Benefits Of Walnuts | How Many Walnuts Should You Eat Per Day?
In today’s world, health is a new wealth. We are conscious not just about our looks but also about our fitness and diets. Researchers do extensive studies to determine which foods are superfoods with high nutritional value, providing proteins, essential fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
One superfood is walnuts, which, like all nuts, have quite a complete nutritional profile. Nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats, protein, minerals, and fiber. They are readily available all over the world. Nuts include almonds, pecans, pistachios, chestnuts, and walnuts, among many others.
Walnut Nutrition Facts
Walnuts were once considered unhealthy due to their high fat and calorie content. However, in the last few years, a lot of research has proven walnuts’ have health benefits. 1https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/f361/fdf2f2145595ee36e746aecfd055de2bff8d.pdf
According to the USDA, 1oz (28g) of walnuts contains 185 calories, 4.3g of protein, 18.5g of fat, 2g of fiber, and 3.9g of carbohydrates. Walnuts provide traces of manganese, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. They are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. 2https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170187/nutrients
Let’s further discuss how eating walnuts, preferably every day, can benefit your health.
Benefits Of Walnuts
Walnuts And Antioxidants
Antioxidants are more abundant in walnuts than in any other nut due to vitamin E, melatonin, and polyphenols found in their papery skin. 3ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26882685 The above compounds help to decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. 4https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26713565/
Polyphenols can help fight oxidative stress and inflammation in our bodies. 5https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26882685 We all know that chronic inflammation can give rise to a lot of health issues. 6https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article/65/suppl_3/S140/1911839
Walnuts And Heart
Eating several small quantities of walnuts each week can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by 14% and coronary heart disease by 20%, as per a study done over the last 32 years at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 7https://www.onlinejacc.org/content/70/20/2519.full, 8https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/nuts-heart-health/
So, to protect your heart and for longer and healthier life, it is good to incorporate walnuts into your diet. Research suggests that walnuts can also reduce the risk of prostate, colon, colorectal, and breast cancers. 9https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2412899/ , 10https://news.yale.edu/2018/02/28/nut-consumption-may-aid-colon-cancer-survival
Walnuts And Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Walnuts are a good source of omega-3s. Omega-3s are found within the membranes of human cells and play a critical role in the body’s fundamental processes. Their benefits are immense.
Related Article: Omega 3 Fatty Acids Benefits And Daily Requirement
One ounce (28g) or 14 walnut halves provides ~2.5g of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Walnuts have the highest omega-3 content of all nuts. Is The ALA in Walnuts Sufficient to Optimize Your Omega-3 Levels? Well, the following two articles can help answer that question:
Related Article: Unsaturated Fats: Good or Bad?
Walnuts And Type-2 Diabetes
Regular consumption of walnuts may also reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes. Research by Professor Frank Hu at Harvard School of Public Health, which took about ten years to conduct, showed that eating walnuts 2-3 times a week reduced subjects’ risk of developing type-2 diabetes. 11https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24898229
Since walnuts are high in fiber, we feel full for an extended time when we eat them. Hence, we consume less food, which can help reduce weight. Keeping our weight in control reduces the chances of developing type-2 diabetes. This is another excellent reason to eat walnuts in small quantities.
Walnuts And Bone Health
Walnuts are a good source of minerals like copper, manganese, magnesium, and calcium, which are essential for the growth, development, and repair of our bones. 12https://americanbonehealth.org/nutrition/minerals-for-bone-health/
A vast percentage of the world’s population, especially women, develop osteoporosis, a condition in which bones get thinner and less dense. Over a while time, osteoporosis can result in bone fractures.
Copper, magnesium, and calcium deficiency can increase the risk of osteoporosis. 13https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3330619/ Consuming walnuts can help eliminate these deficiencies. As information from past studies shows, walnuts are one of the most nutritious and healthy nuts.
With all the benefits of walnuts, the question arises, how many?
How Many Walnuts Should You Eat Per Day?
Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5oz of walnuts per day as part of low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet without increasing caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. 14https://www.newhope.com/supply-news-amp-analysis/now-applauds-fda-qualified-health-claims-walnuts
However, please note overconsumption of walnuts can cause diarrhea, says Alan R. Gaby, M.D., author of Nutritional Medicine, and people with a nut allergy should avoid eating them altogether. 15https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257681/, 16https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/a20490568/what-happens-if-you-eat-too-many-nuts/ Adult supervision is required while children are eating walnuts to prevent choking.
Ways To Include Walnuts In Your Diet
People mostly munch on walnuts as a snack. However, master chefs worldwide have given us a few innovative ways to add walnuts to our diet. Some of the ways we can include them in our diet.
-Add chopped walnuts to salads, oatmeal, and yogurt.
-Chopped walnuts and walnut flour are healthy alternatives to other kinds of flour in cakes and bread.
-Furthermore, you can grind them and add them to smoothies, dips, and even sauces.
What do you think about walnuts? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below.
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About Kamini Thakar
Kamini is a very skilled writer/content creator. As a part of Fabulous Body for years, she has authored many articles really proving her prowess in acquiring and presenting knowledge about various health & nutrition topics.