Walnuts are the oldest tree food known since 7000 B.C. Ancient Greek and Roman medical manuscripts contain information about walnuts health benefits. Among all nuts the walnuts are recognized as “king nuts” as they have very special ability (properties) to boost our health in several ways at very small portions. Walnuts are rich in antioxidants (quinone juglone, tannin tellimagrandin, flavonol morin), protein, healthy fats (omega-3s), fiber, plant sterols, vitamins and minerals.
When we speak about healthy nuts, we are meaning organic and raw, not irradiated, pasteurized or coated in sugar.
Walnuts health benefits – Cancer
Walnuts are known as cancer prevention food (especially against breast and prostate cancers). Several scientific studies and laboratory experiments demonstrated walnuts bioactive anticancer properties – Phytosterols, Gamma-tocopherol, Omega-3 fatty acids, Ellagic acid and related compounds, various antioxidant polyphenols. These components can stop abnormal cells grow.
Some medical studies have linked the regular consumption of walnuts with decreased risks of colon and prostate cancer. Experimental studies noted that eating walnuts could suppress cancer growth in the breasts, prostate, colon and kidneys.
Walnuts health benefits – Cardiovascular system
According to scientists, walnuts contain very specific amino acid l-arginine, which offers multiple vascular benefits to patients with heart disease as well as to people who have increased risk for heart disease due to multiple cardiac risk factors. At the same time, walnuts’ plant-based omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (anti-inflammatory component) is able to prevent the formation of pathological blood clots. Research confirmed that people who regularly eat walnuts are less likely to have life threatening heart attack and have about 50-55% lower risk of sudden cardiac death. According to medical experts, eating just 4-5 walnuts per day could significantly raise blood levels of omega-3 fats and support levels of healthful so called “good cholesterol” levels.
Generally speaking, walnuts are rich source of antioxidants and healthy fats and regular walnuts consumption can decrease cardiovascular risks.
Walnuts health benefits – Brain
Walnuts health benefits
Walnuts contain several neuroprotective compounds, including vitamin E, folate, melatonin, omega-3 fats and antioxidants. These properties could play pretty significant role in brain health.
Several studies demonstrated walnut benefits for some brain diseases including depression, age-related decline in brain function, memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease.
Walnuts health benefits – Weight Control
Walnuts can help to maintain the ideal weight over time. Thanks to walnuts’ protein, fiber and fat content, they help keep you fuller longer – actually eating walnuts was associated with increased satiety after just few days.
Although walnuts are caloric, its consumption would not lead to weight gain – even walnuts may support in reducing belly fat when they are a part of calorie-watch eating plan.
Walnuts health benefits – Diabetes
Diabetes is known as a complicated metabolic disease. Special case is type 2 diabetes. It was noted that beneficial dietary fats in walnuts can improve the metabolic parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Walnuts health benefits – Bones
It is well known that vitamin D is the best for bone health but recent studies show that walnuts’ fats also can provide bone-boosting benefits. At the same time, it was reported that 6 weeks diet with omega-3s from walnuts can provide the reduction in bone loss.
Walnuts health benefits – Male fertility
Some medical experts recommend walnuts for male fertility improvement. Few publications confirm significantly improved sperm quality, including vitality, motility and morphology in men who consume walnuts regularly.
Walnuts have exceptional health benefits but some people could be very allergic to them – walnuts sometimes could trigger allergic shock (anaphylaxis).
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Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.