Mother nature provided us with a wide range of edible foods. These are whole foods our body needs to function properly. Many of these whole foods in their simplest and basic form are packed with nutrients.
Nuts, although appear simple and in some cases, unattractive but they are packed with beneficial health contents. Commonly found nutritional contents in nuts include antioxidants, a wide range of vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber, plant sterols, healthy fats, and protein.
Walnuts Health Benefits
Walnuts may be considered as the king of nuts based on various studies showing its many health benefits. Consuming walnuts on a regular basis could help boost health in many ways. The good thing about walnuts, you don’t need an extract for it. Simply eating whole walnuts do.
An ounce of walnuts equivalent to 7 shelled nuts is enough to enjoy its many health benefits. Walnuts health benefits range from boosting reproductive health to cardiovascular health and even fighting cancers. The walnut tree belongs to the same family as cashew, Brazil nuts, pistachios, pecans, macadamia, pine, and hazelnuts.
Just like walnuts, each nut in this tree family has its distinct nutritional profile. Today, there are studies that found nuts especially walnuts have potent antioxidants. Walnuts are also packed with polyphenols, which according to studies, it’s the most efficient among other nuts. Walnut also contain the highest concentration of lipoprotein that has antioxidant property among other nuts.
In the study1 mentioned in the video above, researchers gave participants 1 oz of walnuts and a tablespoon of walnut oil. In real world, consuming a quarter cup of walnuts may be more realistic. A daily consumption with that much of walnuts provide omega-3 fat requirements plus other nutrients including biotin, manganese, molybdenum, and copper.
If that didn’t excite you, check the list below of the few many health benefits of walnuts.
1. Beneficial for Boosting Male Fertility
For men looking to improve semen quality and increase sperm count, walnuts are a blessing for you. One study2 looked at the benefits of walnuts for male fertility. Men who are consuming a Western-type diet have significant improvement in their sperm quality.
Sperm quality improvement includes;
- Motility – the ability to move or swim quickly and efficiently.
- Vitality – the sperm’s level of energy.
- Morphology – the sperm’s proper shape making them swim quickly.
2. Beneficial for Heart Health
One of the nutritional contents of walnuts include L-Arginine, an amino acid beneficial for vascular health. Due to L-Arginine’s cardiovascular health benefits, there are supplementation like Male Extra that includes it as their main component.
One of the primary components in walnuts are Omega 3 fat ALA(alpha-linolenic acid). This is heart friendly and an anti-inflammatory effect preventing blood clots. The University of Maryland Medical Center says that individuals eating a diet containing a high amount of ALA are less likely to develop heart attack, as well as 50% lower risk of sudden cardiac death.
Additionally, regular walnut consumption also supports in maintaining healthy level of cholesterol3. In a different study4, regular walnuts consumption has also been found to decrease cardiovascular disease among people who have high risk of developing it. With walnuts consumption, death risk has also been lowered.
3. Beneficial For Brain Health
Exercise is an effective natural anti-aging and brain health booster. Eating healthy fats like coconut oil and omega-3 fats found in walnuts is another brain health booster.
Aside from high concentration of Omega-3 fats, walnuts also contain compounds beneficial for brain function including melatonin(vital for good sleep), folate, vitamin E, and antioxidants.
In one study5, researchers found that walnut consumption is beneficial in young adults for increasing inferential reasoning.
In a separate study6, walnuts along with berries not only reduce vulnerability to oxidative stress that happens in aging but also increase health span and boost both motor and cognitive functions in aging.
4. Beneficial for Weight Management
Losing weight is still one of the most popular goals these days. If you’re struggling with weight loss, check out the factors may be affecting you and eat walnuts.
Adding nuts in your diet can be a good and smart decision for weight management and control. It’s not a quick solution but the long-term effect is beneficial. A review7 looked at 31 trials and found individuals who included nuts in their diet lose weight and reduce waist size.
What’s even more interesting is that walnuts due to its fiber contents increase satiety without effect on insulin resistance8.
5. Beneficial for Diabetic Individuals
Overweight and obese individuals are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Therefore, losing weight and eating healthy are very important. The good news, including walnuts in the diet, can have a significant positive impact as mentioned in the previous benefits, weight management and control.
For diabetic individuals, a study9 found that eating a quarter of a cup of walnuts daily had positive impact in the reduction of fasting insulin levels.
6. Contains Potent and Rare Antioxidants
Antioxidants are vital to our health and wellness. They fight and eliminate free radicals, which accelerate aging and causes many diseases. This is why antioxidants are high promoted as an anti-aging.
Fortunately, when it comes to antioxidant contents, walnuts are a winner. It contains both potent and unique antioxidants including tannin tellimagrandin, quinone juglone and quinone juglone10.
Moreover, the polyphenols found walnuts are also believed to prevent liver damage11.
7. Contains Cancer-Fighting Properties
An animal-based study12 in 2014 found that walnuts slowed down prostate cancer growth. As part of a healthy diet, including walnuts is essential for maintaining a healthy prostate.
On the other hand, WebMD also talks about walnuts may be beneficial for breast cancer, as well.
Walnuts are delicious and easy to incorporate into your daily eating habits. However, instead of focusing on walnuts alone as your main source of nutrition, make it a part of an overall diet revamp.
You can’t reap the much of the benefits eating walnuts daily while eating unhealthy junk foods. Instead, focus on eating whole foods preferably organic, regular exercise and replace junk food snacks with walnuts. What’s even better if you snacks on mixed nuts of walnuts, almonds, hazelnut, cashew nuts, and Brazil nut.
And, here’s another tip for consuming walnuts. Eat the skin. Yes, the waxy thin layer of skin of walnuts contains approximately 90% of the phenols such as flavonoids, tannins and phenolic acids.
Aside from the walnuts health benefits mentioned, it should also be worth noting that due to these benefits, a domino effect can happen. This means other health benefits can occur naturally such as helpful in stress management with food, and boost the production of Nitric Oxide beneficial for improving blood flow.