delicious nut is an excellent source of omega-3
essential fatty acids, a
special type of protective fat
the body cannot manufacture. Walnuts'
of omega-3s (a quarter-cup provides 90.8% of the
daily value for
these essential fats) has many potential
health benefits ranging from
to the promotion of better cognitive function, to
anti-inflammatory benefits helpful in asthma,
rheumatoid arthritis, and
inflammatory skin diseases
such as eczema and psoriasis. In addition, walnuts
contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid
that supports the
immune system and appears to have
several anticancer properties.
Almonds have been claimed for health benefits but their Omega 6 to Omega 3 Ratio is off the chart. And, in fact, there are no detectable Omega 3's.
According to Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet:
"The ideal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fats should be between 2 and 3 to 1. For most Americans unfortunately, it's between 10 and 15 to 1. All nuts and seeds, except for Walnuts and possible Macadamia nuts, have unacceptable high Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratios. This is why you must eat them in small amounts."
are also found in abundance in many other foods. (see chart below), and provide
the following benefits:
- Reduce inflammation throughout your body
- Keep your blood from clotting excessively
- Maintain the fluidity of your cell membranes
- Lower the amount of lipids (fats such as cholesterol and
triglycerides) circulating in the bloodstream
- Decrease platelet aggregation, preventing excessive blood
- Inhibit thickening of the arteries by decreasing
endothelial cells' production of a platelet-derived growth factor (the lining
of the arteries is composed of endothelial cells)
- Increase the activity of another chemical derived from
endothelial cells (endothelium-derived nitric oxide), which causes arteries to
relax and dilate
- Reduce the production of messenger chemicals called
cytokines, which are involved in the inflammatory response associated with atherosclerosis
- Reduce the risk of becoming obese and improve the body's
ability to respond to insulin by stimulating the secretion of leptin, a hormone
that helps regulate food intake, body weight and metabolism, and is expressed
primarily by adipocytes (fat cells)
- Help prevent cancer cell growth
Best Sources of Omega 3:
*An excellent link on Omega 3’s:
Walnuts are made up of 15 to 20 percent protein and contain
linoleic (omega-6 fatty acids) and alpha-linoleic acids (omega-3 fatty acids),
vitamin E and vitamin B6, making them an excellent
source of nourishment for your nervous system.
Loaded with unsaturated fat, vitamin E, and ellagic acid,
walnuts can lower cholesterol, fight cancer, and
boost your brainpower.
Varieties of seeds and nuts
contain Tryptophan, an important amino acid that the brain converts to
serotonin. Roasted pumpkin seeds and dry sunflower seeds are an
excellent source of Tryptophan, making them a safe, natural way to relive mild depression and insomnia
Walnuts strengthen the blood,
overcome debility and tonify
kidneys, liver and brain.
In addition to lowering LDL
cholesterol the walnut:
levels of C-reactive protein,
a marker of inflammation strongly
levels of the protective omega-3 fatty acids,
eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and
docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Decreased levels
of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 and E-selection, all of which are involved in
cholesterol's adhesion to the endothelium (the lining of the arteries).
- Contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid, which blocks the metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer. Ellagic acid not only helps protect healthy cells from free radical damage, but
also helps detoxify potential cancer-causing substances and helps prevent cancer cells from replicating.
A new study published in the Journal of the American College of
that eating walnuts after a meal high in unhealthy fats could reduce the
damaging effects of such fats on blood vessels.
Researchers from Barcelona's Hospital Clinic
conducted a study on 24 adult participants, half of who had normal cholesterol
levels, and half of who had moderately high levels of cholesterol. Each group
was fed two high-fat meals of salami and cheese, eaten one week apart. During
one meal, the researchers supplemented the food with five teaspoons of olive oil.
The researcher added eight shelled walnuts to the other meal, the following
Tests after each meal showed that both the
olive oil and the walnuts helped reduce the onset of dangerous inflammation and
oxidation in the arteries after the meals, which were high in saturated fat.
However, unlike the olive oil, the walnuts also helped the arteries maintain
their elasticity and flexibility, even in the participants with higher
Lead researcher Dr. Emilio Ros said walnuts'
protective effects could be because the nuts are high in antioxidants and ALA,
a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. Walnuts also contain arginine, which is an
amino acid that the body uses to produce nitric oxide -- necessary for keeping
blood vessels flexible.
Professor Robert Vogel, of Maryland
University, said, "This demonstrates that the protective fat from walnuts
actually undoes some of the detrimental effects of a high-saturated-fat diet,
whereas neutral fat, such as olive oil, does not have as much protective ability."
Vogel also said walnuts -- not olive oil, as most people believe -- could be
the reason the Mediterranean diet is so beneficial.
Natural health advocate Mike Adams says raw
nuts and seeds offer astonishing health benefits" to those who consume
them regularly. For maximum benefit, it is important that all nuts be
consumed in their raw, unprocessed and unsalted form. Cooking or roasting nuts
destroys much of their nutritional value.
one does not need to eat many nuts to gain the benefits; the study shows that
eating only 7 walnuts a day is enough to gain all the benefits of the
antioxidants. Besides, the fat in walnuts consists mostly of
polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats(omega-3), which are beneficial. Nuts
also contain lots of dietary fibre, phytonutrients, vitamins (among which
vitamin E) and minerals such as selenium.