Walnuts & Heart Health
Updated: Sep 3, 2019
Walnuts are packed full of nutrients, they provide fats (the good kind), vitamins, minerals and fiber that support good health. Here are 5 reasons why walnuts should be part of your diet!
1) Rich in nutrients
Did you know that amongst the common nuts, walnuts has the highest antioxidant and omega 3 levels? This high level of antioxidants helps in preventing oxidative damage of “bad” LDL cholesterol, while the omega 3 from walnuts called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is linked with lowering the risk of heart disease.
2) May decrease inflammation and risk for some cancers
Several components found in walnuts like polyphenols, ALA omega 3 fat and magnesium all help to combat inflammation. Apart from reducing inflammation, polyphenols in walnuts may reduce risk of certain cancers including breast, prostate and colorectal cancers.
3) Reduces LDL cholesterol
Regular consumption has been shown to reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides by 5% as compared to not eating them. This reduction of cholesterol and triglycerides further contributes to lowering heart disease risk.
4) Supports weight control
Walnuts activate a region of the brain involved in appetite control. Walnuts have been shown to suppress hunger and in some cases cravings for unhealthy foods.
5) May help to manage type 2 diabetes
Not only does it help control type 2 diabetes through weight control, walnuts might have more direct effects on blood sugar control as well. As seen in a study where participants reduced their HbA1c (3-month average blood sugar) by 8% after consuming 1 tablespoon of walnut oil daily for 3 months.
How much should I eat?
A daily dose of 30g (~14 halves) is more than enough to reap the benefits from walnuts. You can have them as a standalone snack or incorporate them into your meals. Always opt for unsalted, baked versions to ensure you aren’t getting any unwanted calories!