Walnuts Add Value to Your Diet
Walnuts are among nature’s top super foods. They pack plenty of nutritional value into a small, satisfying package. While it’s true they’re relatively calorie dense, most of the calories in walnuts come from heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They’re also a good source of protein, providing many essential amino acids. Walnuts are one of the few plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and omega-3s are essential nutrients that play an important role in immune function, brain function and cardiovascular wellness. Antioxidant compounds are abundant in walnuts and may account for at least some of the health benefits of walnuts. And the benefits continue to be catalogued.
For example, two new studies underscore why walnuts deserve a regular place in your family’s diet. The first, which looked at nut consumption in general, concluded that eating nuts three times a week or more is associated with a significantly reduced risk of dying from cancer and cardiovascular disease. At about the same time, another new study was released that shows that a diet rich in walnuts may also help prevent prostate cancer in men.
The latter study was conducted on mice that are bred to model human prostate cancer in the laboratory. Although mice were seeded with human prostate cancer cells, tumors were much less likely to grow in walnut-fed mice. Tumors also grew more slowly, eventually becoming just one-quarter the size of tumors that grew in mice that were not fed walnuts. Investigators noted that daily consumption of walnuts have been linked to reduced inflammation in previous human and animal studies.
Guasch-Ferré M, Bulló M, Martínez-González MÁ, Ros E, Corella D, Estruch R, Fitó M, et al. Frequency of nut consumption and mortality risk in the PREDIMED nutrition intervention trial. BMC Med. 2013 Jul 16;11:164.doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-164.
Reiter RJ, Tan DX, Manchester LC, Korkmaz A, Fuentes-Broto L, Hardman WE, et al. A Walnut-Enriched Diet Reduces the Growth of LNCaP Human Prostate Cancer Xenografts in Nude Mice. Cancer Invest. 2013 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]