Almonds seem to get all the spotlight when it comes to how healthy nuts can be. Although it’s true that they’re nutritious, they’re not the only ones!
Walnuts are the perfect example.
They’re nutrient-dense and packed with (1):
- Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
- Vitamin B6
How Walnuts Protect Your Heart
In a 2014 study, Dr. Penny Kris Eterton explains that it’s possible to reduce the risk of heart disease by 30% just by consuming a handful of walnuts or walnut oil four days a week. Increasing your dose to 5 times a week or more reduces your risk by 40% (2).
The study found ‘significant’ improvement in cholesterol levels and blood vessel flexibility, which helps blood flow smoothly, just four hours after people consumed either the shelled nuts or walnut oil.
The research suggests regular consumption would protect against cardiovascular disease in the long term. (source)
The researchers gave 15 participants with high blood cholesterol levels four treatments – two handfuls of shelled walnuts (85g), six grams of walnut skin, 34g of the nutmeat with the fat removed, or three tablespoons of oil (51g).
Note: 1 handful = 14 halves or 7 full walnuts (source)
They looked at their responses after 30 minutes, one hour, two hours, four hours and six hours.
The researchers found that a one-time consumption of walnut oil – also found in the shelled nuts – improved blood vessel health after four hours.
In other words, eating just two handfuls of walnuts could provide near-instant protection from heart disease.
Always Keep The Skin
It’s thought that most of the antioxidants in walnuts are found in the skin, making it one of the healthiest parts to consume, so make sure not to peel them before eating (3)!