To say that walnuts are a nutritious food is a bit of an understatement. Walnuts provide healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals — and that’s just the beginning of how they may support your health.
In fact, there’s so much interest in this one nut that for the past 50 years, scientists and industry experts have gathered annually at the University of California, Davis, for a walnut conference discussing the latest walnut health research.
The most common variety of walnut is the English walnut, which is also the most studied type.
Here are 13 science-based health benefits of walnuts
Walnuts are an excellent source of antioxidants that can help fight oxidative damage in your body, including damage due to “bad” LDL cholesterol, which promotes atherosclerosis.
Walnuts are a good source of the plant form of omega-3 fat, which may help reduce heart disease risk.
Several plant compounds and nutrients in walnuts may help decrease inflammation, which is a key culprit in many chronic diseases.
Eating walnuts not only nourishes you but also the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. This promotes the health of your gut and may help reduce disease risk.
The polyphenols in walnuts may reduce your risk of certain cancers, including breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. However, more human studies are needed to confirm this.
Though they’re calorie-dense, you may not absorb all of the calories in walnuts. Additionally, they may even help you control appetite and hunger.
Eating walnuts may help control type 2 diabetes and reduce your risk of the disease, as the nut may help control your weight. Walnuts might have more direct effects on blood sugar control as well.
Some studies suggest that eating 1 ounce (28 grams) of nuts daily, including walnuts, as part of a heart-healthy diet may help improve blood pressure
A healthy diet that includes walnuts may help preserve physical function, such as walking and self-care abilities as you age.
Walnuts contain nutrients that may help protect your brain from damaging inflammation and support good brain function as you age.
Go Walnuts are an exceptionally nutritious nut. They have higher antioxidant activity and significantly more healthy omega-3 fats than any other common nut.
This rich nutrient profile contributes to the many health benefits associated with walnuts, such as reduced inflammation and improved heart disease risk factors.
Scientists are still uncovering the many ways that walnuts’ fiber and plant compounds, including polyphenols, may interact with your gut microbiota and contribute to your health.
It’s likely you’ll keep hearing more about walnuts in the years to come as more studies will research their beneficial health effects.
Still, there are plenty of reasons to include them in your diet already today.