Health Food Spotlight: Walnuts

You’re probably used to seeing walnuts listed as healthy foods to add to your diet, whether you’re searching for ways to boost your heart health, lower your blood pressure, or lose weight. But what is it about these little nuts that make them so jam-packed with benefits? For starters, here are three of the top health benefits that walnuts have to offer.

1. Walnuts Can Lower Bad Cholesterol

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adding walnuts to your diet could significantly lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol levels without negatively affecting your blood pressure or body weight.

LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, is the type of cholesterol that accumulates on the walls of your arteries and blood vessels, which can result in a blockage. High LDL levels can put you at a greater risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

2. Walnuts Have Anti-inflammatory Properties

Walnuts are also high in alpha-linolenic and linoleic acids, two important fatty acids that both provide anti-inflammatory properties. Eating anti-inflammatory foods like walnuts may help to reduce symptoms of many chronic inflammatory conditions, including arthritis, psoriasis, and ulcerative colitis.

3. Walnuts May Help to Manage Type 2 Diabetes

The high concentration of fatty acids in walnuts could help to manage type 2 diabetes, as well as prevent heart-related complications. People with diabetes often have high LDL levels, and since walnuts can help to lower bad cholesterol, they make an excellent snack choice for diabetics.

Bottom Line

While the health benefits of walnuts are plentiful, that still doesn’t mean you can eat as many as you like, or that your diet should consist of only walnuts. Eat a balanced diet that includes walnuts and other nutritious foods to help you stay healthy and active, no matter your age.