Walnut Nutrition: 11 Health Benefits of Walnuts
Ready to ditch brain fog, improve heart health and even have a baby sooner? Eat walnuts!
Help Lower Cholesterol
Snacking on a handful of walnuts can lower the amount of fat in your blood. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that incorporating walnuts into your diet can lower cholesterol levels. Participants in the study saw a 4% drop in LDL (bad) cholesterol after adding more healthy walnut recipes to their diets.
Support a Healthy Heart
Walnuts are rich in healthy fats that can improve your heart health. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that people who regularly ate nuts like walnuts had a 37% lower risk for heart disease than those who didn’t. Get all your healthy fats in one delicious bite when you make this crispy walnut-crusted salmon!
Build Stronger Bones
Strengthen your bones and build collagen with a handful of walnuts every day. Walnuts are rich in vitamins like copper, manganese and magnesium; these nutrients are essential to maintaining bone density and preventing osteoporosis. Magnesium also helps your body absorb calcium, so try tossing some chopped walnuts over your morning parfait.
Say Goodbye to Gallstones
A 2004 study found that women who regularly eat walnuts and other nuts are at lower risk for gallbladder disease and at a significantly lower risk of needing to have their gallbladders removed. To start incorporating more nuts into your diet, swap your lunchtime turkey sandwich for this sweet and crunchy apple walnut salad.
Walnuts are loaded with healthy fats, protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied. This might be why they’re associated with maintaining a healthy weight. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who rarely ate nuts like walnuts had a higher risk of weight gain than the nut lovers. Try sprinkling some over your healthy side dishes, like roasted green beans with lemon and walnuts.
Give Skin a Healthy Glow
The healthy fats found in walnuts won’t just protect your heart and blood vessels; they’ll plump up your skin, too. Omega-3 fatty acids help skin cells retain moisture, giving your skin a smooth glow. Walnuts can also help fight inflammation, which means less redness and irritation. They may even help protect your skin against the sun’s UV rays.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, all nuts support a healthy diet, but walnuts are especially beneficial. The combination of nutrients in walnuts can lower inflammation and reduce oxidative stress that can lead to cancer in the body. Give your cells a boost of antioxidants by serving this vibrant berry beet salad with dinner.
Manage Diabetes Complications
According to researchers at the Cleveland Clinic, people with diabetes who regularly ate certain types of nuts (including walnuts) had a lower risk of heart disease and stroke than those who didn’t. Cut carbs and up your nutrients at dinner by substituting this acorn squash with blueberry walnut filling instead of rice or bread.
Improve Gut Health
A study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that eating walnuts can increase the number of good bacteria in your gut, which may prevent chronic disease and strengthen the immune system. Make your gut happy by sprinkling chopped walnuts over nutrient-rich orange glazed carrots, onions and radishes.
Help Reproductive Health
Ready to grow your family? Reach for the walnuts. Researchers from the UCLA School of Nursing discovered that when men eat about two handfuls of walnuts each day, they had a boost in fertility and sperm health. Skip the romantic spaghetti and meatballs on date night, and enjoy a bowl of bow ties with walnut herb pesto instead.
Need to power through some afternoon brain fog? The polyunsaturated fats in walnuts have been associated with improved brain health and function, as well as improving your mood. So next time you’re studying or working on a report, pass on the chips and snack on crunchy rosemary walnuts for a focus-boosting treat.