If you are what you eat, as the saying goes, then it’s best to be conscious of what you eat all the time. Moreover, the food you consume affects your health and well-being. One example is nuts, which are a natural source of unsaturated fats. But not all nuts are equal when it comes to promoting heart health. Delicious walnuts are at the top of this list with high nutritional value. Understanding how eating walnuts benefits the heart may inspire you to have more of them!
Nutrients in Walnuts Favoring Heart Health
Omega-3 fatty acids – If you want to prevent the chances of a heart attack, then include walnuts in your diet. This type of nut contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids.
Fiber – Plant fiber is necessary for the proper function of the human heart. As walnuts are high on plant fiber, then it makes sense that they can boost heart health. Also, it can also help to reduce your weight. Why? Plant fiber gives you a full feeling. Thus, you tend to consume less food.
Unsaturated fats – Another way that eating walnuts benefits heart health relates to fats, which seems counter intuitive. The high percentage of unsaturated fats help in the upkeep of heart muscles. Apart from lowering cholesterol, it offers necessary nutrition that strengthens the coronary muscles.
Vitamin E – If you want to prevent the development of plaque in heart arteries, you might eat foods rich in vitamin E. It’s important to avoid the building of plaque (cholesterol-containing deposits) in the arteries as a complete blockage can lead to a heart attack.
Plant sterols – Walnuts also have a high percentage of plant sterols, which are naturally occurring substances that can lower cholesterol. Eating walnuts in certain amounts can offer adequate plant sterol in your body, thus potentially reducing cholesterol levels a lot.
L-arginine – This component helps to improve the health of arteries. Regularly eating theswe nut can make the artery walls more elastic. Thus, the chances of blood clots will go down significantly.
So, Eating Walnuts Benefits Heart Health?
Yes, specifically in these 5 ways:
1. Reduces inflammation.
Inflammation of the heart is a major cause of many coronary problems. Delay in treatment can elevate the problem. Eating walnuts as part of a healthy eating plan will come in handy to soothe these inflammations.
2. Contains antioxidants.
The amount of antioxidants is rather high in this nut. Bad cholesterol has a negative impact on overall heart health. With bad dietary habits, and lack of exercise, there is no effective way to reduce the chances of bad cholesterol buildup in the heart muscles. A high dosage of antioxidants can come to your rescue in these situations. As the skin of the walnuts contains healthy antioxidants, it’s best to eat untreated walnuts, aka where the skin is still on the nut.
3. May reduce chances of cancer.
Some researchers have found that certain nuts may reduce the risks of cancer. Specifically they found that one nuts serving daily lowered cancer risk by 15 percent in those who they studied. But more research is needed to investigate walnuts benefits on cancer, and the same holds true for claims of this type of nut lowering inflammation.
4. Lowers chances of heart disease.
This list of eating walnuts benefits wouldn’t be complete without mention of its potentially positive affect on heart disease. Walnuts can lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, which are known as bad or unhealthy cholesterol. Eating nuts has the potential to lower inflammation that relates to heart disease. Furthermore, there is some evidence that alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is in walnuts and some other foods, can help prevent heart attacks in some people.
5. Monitors blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor might tell you to be eating walnuts. The special compounds present in walnuts help to put a stop to rising blood pressure. This makes sense given the healthy fats, fiber, and magnesium in this food. An easy way to add walnuts to your diet is to make a fruit and nut salad.
Other Benefits of Eating Walnuts Regularly
For better brain function
Research indicates that regular consumption of walnuts can help with brain function. This type of nut is high in phytochemicals and polyunsaturated fats. These two work in unison to boost brain functioning and health.
The nuts contain Omega-3 fatty acids as well. This fatty acid not only lowers oxidative stress inside the brain but increases the potential of neurons too.
Boosts functioning of central nervous system
The high fatty acid content in walnuts shows positive effects on the central nervous system. Apart from increasing central nervous system health, it will ensure better signaling between the nerves. The bioactive phytochemicals in walnuts can help boost brain health and function in many ways. For people with anxiety or depression, or a combination of the two, there may be potential for relief – with more research needed in this area to come to conclusions.
Eating walnuts for weight loss and better digestion
Lastly, walnuts have high amounts of polyunsaturated fats. As a result, they can stimulate the body to actually lose weight more quickly. Apart from this, it will also help to maintain the proper functioning of digestive system.
For Your Heart Health
With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that so many people eat this amazing nut. But it’s best to stick to just a handful of walnuts per serving and always talk to your doctor or a nutritionist before changing your eating plan. The expert will tell you whether it’s okay for you to eat them daily and in what amounts. Stick to their recommendation for good heart health.