Eating just one small handful of nuts a day can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by 20% -- without increasing your waistline. We're also nuts about them because they decrease plaque buildup in the arteries and protect blood vessel function in people with diabetes. Healthy blood vessels are crucial for proper circulation and preventing heart attacks and strokes. Good blood flow also helps in the bedroom. "Walnuts in particular can enhance sexual function," says men's nutrition expert Jim White, RD. In addition, walnuts can lower blood pressure and triglycerides, which in turn helps prevent heart disease.
A Answers (5)
Michael T Murray, Naturopathic Medicine, answered
The health benefit of walnuts are similar to those of other nuts that provide a high content of monounsaturated fat and arginine .In addition, according to the Doctrine of Signatures, the belief that a food has been signed by the creator and indicates its use, walnuts are considered food for the brain.
Walnuts are an essential component of the Mediterranean diet, and several investigations have been performed into their health benefits. On study in particular compared the effects of the cholesterol-lowering Mediterranean diet to that of a Mediterranean diet that had 35 percent of the calories derived from monounsaturated fats from walnuts. The study found that the 49 participants who ate the walnut-enhanced diet had lower levels of total cholesterol, LDL, and lipoprotein a (Lp(a), a form of lipoprotein that is even a more serious risk for heart disease than LDL).
Other research studies have corroborated these beneficial effects of walnuts. For example, a study of thirteen postmenopausal women and five men whom ate walnuts also found beneficial results in the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol, despite the total cholesterol level remaining the same. In this study, while walnuts were consumed, the subjects' LDL level decreased by more than 30 percent, while the HDL level remained reasonably constant.
Arginine is an essential amino acid present in walnuts. This amino acid is converted into nitric oxide, a chemical that allows the blood vessels to relax, remain smooth, and prevent platelet aggregation. This effect on cholesterol and blood vessels may be the hidden mechanism of the walnut's cardiovascular protective properties.
Walnuts are also rich in antioxidants, in particular ellagic acid. Ellagic acid can impede the metabolic pathways that can usher the way to cancer and heart disease. It does so by protecting healthy cells from free-radical damage, helping to detoxify potential cancer-causing substances, and preventing cancer cells from multiplying.
Dawn Marcus, Neurology, answeredWalnuts are a good source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, and vitamin E. Walnuts are also a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol - the bad cholesterol associated with heart disease. Many studies have confirmed that eating nuts reduces your risk of heart disease. Researchers at the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University in California reviewed the many available studies. They determined that your risk of dying from heart disease decreases by 8 percent for every 30 gram serving of nuts (about ? cup) eaten weekly. So live longer - add walnuts to your breads, salads, cereals, and snacks.
Dole Nutrition Institute answeredWalnuts meet the recommended daily value for heart healthy, brain-boosting omega-3 oils in one 1.5-oz serving. Like pistachios, they also contain phytosterols, compounds similar in structure to cholesterol that can inhibit cholesterol absorption by the body. Plus, they’re a source of gamma-tocopherol, a unique form of vitamin E thought to inhibit prostate- and lung-cancer cell division. Walnuts may also help calm and moisten dry, irritated skin. An ounce of walnuts contains twice the amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids found in the flaxseed and borage oils used by German and French scientists to reduce skin redness and dry, flaky skin. A study of 45 women, ages 18 to 65, found that skin redness was reduced by 44% after 12 weeks, and the skin also retained 17% to 19% more water.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics answeredThe following are health benefits of walnuts:
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- Research shows eating a handful of walnuts a day may help reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, providing a great source of this healthy polyunsaturated fat for vegetarians and people who aren't fish eaters.
- Tasty "as is" and easy to carry, walnuts make a perfect snack on the go.
- Walnuts contain antioxidants, which help reduce damage to cells.
- The fiber and protein in walnuts may help satisfy hunger, helping you feel full longer.