What are the benefits of nuts?
The walnut is a shelled fruit, i.e. it has a shell like hazelnuts, almonds or pistachios. They are full of many benefits that make them a real health ally. Rich in vitamins E and B, magnesium, as well as iron, calcium, minerals and trace elements, walnuts are an interesting nut from a nutritional point of view. They are also beneficial to your health. Find out more about the health benefits of nuts and why you should eat them.
A quick reminder about nuts
Commonly called nuts, oilseeds or simply “nuts”. They have become the real stars of the healthy diet. And for good reason. As well as being delicious, nuts are full of health benefits!
Walnuts are fruits that grow on walnut trees (Juglans regia. L). The tree can reach a height of 25 metres and can live up to 400 years. It is easy to identify by its majestic grey bark. The nuts are from the Jugaceae family. Before tasting them, you must break the husk, i.e. the shell in which they are found. The husk is not edible, but cabinetmakers often use it as a dye.
Today, walnuts are widely consumed in France and throughout the world. They are ideal as an appetizer or pastry, and can be eaten as a snack. So what are the nutritional properties of these nuts?
Nuts are rich in macronutrients, especially proteins.
They contain many micronutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and calcium.
Nuts are rich in ‘good’ fats.
They are also rich in fibre, which is essential for our diet.
They are also rich in vitamin E and vitamin B, an antioxidant that helps protect fats from oxidation. These antioxidants help to slow down the ageing of cells.
Major health benefits of nuts
Nuts improve heart health
Although the evils of walnuts may make sensitive people react, they are rich in L-arginine, an amino acid that has many benefits for people with or at risk of cardiovascular disease. However, if you want to get rid of herpes, avoid nuts or eat less. Too much L-arginine can reduce levels of the amino acid lysine, which can lead to herpes outbreaks.
They also contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid. ALA is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that helps prevent blood clots. A study has shown that those who eat foods rich in ALA have a 50% lower risk of heart attack. But that’s not all. Eating just 4 nuts a day significantly increased ALA levels. Regular consumption of nuts also regulates cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Nuts help you lose weight
Although nuts are high-calorie foods, many scientific studies have shown that they actually help with weight loss. In fact, oilseeds have been shown to promote satiety and reduce snacking. In addition, their digestion in the gut is incomplete, as some of their fat becomes trapped in the fibrous walls of the nut during digestion. Therefore, scientific evidence suggests that nuts are good for weight loss, not the other way around.
Nuts slow down ageing
Nuts are especially rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential for good health, as they play an important role in the fight against ageing. These compounds reduce the damage caused by the free radicals that cause ageing. In addition, the antioxidants in nuts are particularly powerful and are only found in a few foods.
The study showed the strong antioxidant properties of nuts, especially walnuts. Of all the nuts tested in this study, the polyphenols found in walnuts are the most effective, showing the highest antioxidant activity.
Nuts are beneficial in the treatment of type 2 diabetes
Many studies have shown that nut consumption can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by influencing blood sugar control. In addition, conditions often associated with type 2 diabetes may also benefit from improvement, according to a recent study by the American Heart Association. In fact, scientists showed that by eating 5 servings of nuts per week, patients with type 2 diabetes reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 17%.
In addition, it was found that people with type 2 diabetes who regularly ate nuts had a 20% lower risk of developing coronary heart disease and a 31% lower overall risk of premature death.
Nuts help reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol
Part of the benefit of adding nuts to the human diet is related to their fat content. Many clinical studies have examined the effects of nut consumption on blood lipids and lipoproteins. One study concluded that nut consumption significantly reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol, but had no effect on HDL (good) cholesterol.
It helps to improve brain health and preserve memory
Walnuts are considered a superfood that can help slow down aging. Benefits of nuts for the brain include memory support and thought processing. Many populations with higher rates of depression due to a lack of omega-3 essential fatty acids also suffer from cognitive decline. These include age-related diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders.
Recent studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids have great benefits for elderly patients at risk of cognitive decline and depression.
It supports the immune system and may help prevent cancer
As an excellent anti-inflammatory food that contains antioxidant polyphenols, eating walnuts is beneficial to your immune function and may even help prevent cancer. Some studies show that nuts should be part of a diet that helps treat cancer.
In 2013, researchers investigated whether a standard mouse diet enriched with nuts limited the formation and growth of human prostate cancer cells. They found that the walnut-enriched diet significantly reduced the number of tumours and their growth, and that the average final tumour size in animals fed the walnut diet was about a quarter of the average tumour size in the walnut diet.
Walnuts improve reproductive health and help our bodies grow
These nuts are rich in essential minerals. They also contain protein, calcium, fibre, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. So if you have low levels of potassium, for example, nuts can increase your levels. In fact, all of these factors are essential for brain and body development, which is why pregnant women, young mothers and young children (when they can safely tolerate nuts) are encouraged to eat them regularly.
Manganese, found particularly in nuts, is an essential mineral for growth, the skeletal system, reproductive health, wound healing and brain development. It is also necessary for maintaining a healthy metabolism and for digesting and utilising carbohydrates in the diet that promote muscle and tissue growth.