HARVARD STUDY: EATING WALNUTS MAY EXTEND YOUR LIFE
By Michael Downey
Walnuts once had a bad rap because they have a high calorie and fat content. However, recently it has been found that these assumptions are false. These nuts are packed with healthy fats, vitamins, antioxidants, protein, fiber, and trace minerals. These nuts also have a small amount of sodium, are free of cholesterol, and contain polyunsaturated or good fats.
“Walnuts provide an array of health benefits shown by an observational study that spanned almost 20 years of follow-up data. The study was published in the journal, Nutrients in 2021. Compared to people who never ate walnuts, people who consumed five one ounce serving of walnuts per week resulting in an approximate 1.3 year increase in life expectancy for 60 –year olds and:
A 14% lower risk of death from any cause
A 25% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease”.
Walnuts contain healthy fats, fiber and other nutrients. One ounce contains 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and 45 mg of the mineral magnesium. They also contain ALA
(alpha – linolenic acid, an omega-3 found in plants. ALA may improve blood lipids as well as the function of endothelial cells that line the arteries. ALA is also associated with a lower risk of oxidative stress.
Walnuts are believed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease since regular intake is associated with blood pressure reduction. Also, regular intake can reduce blood levels of LDL, triglycerides which that increase heart disease risk. A clinical trial of healthy adults between 63 and 79 years old showed that eating about two ounces of walnuts daily for two years.
Help Controlling Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes has the potential for complications that include: heart disease, chronic kidney disease, nerve damage, vision problems and cognitive impairment. Some studies have shown that walnuts may help lower blood glucose and help to reduce these health risks. A human trial showed that consumption of walnut oil daily for three months lowered blood sugar levels and three-month HbA1c glycemic control. Fasting blood glucose should be <85mg/dL and a A1c less than 5.0%.
Lab and animal studies indicate that walnuts reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in brain cells. In an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease, mice were fed walnuts for 10 months and when compared to mice fed no walnuts, showed improvements in memory-learning ability.
Other studies found in Parkinson’s, depression, or stroke, walnuts lowered the progression of these diseases.
Try to use walnuts on salads and as snacks by the handful.
Source: Life Extension: The Science of a Healthier Life, April 2022.