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Why Walnuts Are Good for Your Wellness

Why Walnuts Are Good for Your Wellness

Want to amp up your health and happiness? Reach for a handful of walnuts. We’ve long extolled the power of eating an ounce of walnuts (14 walnut halves) daily to get your dose of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. That good-for-you fat eases cardiovascular inflammation, promotes supple veins and arteries for blood pressure control and helps control your appetite. Try munching six walnut halves 30 minutes before any big meal. You’ll feel full sooner and eat less when you sit down at the big table.

Research also reveals that it isn’t just the omega-3 in walnuts that delivers the health boost. A study in the Journal of Medicinal Food shows us that the non-fatty nutrients in walnuts -- in combo with the omega-3 -- helps with insulin and blood sugar regulation and promote healthy HDL cholesterol levels. It also triggers a series of cancer-blocking changes in body chemistry. It seems that eating whole walnuts does the following:

  1. Reduces levels of a hormone associated with prostate and breast cancer.
  2. Increases two substances -- adiponectin and the tumor suppressor PSP94 -- that help fight cancer.
  3. Reduces levels of inflammatory COX-2.

When you substitute walnuts -- and their calories -- for refined carbs and added sugars and syrups, you’ll reap the health benefits that eating an ounce a day can bring. Psst! Those benefits are equivalent to walking 6,000 more steps daily.

Medically reviewed in October 2019.

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