We wouldn’t be wrong in assuming that walnuts are the symbol of intellectuality – not only do the walnut kernels resemble the brain, but the nutritional benefits of walnuts are numerous, considering that they contain valuable nutrients that are great for our health. Walnuts provide health boosting powers since they are packed with minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that protect the heart and prevent various diseases. Here are 5 reasons why walnuts should be a part of our healthy eating plan.
# 1 Walnuts Nutritional Benefits for the Brain
Including walnuts in your daily diet improves memory. Research has also found that walnuts’ nutrition prevents the decline of the brain’s functioning due to ageing. Walnuts are loaded with phyto-chemicals and their overall antioxidant properties have beneficial effects to counter neurological disease and ageing. Sprinkle toasted and chopped walnuts on your breakfast cereal or oatmeal for a power-packed breakfast.
# 2 Benefits of Walnuts for the Heart
Walnuts are a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids like alpha-linolenic acid, linolenic acid and arachidonic acid which help to lower the total cholesterol as well as the bad cholesterol in the blood. Other heart healthy compounds like calcium, magnesium and potassium found in walnuts help regulate the blood pressure. In fact, potassium plays an important role in managing the muscle contraction of the heart. Vitamin E prevents the formation of plaque in the arteries, thus adding to the heart healthy benefits of walnuts. Instead of snacking on cookies or fries, snack on a handful of walnuts.
# 3 Nutritional Benefits of Walnuts in Cancer Prevention
Vitamin E, melatonin, ellagic acid, carotenoids and other similar phyto-chemicals found in walnuts nutrition improve the antioxidant activity. This is highly effective in protecting against breast and prostrate cancer. Walnuts have the highest quantity of antioxidants as compared to other nuts like cashew, pecans, hazelnut and pistachios. To get the best out of walnut’s nutritional benefits, eat at least six to seven average sized walnuts each day.
# 4 Benefits of Walnuts for Diabetes Prevention
Adding walnuts to the diet is beneficial to patients of type 2 diabetes. The health boosting minerals, vitamins and enzymes in walnut help the body in maintaining the elasticity of the arteries. It improves blood flow and helps reduce LDL cholesterol by almost 10%. Additionally, walnuts help reduce problems that are precursors to diabetes like high blood pressure and obesity.
# 5 Nutritional Benefits of Walnuts for a Healthy Diet
All nuts are high in calories and walnuts are no exception. The best way to enjoy walnuts nutritional benefits is to consume them in moderation. Rather than add them to your existing daily diet, it is advisable to replace foods high in fat such as meat, eggs or cheese with walnuts. These delicious nuts add that extra crunch to your dish and give you the goodness of health benefiting nutrients that are essential for the body.
The easiest way to incorporate walnuts in your diet is to add them as toppings to your salads, desserts, pies, pizzas, yoghurt and ice cream preparations. Apart from adding a crunchy and tasty flavor, they also provide health benefits that are hard to beat. But, if you prefer, just crack open a walnut and munch away!
Check out the healthy food chart for more foods to add to your daily diet for better health.