How Walnuts Improve Heart Health.Walnuts are a healthy source of monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. These fatty acids help to promote a balanced lipid supply in the body and lower bad cholesterol levels while raising good cholesterol.
According to a recent study, eating two to three ounces of walnuts daily may also improve gut health and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Reduces Cholesterol
Walnuts are full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids that help lower cholesterol. In fact, they’re one of the few nuts that have been shown to lower triglyceride and LDL levels.
In a study, researchers measured the concentration and size of the lipoproteins that carry fat in the blood, including LDL and intermediate density lipoprotein (IDL). They found that eating about half a cup of walnuts daily for two years lowered LDL levels by 4.3 milligrams per deciliter and total cholesterol by an average of 8.5 mg/dl.
It also reduced small dense LDL particles, which are more associated with atherosclerosis and have a greater impact on heart disease risk than total LDL. The participants’ levels of small LDL particles decreased by 6.1%. These changes are important for heart health.
- Reduces Blood Pressure
In an age where cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, it’s no surprise that more attention is being paid to improving your heart health. Having a healthy diet, getting adequate exercise and quitting smoking can all play a role in avoiding serious complications down the road.
Walnuts are a tasty way to get your daily dose of healthy fats and antioxidants while staying on track with your dietary goals. Available in both shelled and de-shelled versions, these beauties can be enjoyed in a variety of ways including in baked goods, ice cream or even in your morning bowl of cereal!
The best part is that they are easy to incorporate into your lifestyle. With a little research, you can find some tasty new ways to make them a regular part of your diet.
- Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is an important part of the body’s immune response, but when it persists over time, it can become damaging instead of healing.
In fact, chronic inflammation has been linked to increased risk of heart disease and other serious health conditions. That’s why it’s so important to reduce inflammation if you want to maintain healthy heart health.
The good news is, a new study suggests that eating walnuts can help to lower inflammation. In the Walnuts and Healthy Aging (WAHA) trial, participants who regularly ate walnuts had lower levels of several inflammatory markers in their blood than those who did not.
- Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
Walnuts are high in heart healthy polyunsaturated fats and are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. They also help reduce blood pressure and reduce inflammation which are key ingredients to a healthy cardiovascular system.
They are also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and antioxidants to boot. A handful of walnuts can improve your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and even your sleep quality.
The best way to get these nuts is by purchasing them at a health foods store or farmers market. You can also find them in many prepared foods and baked goods, as well as a number of recipes on the internet. Aside from their impressive antioxidant and vitamin benefits, walnuts have one other big health bonus – they can boost your memory and ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Improves Memory
Walnuts are a brain food, as they contain omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenolic compounds that are both known to support and protect the brain. They also have antioxidative properties that decrease oxidative stress in the brain, which can lead to cognitive decline.
In fact, a recent study published in Public Health Nutrition found that adults who consumed more walnuts showed improved cognitive scores on a variety of tests. In particular, seniors who ate even a small amount of walnuts each day scored significantly higher than those who did not eat nuts at all.
Although this is a promising finding, the authors of the Public Health Nutrition study note that the positive cognitive effects of walnuts may not be attributed to their consumption alone. They recommend focusing on a variety of healthy behaviors and a balanced diet to improve your memory and overall brain health.