Wondrous Walnuts

Walnuts are arranged decoratively in bowl.

Photo by Oksana D on Pexels.

Did you know that walnuts are one of the healthiest snacks you can eat? They are filled with nutrients like protein, fiber, and magnesium. Walnuts are also an exceptional source of the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from plants. A serving (one ounce) of walnuts houses 2.5 grams, the most ALA among tree nuts, four grams of protein, two grams of fiber, 45 milligrams of magnesium, 30 milligrams of calcium, and 130 milligrams of potassium. Additional nutrients like iron, copper, selenium, niacin, vitamin C, and zinc are also plentiful in the walnut.

What are the health benefits of walnuts?

One stands to gain many health benefits from this delicious snack. You may already know that consuming walnuts can reduce inflammation, a product of oxidative stress. Several ailments are associated with inflammation. Some of them include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Pedunculagin, a polyphenol in walnuts, is one of the main components that fights inflammation.  Combatting bad cholesterol is a common quest for many individuals, and this royal nut can assist you in this battle. One group of scientists examined existing research and found that a diet with walnuts can lower LDL cholesterol.

Gut-health improvement is a lesser-known advantage of eating this tree nut. Our bodies must have good bacteria and microbes that promote a healthy gut for our bodies to function at an optimum level and avoid diseases. Regularly eating walnuts can contribute to the health of microbes in your gut and your overall health as well. Recently, researchers found this to be true when conducting a randomized, controlled trial. The scientists added 1.5 ounces of the royal nut to the diet of nearly 200 healthy adults for two months. Upon completing the study, those who daily ate walnuts displayed an increase in healthy bacteria compared to others who did not consume walnuts.

How else can eating walnuts keep you healthy?

There may also be weight loss benefits to eating walnuts. In 2018, a group of professional researchers examined brain scans to see if eating walnuts contributed to fewer feelings of hunger. They found that participants who ate a walnut smoothie for five days showed an increase in brain activity in the insular cortex, which allowed them to feel less hungry when viewing images of highly desirable foods such as onion rings or cake. The researchers saw a difference in this brain activity compared to those who consumed a nutritionally similar placebo drink. So, the scientists concluded that walnuts could aid in overeating and contribute to weight loss.

Many artificial products claim they can stop the aging process, but do you know which food naturally can do so? Yes, walnuts can help you stay younger longer. The healthy tree nut contains a robust antioxidant flavonol called morin. This nutrient decreases inflammation and searches out the body for free radicals that can cause illnesses and aging. Who would not want fewer wrinkles and other skin deteriorations? The magnesium-rich walnut also could prevent osteoporosis by strengthening bones. The plentiful amount of potassium in walnuts further contributes to good bone health.

Did you ever notice that a walnut looks like the human brain? Perhaps that coincidence is a supernatural hint that eating this tree nut will boost your brain’s health. Researchers have documented how ingesting this nut can lower depression in humans. Other scientists studied the brain health and cognitive abilities of mice who ate walnuts. The researchers discovered these mice showed fewer signs of anxiety while also improving their learning, memory, and motor skills.

So, the next time you shop at the grocery store and search for a snack, stop and remember that walnuts will satisfy your hunger and give you plenty of benefits.

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About Joey Hinojosa

Joey Hinojosa graduated with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and a master's degree in mass communications. He began working at Empower Brokerage in early 2022 and enjoys being creative in his writing, photography, videography, and other projects.

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