Walnuts are a big feature in my plant based diet, mainly as they are so rich in the omega 3 fatty acid’s that help keep hormones and mood stable and your brain sharp and focused. But are walnuts good for you? Read on for the 9 amazing walnut health benefits that will have you seeing this wrinkly, brain like nut in a whole new light.
Nuts of all kinds are mother nature’s perfect food; they are packed full of plant protein, healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, and are abundant in LOTS of vital vitamins and minerals.
Although often overlooked in the modern diet, nuts are actually something we have been chomping down on since the beginning of time. Back then their amazing properties helped give us the strength and muscle power to fight off saber toothed tigers, and s a food just doesn’t get more caveman than that does it?
WALNUT’S NUTRITION PER 100G
- CALORIES – 654
- PROTEIN – 15g
- CARBOHYDRATE – 14g
- FIBER– 7g
- SUGAR– 2.6g
- TOTAL FAT – 65g
- Saturated fat – 6g
- Polyunsaturated fat – 47g
- Monounsaturated fat – 9g
- CHOLESTERAL – 0g
- SODIUM – 2g
- NUTRIENTS – Walnuts are a great source of folic acid, copper, phosphorus, Manganese, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E.
The best type are the Californian walnuts: they are by far the biggest and tastiest and, they’re at their best when they look plump (see picture) and not dried up and shriveled. They are also highly perishable and go rancid quickly, and so should always be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
For best results, buy organic and raw where possible; and always eat the skins as this is where 90% of all their powerful nutrients and antioxidants lie.
Benefits of Walnuts:-
1. UNIQUE ANTIOXIDANT PROFILE
Yep, walnuts contain a unique amount of antioxidants that are only available in a couple of other known foods, and more than any of the other common nuts. Why do we need antioxidants? – To keep us young of course – these wonderful antioxidants are vital for a healthy body and mind, mainly because they repair the harm done by DNA damaging free radicals that accelerate the aging process.
We are bombarded with free radicals every minute of the day from outside sources such as pollution, chemicals in both food and cleaning products, sun exposure, smoking and alcohol to name just a few, and antioxidants from foods such as fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts, and seeds help to negate this damage. The antioxidants found in walnuts in particular have powerful and remarkable free radical scavenging abilities, and their polyphenols can even help prevent the liver damage caused by chemicals or drugs.
2. GLOWING SKIN
The high levels of B Vitamins and antioxidants in walnuts that help them to be free radical scavenging superstars, will also boost your complexion and give your skin the type of glow that can only come from the inside.
And eating these healthy nuts alongside LOTS of other high antioxidant foods, such as those found in abundance on the whole food plant diet, the more beautiful your skin will be.
3. WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
Walnuts, although high in fat are satiating, and being satiated will help stop junk and sugar cravings in their tracks. In fact, feeling satiated for a long time after a meal is the BIGGEST factor in weight loss and weight maintenance.
Add to this the fact that the omega fats, fiber and antioxidants in walnuts make them also a low GI food that will help keep blood sugar under control then you’re looking at a great weight loss food too. Just make sure to eat them in moderation only instead of your usual snacks, and not as well as.
Keeping sugar levels under control with a low GI dietin general ill keep you fuller for longer and may help reduce your risk of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart attack, stroke and even some cancers.
4. HEART HEALTH
Studies show that walnuts are great for heart health, and contain l-arginine which is an amino acid well-known for its vascular health benefits. The walnut’s high amounts of anti inflammatory omega 3 alpha-linolenic fats (ALA) may help stop the formation of pathalogical blood clots. And those who eat a diet high in ALA are also not as likely to suffer a fatal heart attack and have a 50% lowered chance of sudden cardiac death.
The good news here is that you only need to eat 4 walnuts a day to raise significantly your blood levels of ALA. Walnuts also keep your cholesterol levels healthy which is another factor in heart disease.
5. WALNUT BENEFITS FOR BRAIN
Walnuts contain vitamin E, melatonin, folate, and many antioxidants. All of these are neuroprotective compounds that keep your brain healthy and can play a role in reducing and alleviating symptoms of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
Its vitamin high E and flavenols can also help to destroy the free radicals that cause dementia, so may act as a preventative measure alongside other brain healthy antioxidants, a good exercise plan, and a healthy lifestyle in general.
6. ANTI DIABETES
Walnuts can also be of help to those with diabetes, as their fats have been shown to improve metabolic parameters and significantly reduce fasting insulin levels; and these results were found after eating just half a cup of walnuts a day (which is roughly a large handful).
The fact that they are also a low GI, high protein, high fat, and filling food is another reason that they will help keep your blood sugar on an even keel, which is of course vital in diabetics. But you must also be sure to follow the other dietary changes required of those who have diabetes and keep your carbohydrates to a minimum.
Walnuts contain a compound called melatonin, which is the sleep hormone our bodies produce in the pineal gland to regulate sleep and wake cycles.
We already produce this hormone naturally, but sometimes not enough as our natural cycles are often put out of rhythm with modern life. These rhythms can be thrown out by electromagnetic waves radiating from mobile phones, wifi, internet, light pollution, and a many other of stressors that mess with your natural circadian rhythms.
The melatonin in walnuts can help give blood melatonin levels the boost they need to induce sleep naturally. And if you do happen to be struggling with sleep then it may be wise to turn off your internet connection and mobile phones at night which may also help; and also try to keep your life as stress free as possible.
8. SPERM QUALITY
If you want your man to boost his sperm’s quality, vitality, mobility and morphology, then get him eating 75 grams of walnuts a day and see the magic happen. This ‘magic’ is due to their high levels of omega 3’s and 6’s, which sperm just happen to love.
Not only that, but they are an easy and convenient snack to take out or eat on the go, and you can easily slip them into his lunchbox (pardon the pun).