Health Benefits of Walnuts, Prevent Premature Aging to Control Blood Sugar

Walnuts are a type of legume from the Jugalndaceae plant. The walnut tree is native to Eastern North America. However, currently walnuts can be grown in various places such as China, Iran, to California (United States).

Walnuts have a delicious taste so that many people in various parts of the world love it. Apart from the delicious taste, walnuts also contain important nutrients for health.

Nutrients in Walnuts

The body of a walnut has irregular grooves, at first glance similar to a mini version of the human brain, which is covered with a rather thick shell (skin). Walnut has the Latin name Canarium ovatum.

Each walnut contains a myriad of nutrients that are good for the body. Per 30 gram serving of walnuts enriched with:
  • 200 calories
  • 3.8 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1 gram of sugar
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 5 grams of protein
  • 20 grams of fat
  • 20 mg calcium

These nuts also contain manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and iron. Not only that. Walnuts are also the best source of omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats.

Various Benefits of Walnuts for Health

Here are the various benefits of walnuts that you shouldn't miss.

1. Reducing inflammation

Inflammation in the body triggers oxidative stress which ultimately causes disruption or damage to cells and tissues. Inflammation is what then causes various chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and even cancer.

The good news, walnuts contain ellagitannin, a polyphenol compound. The good bacteria in the gut will convert ellagitannin into urolithin compounds, which according to research can protect the body against inflammation and oxidative stress.

Apart from ellagitannin, the content of omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, along with the amino acid arginine in nuts can also help reduce inflammation in the body.

2. Controlling body weight

Most people think that nuts are high in fat so eating them can make you gain weight. This assumption is wrong. Nuts, including walnuts, contain healthy fats that are safe for weight gain. If consumed in the right portion, nuts can actually help you control your weight.

Studies have found that walnuts help withstand hunger and decrease appetite in obese people. In the study, the researchers asked respondents to routinely drink walnut smoothies once a day for five days.

After five days, the participants' brain CT scans showed an increase in their subconscious ability to refuse unhealthy snacks, such as sweet cakes and french fries.

Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women are more prone to gain weight if they rarely eat nuts than those who regularly eat nuts twice a week or more. No kidding, the risk of this weight gain can continue for 8 years.

Unfortunately, further research is still needed to confirm the benefits of these walnuts.

3. Lowering blood pressure

Hypertension, aka high blood pressure, is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Several studies have shown that regularly eating walnuts helps lower high blood pressure. This benefit can be felt in people who have previously had a history of hypertension or are healthy but under stress. Even so, more research is still needed to confirm this benefit.

4. Control blood sugar

For those of you who have type 2 diabetes, walnuts are a healthy snack alternative to consume every day. This is based on a study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Research shows that fasting blood sugar in people with diabetes has relatively decreased after regularly taking diabetes medication and 1 tablespoon of walnut oil for 3 months.

In addition, people with type 2 diabetes who regularly ate walnuts also experienced a decrease in hemoglobin A1C (average blood sugar level for 3 months) by 8 percent.

5. Good for brain health

At first glance, walnuts are indeed similar to the brain. Unexpectedly, several studies have shown that these nuts are indeed good for your brain health.

Animal studies have found that the nutrients in walnuts, including polyunsaturated fats, polyphenols, and vitamin E can help reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in your brain. Meanwhile, observational studies in humans found that the elderly who regularly eat these nuts have better thinking and memory abilities.

Even so, further research is still needed to test the effects of walnuts on human brain function.

6. Lower cholesterol

The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in walnuts can help reduce bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In the long term, decreasing bad fats in the blood helps us avoid the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and heart attack.

7. Reducing the risk of cancer

Walnuts can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and breast cancer. In one study, mice that ate 2.4 ounces of walnuts for 18 weeks had less prostate tumor growth than mice who had the same disease but didn't eat walnuts. Overall, a walnut diet can slow the growth of prostate cancer by 30-40 percent.

8. Useful for male fertility

Another uniqueness of the benefits of walnuts is to maintain sperm health and male fertility. According to a study, consuming 75 grams of walnuts per day can improve sperm shape, mobility and vitality. However, further research is still needed to examine the benefits of walnuts on sperm and male fertility.

9. Prevent Premature Aging

Not only important for health and fertility, walnuts are also beneficial for beauty. Walnuts are believed to be able to prevent premature aging so that you will look younger.

This benefit is due to the high antioxidant content in walnuts. These compounds are able to ward off free radicals and prevent damage to body cells.

How to Eat Walnuts

You can find walnuts at your grocery store, supermarket, or even online. These nuts can be eaten whole or used as a mixture in other foods, for example in smoothies, fruit juices, oatmeal, or low-fat ice cream.

But make sure the walnuts you consume do not contain added salt. The peanut snack sold in the market usually has added salt to make it taste more savory. This can actually make you consume excessive salt and increase the risk of hypertension.

Even though it offers a delicious taste, don't forget to pay attention to the portion of your meal when eating these nuts. Just like any other food, if consumed in excess, these nuts can have a bad impact on your health.

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