Most of us have heard about the health benefits of walnuts multiple times. If I asked you to name five nuts off the top of your head, it would probably be one of the first ones you came up with, and part of that has to be because so many health and nutrition experts tout it as one of the healthiest nuts you can eat.
But, do we really know why walnuts are supposed to be so healthy for us? benefThe reason walnuts are healthy is because they contain amazing amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that work as anti-inflammatories, monounsaturated fats, and antioxidants and minerals like manganese and copper. You also get calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, vitamin B6, and plenty of other vitamins and minerals.
If you're a health nut, you'll probably be interested to know that walnuts have a special kind of vitamin E. Most plants produce vitamin E in the form of alpha-tocopherol, but walnuts have vitamin E from gamma-tocopherol, which is incredibly helpful in building up your heart health. They also have several handfuls worth of different kinds of phenols like tannins, flavanoids, and even some that are hard to find anywhere else, like the quinone juglone.
All these technical terms add up to a nut that helps to protect your heart against cardiovascular disease, prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes, lower your risk of developing breast cancer and prostate cancer, and along the way you get the benefit of lowered LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol, regulated blood pressure, increased memory function, better sleep patterns, healthier bone density, and weight regulation.
Now, this last part might sound counterintuitive because walnuts are widely known to be sources of healthy fats. Some people still worry about calories and the amount of fat in a food like nuts, but because walnuts work to reduce inflammation in the body, they actually help to lower weight. Just think of it this way: walnuts are the good fats, and you want to eat a small amount of the good fats every day to prevent bad fat from taking over.
Another cool fact about the benefits of walnuts is that when you're trying to conceive, pregnant, breast feeding, or even just on a regular day (yes, I mean always), walnuts will help balance and enhance your health.
I actually read recently that most people don't eat any nuts whatsoever on a daily basis, and it amounts to some small, single digit percentage that eat any nuts. This seems totally nuts to me, and it must be because nuts can be expensive.
The thing is though, you get such a bang for your buck when you buy nuts because a serving is about 1 ounce, which translates to about 7 whole walnuts. I don't necessarily eat the same nuts every single day, so a small handful of walnuts every few days lasts for a really long time. We buy about a pound of nuts for anywhere from $5 to $10 and it lasts for a few months in the refrigerator. The value outweighs the initial investment, which in my mind means it's not expensive.
There are many differents types and varieties with different benefits of walnuts, and they all have different flavors and nutrients, but the most common variety in the United States is the English walnut. I have a harder time dealing with the smell and flavor of Black walnuts, but I recognize that they have important health benefits as well.
I highly recommend you add walnuts into your almost-daily eating routine, not just because of the amazing health benefits of walnuts, but because their sweet, nutty, buttery flavor is not something you should miss out on.
Vegan Food Pyramid
Benefits of Walnuts