The nut that looks like a brain is good for your brain health and mood. Also, these amazing nuts are great for keeping your heart in a healthy condition.
Walnuts are packed with healthy fats, antioxidants and minerals. Studies show that consumption of walnuts can boost your mood, because they are extremely rich in omega-3 fats. These healthy fats also keep your heart in great condition by lowering triglyceride levels and stopping life-threatening atheromatous arterial plaque formation.
Walnuts even enable weight management, studies of people eating walnuts before meals have shown them to reduce sensations of hunger and reduce overall daily calorie consumption.
Walnut Nutrition Statistics
In addition to omega-3 fats, walnuts contain loads of other important nutrients as well. According to walnut nutrition data published by the USDA, one ounce (approximately 28 grams) of walnuts nutrition, or about 14 halves, contains about:
- 185 calories
- 3.9 grams carbohydrates
- 4.3 grams protein
- 18.4 grams fat
- 3.9 grams fiber
- 1 milligram manganese (48 percent DV)
- 0.4 milligram copper (22 percent DV)
- 44.6 milligrams magnesium (11 percent DV)
- 97.8 milligrams phosphorus (10 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligram vitamin B6 (8 percent DV)
- 27.7 micrograms folate (7 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligram thiamine (6 percent DV)
- 0.9 milligram zinc (6 percent DV)
- 0.8 milligram iron (5 percent DV)
In addition, walnuts contain some vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, niacin, pantothenic acid, choline, betaine, calcium, potassium and selenium.
The Main Health Benefits of Walnuts
1. Good for Heart Health
Studies have found a strong link between higher walnut and omega-3 fat consumption and better heart health. Walnuts keep arteries clear, improve circulation, boost good HDL cholesterol and lower bad LDL cholesterol and have a beneficial lowering effect on damaging diease causing inflammation.
Another study from 2012 in the American College of Nutrition found that walnuts reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. It puts you at greater risk of getting coronary heart disease, stroke and other conditions that affect the blood vessels.
The study showed that consumption of 56 grams of walnuts daily had significant beneficial effects on heart health and endothelial function The study subjects had better blood flow, improved insulin control and lower blood pressure. The patients did not gain weight either.
2. Help to Improve Mood and Beat Depression
The powerful omega-3 oils in walnuts improve brain function. Low levels of omega-3 fats are linked to depression. These essential fatty acids are required to make cell membranes of nerve cells in the brain. Population studies link the consumption of large amounts of omega-3 fats to lower rates of depression.
3. Help Improve Brain Health and Preserve Memory
Many consider walnuts to be a superfood that can help to slow the ageing process. Walnuts can support memory and thought processsing. Recent studies show promising benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in helping elderly patients with cognitive decline and depression.
Research carried out at the Department of Biochemistry and Neurology at the University of Karachi in Pakistan looked at the the effects of walnuts on learning and memory mice. They found significant improvements in learning and memory of walnut-treated mice compared to controls. Mice given walnuts also exhibited a significant decrease in food intake, although this didn’t have negative effects on their normal development. An analysis of their brains showed enhanced neurotransmitter function, protection against damage and improvements in nerves controlling metabolism.
4. Makes a Filling Snack and Supports Weight Loss
Are walnuts good for weight loss? Yes — despite being a calorie-dense food (as all nuts are), walnuts effectively help alleviate hunger. They are nutrient-dense foods, meaning you consume many essential vitamins, minerals and fats when you eat them — all for a relatively small percentage of your daily calories. Walnuts also have compounds that help burn belly fat, since they’re chock-full of fatty acids and some protein. Both help make you feel full. This is important for curbing food cravings, especially for things like sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Though walnuts are calorie-dense, clinical dietary intervention studies show that walnut consumption doesn’t cause a net gain in body weight when eaten as a replacement food. When you lack fatty acids, protein, fiber or other essential nutrients found in walnuts nutrition, it’s much harder for the body to stay at a steady weight, control blood sugar levels, regulate insulin and appetite, and balance cholesterol.
While sugary snacks can be thought of as metabolism death foods, a one-ounce serving of walnuts, or about a fourth of a cup, eaten between or with meals can help balance blood sugar, improve cognitive function and stop you from overeating later on. Keep in mind that walnuts act like a natural appetite controller, but it might be best to try subbing in walnuts for some other high-fat foods that don’t provide as many benefits — for example, processed lunch meats and vegetable oils.