Blog Post - News, Views and Tips

The Wonder of Walnuts

Wonder of Walnuts - Pro:Kinesis Personal Training, High WycombeAround 95% of U.S. adults reportedly consume no tree nuts at all. Given the potential benefits, they could be missing out on a serious long term health booster.

Walnuts, part of the Tree nut family, which includes Brazil nuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Macadamia nuts, Pecans, Pine nuts and Pistachios. With such a variety of choice, those 95% of American adults are really missing a trick, since Walnuts in particular can be a great component of a healthy diet because they contain some phytonutrients found in almost no other commonly eaten food.

Here’s some key highlights for starters –

1. Walnuts provide vitamin E in the unusual form of gamma-tocopherol, the rarer and more beneficial form of vitamin E, which in studies provided significant protection from heart problems.

2. The phytonutrient, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of walnuts help protect against metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes.

3. Some of the phytonutrients, i.e. tannin tellimagrandin, quinone juglone or the flavonol morin may help fight cancer in the body (including prostate and breast cancers) by lowering chronic inflammation and chronic oxidative stress, two key factors which when combined help promote cancer development.

4. Walnuts improve blood quality by decreasing LDL cholesterol (the unhealthy one) which therefore reduces the future risk of heart disease.

5. They can assist healthy brain function as they are an excellent source of omega-3-fatty acids, and increase its presence in red blood cells.

6. The anti-inflammatory nutrients of walnuts play a special role in bone health and help with bone turnover, thus leading to stronger bones.

7. Consumption of walnuts in moderation increases fat oxidation and reduces carbohydrate oxidation without effecting total fat consumption, meaning that eating walnuts may improve the use of body fat in adults.

8. Walnuts in their raw form contain the highest total level of antioxidants, even more than almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts.

9. Walnuts contain the minerals potassium, calcium , magnesium, manganese and copper, which form part of your body’s daily intake requirement.

10. Above all, they are a cheap, easy and convenient snack food. In dietary studies roughly 1 ounce per day (around 7 shelled walnuts, or 14 halves) is enough to provide the above benefits.

There are two dietary health caveats with my walnut recommendation. First and foremost, clearly if you are allergic to nuts like cashews and peanuts, then this recommendation is not for you. Secondly, Walnuts (like all Tree nuts) are a calorie rich food, so it is important that you don’t consume much more than the 1 ounce daily, and that they are eaten as part of a calorie balanced and healthy diet.