When I first started getting into nutrition and health I went to my local Bulk Barn and bought all kinds of nuts and seeds to start adding to my meals. I had read that they are packed full of nutrients and help bring a more balanced diet. Plus, how simple is it to add some seeds and nuts to a salad or granola mix!
What I didn’t realize is just how healthy raw walnuts are! For months I have been putting them in my granola or topping my salad with them because I know they are healthy and they keep me full, but I finally learned how much of a nutritional powerhouse they are.
According to this article, a recent study determined that only 5.5% of adults in the US regularly incorporate tree nuts into their diets! On top of that, nuts account for only 8% of the daily antioxidants consumed in the average diet. These numbers are astoundingly low considering the major health benefits that nuts can contribute to your diet.
The following are some of the most well known and researched health benefits from walnuts:
- Lower the risk of heart disease, help with clogged arteries, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol
- Lower the risk of breast and prostate cancer due to the anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants
- Good for your brain due to the assortment of vitamins such as vitamin E, folate and antioxidants which can help with memory and thought processes
- High in antioxidants, so much so, that walnuts have the highest combination of healthful antioxidants and quality antioxidants of any nut – according to this article in Science Daily, “A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut…”
- May help prevent chemically-induced liver damage
- Improve bone health because of the anti-inflammatory agents, providing better bone stability and less mineral loss
- Help fight wrinkles thanks to the antioxidants which target the collagen damaging free radicals that we get from sun exposure, smoking and pollution
- Help relieve stress and boost mood thanks to the antioxidants and nutrients that lower resting blood pressure and blood pressure responses
- Help with weight loss by replacing other foods with nuts which can help keep you full so you eat less of the bad stuff! Also, due to their anti-inflammatory agents, this plays a contributing role in preventing obesity
- Improve men’s fertility and quality of sperm as seen in clinical studies – which may be due in part to the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- Help sufferers with Type 2 Diabetes as the body is better able to react after meals
On top of all the above health benefits, walnuts also contain high quality protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals!
It’s so simple to get your daily intake of walnuts. It takes only about 7 walnuts a day to get the potential health benefits listed above. Throw them on your salad, add some to your pasta, take some for a mid-day snack – the possibilities are endless on how to add them to your diet.
Do you regularly eat walnuts? How do you like to get your daily intake of walnuts?