Islamabad: With the onset of winter, the demand for dried fruit has increased across Pakistan. Packed with nutrients, dried fruits make an essential part of people’s diets as they generally contain a lot of fibre and serve as a great source of antioxidants. Even though dried fruit has been used for centuries, in the light of modern research and proven health efficacy, their consumption is increasing like never before.
The latest scientific research suggests that a handful of walnuts contains almost two times as many disease-fighting antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other nut. As one of the best dietary sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts have proven particularly good for the heart. As compiled from eatthis.com, you’d be nuts to ignore the up-to-the-minute scrutiny on this superfood.
Health Benefits of Eating Walnuts
7 Reasons Why You Must Include Walnuts in Your Diet
Help you snooze right
If you sleep too little, you could die young. If you sleep too much, you could die young — suggests a study published in the journal Sleep. That’s where the meaty walnuts come to the rescue. This super nut is brimming with melatonin, a compound that works by conveying messages regarding the cycle of light and dark to the body — meaning walnuts help you sleep for just the right amount of time. Consuming walnuts increases the blood levels of melatonin, thereby inducing a peaceful sleep that could postpone the pesky nap that keeps you up all night.
This delish nut helps lower your blood pressure to a healthy range — the perfect garnish for movie nights and chilling. Researchers conducting a study on the relationship between these wonder nuts and stress discovered that walnuts, when incorporated into participants’ diets lowered both resting blood pressure and blood pressure responses to stress in the laboratory. The reason? Walnuts offer rich sources of fibre, antioxidants, and unsaturated fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid. These are the exact nutrients that give walnuts their stress-fighting assets.
Ward off cancer
In a study, subjects that were given 2.4 ounces of whole walnuts for 18 weeks had significantly smaller and slower-growing prostate tumours, as compared to the control group that consumed the same amount of fat but from other sources. The research concluded that the whole walnut diet (not your candied version of walnuts, sorry) reduced prostate cancer growth by 30 to 40 per cent. Another study discovered that subjects who snacked on just two handfuls of walnuts a day cut breast cancer risk in half and slowed tumour growth by 50%, too.
Help control diabetes
The dietary fat in walnuts has been shown to decrease the risk of developing serious complications associated with type-2 diabetes, such as kidney disease, according to a new study. It looked at 31 men and 81 women in this high-risk category and found that overweight adults with type-2 diabetes who noshed on a one-quarter cup of walnuts daily had substantial reductions in fasting insulin levels, as compared to those who didn’t. What’s more awesome? The benefit was achieved in the first three months of the study — now that’s fast.
Keep you skinny
For years we’ve heard the fat-blasting power of almonds but did you know that walnuts are the ultimate go-to nut for weight loss? A review of 31 study participants whose diets included extra walnuts that were substituted for other snacks lost about 1.4 extra pounds and half an inch from their waists, in as little as a month. Part of that weight loss can be correlated with walnuts’ ability to make those who eat them feel increased satiety, with one study demonstrating that walnuts have the ability to impart that full feeling in just three days. If you’re looking for a quick fat burn, throw walnuts in your daily food regime and watch the stubborn pounds melt off.
Keep your heart healthy
These easily accessible food megastars are bursting with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that can drastically reduce the risk of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke. The most comprehensive review of clinical trials on nut consumption in relation to cardiovascular disease showed consuming just one ounce of walnuts five or more times a week (about a handful every day), can reduce heart disease risk by almost 40 per cent. Another study proved that two ounces a day were enough to significantly improve blood flow to and from the heart in just eight weeks, without causing any weight gain.
Lead to a fitter offspring
According to a study from UCLA, Walnuts improve reproductive health in men. Researchers found that when they gave healthy young men who ate 2.5 ounces of walnuts daily (a little over half a cup) had improved vitality, motility, and morphology. While this simple addition to your diet will help you live longer, it will also substantially improve the chances of having offspring with sturdier immune systems.