Are walnuts good for you? Amazing benefits that might surprise you

Amazing health benefits that make walnut good for you (Image via Unsplash/Tom Hermans)
Amazing health benefits that make walnuts good for you (Image via Unsplash/Tom Hermans)

Are walnuts good for you? They contain healthy fats and other nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Walnuts may help reduce risk of several lifestyle disorders, including heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. A handful of walnuts every day is a good way to include them in your diet. In this article, we will discuss all the interesting facts that make walnuts good for you.


Why are walnuts good for you?

There are several benefits that make walnuts good for you (Image via Unsplash/Tom Hermans)
There are several benefits that make walnuts good for you (Image via Unsplash/Tom Hermans)

These nuts pack a lot of nutrients and can be an amazing substitute for junk food. They also contain good amounts of dietary fiber.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a one-ounce (approximately 30 grams) serving of walnuts provides:

  • Calories: 185 kcal
  • Water: 4%
  • Protein: 4.3 grams
  • Carbs: 3.9 grams
  • Sugar: 0.7 grams
  • Fiber: 1.9 grams
  • Fat: 18.5 grams

As you can see from the table above, the low-carb profile makes walnuts good for you. They contain only 3.9 grams of carbs per ounce and hence are amazing for low-carb diets.


Health benefits that makes walnuts good for you

These wonder nuts contain various categories of nutrients. They're listed below along with their functions:

  • Copper: Copper ions are essential for heart health. It's associated with bone, nerve and immune system function.
  • Folic acid: Also known as folate or vitamin B9, it has many important biochemical functions in the body. Folic acid deficiency during pregnancy is associated with birth defects in the newborn.
  • Phosphorus: It's a mineral that promotesd bone density and bone metabolism. It's present in protein structure as well.
  • Vitamin B6: It's required by the immune system and nervous system. Vitamin B6 deficiency is also associated with anemia.
  • Manganese: This trace mineral is found in all nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. It's required for enzymatic actions in the body, where it works as a cofactor.
  • Vitamin E: Walnuts contain high levels of gamma-tocopherol, which is another form of vitamin E. Antioxidant properties of vitamin E are already known well.

Other walnut eating benefits

Several organic compounds make walnuts good for you. These beneficial plant compounds include:

  • Ellagic acid: This antioxidant is related to other compounds like ellagitannins. Ellagic acid can reduce risk of heart disease and cancer.
  • Catechin: It's a flavonoid antioxidant that's known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Catechin is also associated with improved heart health.
  • Melatonin: This neurohormone and antioxidant may reduce risk of heart disease. Melatonin also regulates the circadian rhythm and sleep cycle.
  • Phytic acid: Phytic acid, or phytate, is an antioxidant but can reduce absorption of certain minerals due to anti-nutritional properties.

What makes walnuts good for you?

Walnuts are recommended on the ketogenic diet, paleo diet and Mediterranean diet. Their low-carb profiles and dietary fiber content can help with weight loss. They do not cause a spike in blood glucose and insulin levels, so they're safe for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Insulin sensitivity is also associated with fat loss. However, sweetened trail mixes can increase carb content and calorific value. An interesting, easy and healthy trail mix recipe is given below. The versatility of usage in various recipes makes walnuts good for you.


Keto-friendly trail mix

Trail mixes are an amazing way to include walnuts in your diet. (Image via Unsplash/Maksim Shutov)
Trail mixes are an amazing way to include walnuts in your diet. (Image via Unsplash/Maksim Shutov)

The trail mixes available in the supermarket might not be a healthy option due to the presence of added sugar and preservatives.

Keto-friendly low-carb snacks can be easily prepared at home using walnuts, almonds and coconut flakes. Try out this recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of almonds, chopped
  • 1 cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds
  • unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)

Procedure: Dry roast, and mix all these ingredients. Let them cool, and store them in an airtight container for an amazing snack.


Indranil Biswas is a nutritionist and personal trainer with a diploma in dietetics and personal training with a specialization in sports nutrition and strength training.


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Edited by Bhargav