Health benefits of walnut are gaining popularity nowadays as it is being the center of many studies in different parts of the globe. The University of California conducts an annual conference to discuss the latest updates on walnut researches. The main reason is that this nut is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a healthy source of good fat. The most consumed variety is the English walnut and also the type that gained interest from the scientific community.
Feed your hungry minds with this science-based information about the uses of walnut in the medical field.
1. Nutrient-Rich Nut
Compared to other nuts, walnut is known for its higher antioxidant content such as melatonin, polyphenols, and vitamin E which can be found more at the thin skin of the nut. A study of walnut nutrition to healthy adults who consumed meals with walnut showed a decrease in oxidative damages caused by bad cholesterol or the LDL right after eating the meal compared to an ordinary meal. This is essential information as LDL can clog arteries and lead to atherosclerosis.
2. Rich in Omega-3
In comparison with other types of nuts, walnut good for you as it is loaded with healthy fatty acid known as omega-3. This is a unique fatty acid that comes from the plant called alpha-linolenic or ALA fatty acid which is an essential fat. Essential fatty acids are not produced within the body so you must get it from the food that you eat. An adequate intake of ALA in the diet of at least 1.1 to 1.6 gm per day according to the Institute of Medicine for both men and women can provide the body’s much needed essential fatty acid by consuming one serving of walnut a day.
3. Reduce Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is the symptoms of many diseases that include type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. All of these chronic diseases started with oxidative stress. Polyphenols plant compounds are known to fight against oxidative stress plus a subgroup ellagitannins is another polyphenol that can combat inflammation. Part of walnut nutrition is the ALA that can also reduce inflammation in the body.
4. Digestive Health
Other beneficial uses of walnut are for a healthy digestive system. Scientific researches suggest that it is important to promote a healthy gut by introducing healthy bacteria and microbes as it is key to overall good health. An unhealthy gut can lead to inflammation and diseases such as obesity, cancer, and heart diseases. It is important to keep in mind that anything you eat will influence the overall health of your microbiota or healthy gut and consumption of walnut can support a healthy environment inside your gut.
A study conducted to 194 healthy adults who consumed 43 gm of walnut a day for 8 weeks resulted in an increased level of good bacteria compared to other months of not eating a walnut. It shows that walnut good for you for increasing the number of bacteria that can produce butyrate, a type of fat that can offer digestive health.
5. Prevent Risk of Certain Cancer
According to studies done in a test tube and human trials, most of them resulted to decrease the risk of certain types of cancer such as colorectal, breast, and prostate. As mentioned earlier, walnut is rich in polyphenol compound called ellagitannins gut microbes that can produce compounds known as urolithins. This compound can combat inflammation of the gut that can result in a reduction of the likelihood of getting colorectal cancer and other types. Other great health benefits of walnut are preventing the development of hormone-related cancers like breast and prostate cancer.
6. Support Healthy Diet
Amazingly, other uses of walnut are for weight management as it can aid in controlling appetite. Well-controlled research done in 10 obese individuals who are given a smoothie with 48 gm walnut per day for 5 days shows a significant effect in their hunger, compared to other drinks with similar nutrients and calories. Although suggestions for larger studies to get more data are needed, the study provides insightful information on how walnut can aid in controlling appetite and weight gain.
7. Help Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
According to the information given earlier, walnut can suppress appetite and as a result, it can also decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. Being overweight can increase the blood sugar level. A walnut nutrition study shows an impressive result of 100 patients with type 2 diabetes. Consuming 1 tbsp of cold-pressed walnut oil given for 3 months in conjunction with diabetes medication resulted in an 8% decline in their fasting blood sugar.