Walnuts gain their place on the superfoods list due to their high antioxidant content, contributions to heart and cardiovascular health and high concentration of omega-3 fats.
Some health-conscious individuals have dubbed the walnut as the “king” of all nuts because of these benefits. Nuts, regardless of the variety, all have a unique combination of benefits when it comes to nutrition. In addition to fiber, minerals and vitamins, nuts contain a good supply of high-quality protein and can stand in for meat when needed. When you add to all of this the transportability and finger-food status of walnuts, and you have a nutrition-packed food that can go anywhere with you.
Walnuts are ranked first among other tree and ground nuts when it comes to antioxidants. The value of antioxidants is well known. These microscopic scavengers help to protect the body from cellular damage, and as a result can contribute to heart health and cancer protection. The healthier our bodies can remain on a cellular level, the healthier we can remain overall.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of walnuts lies in their contribution to cardiovascular health. The overall health of our vascular system depends on its ability to function well in several different areas. In order for this to happen, generous amounts of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients must be present. The balance and makeup of blood as well as the walls of blood vessels is also important. Experts state that walnuts stand out in their ability to contribute positively in all these areas of vascular health.
Some sources state that walnuts can aid in the reduction of LDL (low-density lipoproteins) cholesterol in the blood. Walnuts are also credited with contributing to the health of blood vessels by helping to keep them more elastic and responsive to stimuli.
Although walnuts can resemble a brain due to their wrinkled, lobed appearance, this is not why they have been referred to as a brain food. This distinction comes from the fact that walnuts are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3 fats.
About two-thirds of the brain is made up of fat. This means that the membranes of our brain cells are primarily composed of fat. These membranes are the security system of the cell and determine what is allowed into and out of the cell. The make up of omega-3 fats are specially suited to this task, making it possible for the cell to take advantage of nutrients in the most efficient manner possible. Just as crucial, it allows the cell to efficiently get rid of waste, which is of primary importance when you are talking about the cells that make our brains work.
The best way to consume walnuts is whole and in the skin. While it is true that the skin does have a slightly bitter taste, and it is possible to remove it from walnuts, experts recommend leaving the skin alone because that is where close to 90% of the beneficial nutrients reside.
Although nuts are incredibly healthy and nutritious, many people do not make use of them as a part of their daily diet. Only a very small percentage of adults in the United States eat nuts regularly. It may be that people just don’t know how wonderfully healthy nuts are. It may also stem from misinformation. Some men and women voice that they avoid nuts because they are high in fat and calories and therefore believe nuts are not a good choice. It is true that a serving of walnuts (7 whole nuts) contains 185 calories. However, people generally feel more full after eating walnuts and may have a less of a tendency to overeat. Another important distinction is that the fat contained in nuts is unsaturated fat which is much better for us than artery-obstructing saturated fat.
There are additional benefits to including walnuts in your diet. They are a great way to naturally incorporate increased amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin E, which may be beneficial in regulating blood pressure.
Available research has shown measurable anti-cancer benefits by positively affecting oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Experts believe that it is the specific combination of these two threats that increase the possibility of a person developing cancer. The anti-inflammatory properties of walnuts may also play a positive role in bone stability as well as weight loss.
When considering all of the health benefits of walnuts and the amazing way they can be incorporated in all types of foods as well as eaten as an easy snack, it is a no-brainer when it comes to including them as a part of a health-conscious diet.