There are many known health benefits of walnuts, the reason why they have become increasingly popular as a delicious part of a healthy diet. Walnuts are native to North America but are grown in other countries as well. The nuts have been shown to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and provide heart benefits due to their antioxidant properties. While all nuts are beneficial to vary degrees, walnuts have been proven especially beneficial for reducing the risk of heart disease.
Walnuts contain a lot of good nutrients that are very good for the body. Some of these are essential to maintaining the health of our arteries and circulation. Walnuts are naturally low in cholesterol, so they help lower cholesterol levels as well. They also have a high amount of protein, which helps strengthen muscle tissue. Walnuts have a lot of polyphenols, which are another type of antioxidant. These help prevent cell damage and free radical formation, which are two important factors in heart disease and cancer.
Studies have shown that eating walnuts reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Other studies have shown that eating walnuts reduces the risk of breast cancer and other types of cancers of the female reproductive system. One study, in particular, reported that women who ate at least five servings of walnuts per week cut their risk of breast cancer by 40%. This is especially important because some studies have indicated that men who consume more walnuts have a decreased risk of prostate cancer as well. This is especially due to the fact that walnuts tend to bind with estrogen during times of hormone fluctuation.
Eating walnuts is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. It has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol, which can be harmful to the heart. The walnuts also contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acid. Taking walnuts could reduce the risk of heart disease may decrease the risk of blood clots, chest pain, and angina.
Walnuts contain a high amount of polyunsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fat helps increase the longevity of the cell, while at the same time increasing the ratio of antioxidants. The ratio of antioxidants and free radicals in the body is essential to health as free radicals cause oxidative stress, which leads to the development of cancer. Walnuts contain almost twice as much polyunsaturated fat as most nuts. Although there are other foods that may decrease inflammation like olive oil and avocado, walnuts rank near the top for antioxidant content.
Other studies have indicated that eating at least two walnuts per day may decrease inflammation throughout the body. Some studies have shown that eating at least two walnuts each day may decrease inflammatory markers in the blood such as CRP and HDL. Urolithins are another substance found in walnuts, which may contribute to lower inflammation.
Oils from walnuts have also been associated with reduced types of diabetes. Some evidence has suggested that the oil contains a compound that may prevent the formation of blood clots that can lead to heart disease. While not directly associated with type 2 diabetes, there have also been some studies that suggest that people with type 2 diabetes benefit from the health benefits of walnuts. Diabetics should still monitor their blood sugar levels though.
There are many other proven health benefits of eating walnuts. These include an increased risk of developing the cardiac disease, stroke, and breast cancer. It is not clear whether eating walnuts increases the risk of these diseases, or if they are caused by eating too much of the fatty acids found in walnuts. For now, it seems that the link between the fatty acids found in walnuts and reducing the risk of heart disease and breast cancer is very strong.