Many people tend to think of walnuts as the perfect condiment for muffins, brownies, cookies, or baklava, baked to perfection. You might even take it a step further and use them as a garnish for your hummus or salad.
However, very few people are aware of the fact that these nutritious dried fruits are an ideal choice for snacking.
Coming as crunchy as they get, walnuts hold high regards in the offices of nutritionists and health experts. Don’t believe us? Let’s walk you through some of the top nutritional benefits that walnuts are most famous for!
1. Heavy on the Nutrients and Antioxidants
Walnuts come packed to the brim with antioxidants known to possess anti-inflammatory effects, which help protect against the development of neurodegenerative diseases, heart disease, and cancer.
Just one ounce (14 walnut halves, or about a quarter cup) provides nearly 50% of the daily target for manganese, 4 grams of protein, 18 grams of good fat, 2 grams of fiber, and smaller amounts of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and calcium.
2. Can Improve Heart and Gut health
According to researchers, the bioactive compounds present in these dried fruits can help in changing the gut environment in a manner that alters the outcomes of diseases. A study concluded at Penn State University found that obese adults at risk of cardiovascular diseases can experience health benefits with the addition of walnuts into the diet, including a reduction in total cholesterol and blood pressure.
3. Hosts Essential Healthy Fats
ALA, or alpha-linolenic acid, is a type of omega-3 fatty acid known to reduce inflammation. No other types of nuts contain as much ALA as walnuts. The journal Nutrients recently published a study that covered the effects of walnut consumption over a period of four weeks. The results showed a reduction in body fat and body weight in all participants and an improved omega-3 fatty acid profile.
4. Fortify Brain Health
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in 2020, published research that claimed that walnuts could aid in slowing cognitive decline in older adults at risk of cognitive diseases. Researches reached this conclusion after testing 600 elder adults at random, with one group put on a walnut-deprived control diet, while the other on a 15% walnut-based calories diet.
Albeit healthy adults didn’t exhibit signs of the dried fruits having a positive effect on their brain health but, at-risk individuals with lower neuropsychological test scores and heavy smoking habits showed improvement.
If you’re ever looking for a healthy snack or an amazing addition to your diet, which provides your body’s nutritional needs, walnuts are a perfect choice.
Pair them with your favorite dessert, or shower them on your daily breakfast. Better yet, just keep a pack with you at all times as a healthy snacking option! You can never go wrong with this amazingly beneficial food item.