleep.
You can easily incorporate them in your dinner and look forward to a good night’s sleep every time!
2. You will have Lower Blood Pressure.
Walnuts have properties to lower your blood pressure making them the perfect addition to nights of Netflix and chill.
Researchers discovered that both walnuts and walnut oil in your diet diet can lower your blood pressure.
This is because they are a rich source of fiber, antioxidants, and unsaturated fatty acids, particularly alpha linolenic acid or ALA, an omega 3 fatty acid.
These are the nutrients that give walnuts their stress fighting properties.
You can mix walnut oil with sherry vinegar, olive oil, cumin and a pinch of salt and pepper to make a salad dressing. Or blend some into a delicious soup.
3. Healthier Heart.
Walnuts contain the amino acid l-arginine, which offers multiple heart benefits to people with heart disease, or those who have increased risk for heart disease.
The presence of alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, which is anti-inflammatory prevents the formation of pathological blood clots.
Research shows that people who eat a diet high in ALA are less likely to have a fatal heart attack and have a nearly 50 percent lower risk of sudden cardiac death.
Eating just four walnuts a day can significantly raise your blood levels of heart-healthy ALA.
Other research showed that eating just one ounce of walnuts a day may decrease cardiovascular risk, and among those at high cardiovascular risk, increased frequency of nut consumption significantly lowers the risk of death.
4. Better Brain Health.
Walnuts are loaded with Omega 3s which are important for proper brain cell function.
Higher rates of depression, hyperactivity, learning disorders, and behavioral and sleep problems relate to low omega-3 diets.
Adding walnuts to your diet has been shown to help correct motor and cognitive deficits.
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As a result of the aging process, your brain cells may weaken in strength and function and eating walnuts regularly can correct this.
In addition to omega-3s, walnuts are also rich in monounsaturated fats. These healthy fats have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.
5. Lower Diabetes Risk.
Walnuts have a low Glycemic Index between 14 and 20 because they don’t spike your blood sugar levels and are absorbed very slowly by your body.
It is also rich in fibers which helps you feel full for a longer time and prevents you from unhealthy snacking.
They also contain Magnesium which has been shown to improve insulin response by lowering your insulin resistance.
6. Improved Bone Health.
Walnuts are a very good source of copper, which can help make your bones more dense. In fact, copper deficiency can lead to lower bone density and high risk of osteoporosis.
Copper also helps in maintenance of collagen which is found in your bones and helps to hold your body together.
The presence of high amounts of magnesium also contributes in bone formation and helps with absorption of calcium into your bones.
7. Your Mood Will be better.
Another great benefit of consuming walnuts on a regular basis is that it can be a great mood booster for you.
When your body does not have enough omega-3 fatty acids in it, it can lead to a number of mood related problems. These problems include irritability, hyperactivity, and even tantrums.
This makes walnuts a great item to include in your diet if you have problems with mood swings as it can control them.
They can also be beneficial if you are fighting depression and stress.
8. Better Bowel Movement.
Snacking on a handful of walnuts can greatly benefit your bowel movements thanks to their fiber content. Fiber softens your stool, making it easier to pass, and reduces your risk of constipation and hemorrhoids.
Depending on your age and gender, it is recommended you consume between 25 and 30 grams of fiber a day.
With just an ounce of walnuts, you get about 2 grams of fiber. Not only can the fiber in walnuts keep your digestive system working smoothly, it can also help lower the risk of colon cancer.
9. Help You Manage Weight.
When it comes to weight loss, walnuts get a bad rap because they’re high in fat and calories. But even if you’re trying to shed a few pounds, you shouldn’t shy away from them.
The healthy fat and fiber content in walnuts can help increase fullness, curb hunger and slow blood glucose absorption, which can limit your intake of extra calories between or even during meals.
While eating walnuts won’t help you lose weight directly, a diet that includes walnuts, along with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, can help with weight management.
10. You will age slower.
Walnuts contain several unique and powerful antioxidants that are available in only a few commonly eaten foods.
Antioxidants are crucial to your health, as they help control how fast you age by combating free radicals, which are at the heart of age related deterioration.
The antioxidants in walnuts are so powerful at free radical scavenging that researchers have even called them remarkable.
Research has also shown that walnut polyphenols can help prevent chemically induced liver damage.
11. Give you Great Hair.
Walnuts are very good for your hair due to the presence of biotin, which is a vitamin B7. It helps strengthen your hair, reduce hair loss and improve hair growth to a certain extent.
It also contains Vitamin E which can help give you hair and nails a healthy shine. The high amounts of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and antioxidants can also strengthen your hair follicles and make your scalp dandruff free.
They also provide thicker, longer and stronger hair.
12. Help Prevent Cancer.
Walnuts contain certain nutrients that can help control cancer cells and their growth. Their phenolic compounds and antioxidants play a significant role in doing so.
Antioxidants are also known for removing free radicals from the body, which can also help in preventing cancer.
Walnuts may help reduce not only the risk of prostate cancer, but breast cancer as well. A study in mice found that eating walnuts can significantly slow down prostate tumors.
Overall, a whole walnut diet reduced prostate cancer growth by 30 to 40 percent. According to another study on mice, the human equivalent of just two handfuls of walnuts a day cut breast cancer risk in half, and slowed tumor growth by 50 percent as well.
13. Give you Glowing Skin.
Walnuts are a great source of vitamin E and have large amounts of gamma tocopherol in them, which is basically a soluble antioxidant.
Antioxidants are known for their role in eliminating free radicals from the body and the vitamin E that is present in walnuts protects your skin from free radicals.
This helps maintain your skin the way it looks and feels and also protects it from harm. Walnuts also have a lot of B-complex vitamins such as B-6, folate, riboflavin and niacin,all of which are great for your skin.
14. Cleanse You Internally.
Walnuts are your internal vacuum cleaners as they literally cleanse your digestive system of uncountable parasites.
As a designated superfood on account of its nutrient content, the snack food is beneficial to heart health and weight loss as well.
Try to eat walnuts in minimal quantities each day. Moderation truly is the key for this nutrient powerhouse, if you want to avoid allergies or unforeseen health conditions.
Do you eat Walnuts regularly? What is your favourite nut?
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