Walnut health benefits are impressive. Like most nuts, some of the walnut benefits are that they are loaded with a variety of vitamins, minerals, proteins and healthy fats. However, with a closer look, you will see that each nut has its own unique combination of nutritional value. In most cases, one or more properties make the nutritional value of different nuts stand out above the rest. That is why it is a good idea to eat a variety of different keto-friendly and diabetic-friendly low carb nuts.
The health benefits of peanuts, health benefits of pecans, and health benefits of almonds have already been discussed. So, lets dig into the walnut health benefits. But first, let’s talk about the walnut itself.
Walnuts grown in a brown colored shell that is about the size of a golf ball. When you open the shell, you will discover the bumpy brown walnut that we know and love. Walnuts have a mostly mild and earthy taste. However, the skin is slightly bitter.
About 7 walnuts (14 halves) is about 4g of carbs, and 2g of fiber. Therefore, 14 walnut halves roughly equals 2g net carbs. With just under 200 calories per ounce, this healthy low carb snack provides 4g proteins and 18g of healthy beneficial fats.
So, with walnuts being about 65% fat, they are an energy rich food that is perfect for the keto diet. Another 15% of the calories come from protein with the remaining 20% being carbs. However, half of the carbs are in the form of fiber, so you are looking at only 10% net carbs. Therefore, walnuts are an excellent low carb snack for people on diabetic diets or other low carb diet variations.
Regarding vitamins and minerals, walnuts contain a significant amount of magnesium, folate, and iron. You can learn more about magnesium health benefits, but in short, magnesium naturally reduces our anxiety making us feel calm. Folate is the B9 vitamin that is important for fetal development in pregnant women. But otherwise it helps blood cell formation and promotes healthy cell function. Iron is a mineral that is also needed for blood cell formation, cell growth, and proper cell function.
1. Heart Healthy Fats
Walnuts have a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. This is the kind of fat that can maintain and improve your cardiovascular health. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce your bad cholesterol (LDLs) levels and therefore reduce your risk of heart disease. You may enjoy the heart healthy keto trail mix recipe or perhaps another one of the keto trail mix recipes.
2. Rich In Antioxidants
One of the noteworthy walnut health benefits is that they have a higher level of antioxidant activity than other nuts. The bitter brown skin is a rich source of the antioxidants that are found in walnuts. Some of the antioxidants found in walnuts are catechin, melatonin, ellagic acid, and phytic acid. All of these antioxidants have been shown to improve heart health.
3. Improve Brain Health
Research suggests that eating walnuts improve brain health and function in both humans and animals. People with age-related decline showed an improvement in memory and cognitive functions. The walnut health benefits that are thought to be responsible for this is the high fat and high antioxidant levels of walnuts.
4. Reduce Risk of Certain Cancers
One of the walnut health benefits include the array of antioxidants found in walnuts. Antioxidants fight oxidative stress on the body. Oxidative stress leads to inflammation, chronic disease, cancers, and age-related aches and pains. So, walnuts have a list of components with antioxidant properties that may have cancer prevention benefits.
5. Improve Gut Health & Immune System
Walnuts are high in fiber which is an excellent prebiotic. Prebiotics creates an environment for a healthy intestinal gut flora. And a healthy intestinal gut flora improves the function of the immune system. So, this is definitely one of the noteworthy walnut health benefits.
6. Enhanced Appetite Control
Even though nuts are nutrient dense and high in fat, one of the walnut benefits is that they can decrease your appetite for unhealthy foods. Research suggest many reason for this appetite control. One reason why eating walnuts may reduce your appetite is because they are loaded with various vitamins and minerals that are not found in other foods. Or the vitamins and minerals are found to a lesser degree in some of the foods you eat. For example, you can eat something high in fat or even high in fiber, but they may not contain the rich source of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. So when you eat nuts, you get the full meal deal (so to speak). You will get full because of the fat and fiber. However, with the rich source of vitamins and minerals, your body is satisfied at a cellular level as well. So, your body does not “ping” your brain to tell you to “EAT” when all it really wants or needs is a vitamin or a mineral that your body is lacking. So, when you eat walnuts you will feel full and crave less junk. Ultimately, eating a modest amount of walnuts or some other nut to replace nutrient depleted and depleting junk foods can help you lose weight and keep it off.
I hope you learned more about the walnut benefits you get from eating walnuts. If you like to bake, you may enjoy the yummy banana walnut keto cookies recipe found in the low carb meal planner. This concludes the walnut health benefits for now.