Walnuts are highly nutritious and are often referred to as the ultimate superfood for the brain. This is due to their shape and appearance, which almost resemble the human brain. And true to that, their high antioxidant content has been shown to protect the brain against oxidative damage and promote its functions. Let’s explore how many walnuts should you eat in a day.
Walnuts are also high in essential fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
When incorporated in the right amounts, nutrients in walnuts have been shown to support various aspects of health, including preventing common chronic diseases.
That being said, the creamy flavor and enjoyable crunch may cause you to eat more than you should. So how many walnuts should you actually be eating in a day?
That’s our main focus today, but let’s first understand a few more things about walnuts.
What are the Health Benefits of Walnuts?
The benefits of walnuts are endless, but a few to keep in mind include;
1. They fight inflammation
Inflammation is the root cause of most chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and cancer.
Walnuts are rich in ellagitannin, a polyphenol antioxidant that gets converted into urolithins in the gut. Urolithins have been shown to fight oxidative stress and protect the body against inflammation.
2. It may fight depression
While low omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to an increased rate of depression and other behavioral and cognitive disorders, sufficient intakes have been shown to lower the rates of depression and psychiatric disorders.
3. Promotes gut health
Did you know that 70 percent of your immune system is located in the gut? That’s right! And that’s why taking care of your gut is of utmost importance.
One way to promote gut health is to ensure your good gut bacteria are well fed. Walnuts are rich in dietary fiber, which acts as a prebiotic, that helps feed them. The more they feed and increase, the more they balance out the harmful gut bacteria and the healthier you become.
One study found that walnuts increased the number of good gut bacteria in people who ate walnuts more than those who didn’t.
4. It may lower the risk of certain cancers
Observational studies suggest that eating walnuts may lower the risk of various cancers, including prostate, colorectal, and breast cancers.
This is because walnuts are rich in polyphenol antioxidants which are also anti-inflammatory, thus protecting the gut against chronic inflammation. This may help lower the risk of colorectal cancer even more.
In one study, researchers found that walnut supplementation reduced the development and growth of prostate cancer cells. In the study, a walnut-enriched diet was shown to reduce the number of tumors and their growth.
5. Enhance weight loss
Despite being high in calories, when consumed correctly, almonds may suppress your hunger hormones, causing you to eat less and burn fat in the process.
In one study, obese individuals who took a smoothie containing 48 grams of walnuts found that once a day for 5 days experienced a decrease in their hunger hormones and appetite level compared to the control group.
Also, the high fatty acids and protein in walnuts promote early satiety with a prolonged feeling of fullness, causing one to go without food or unnecessary snacking for a reasonable period.
6. It may lower blood pressure
Maintaining normal blood pressure levels is essential to overcoming various health issues like stroke, heart attack, and cardiovascular disease.
In a four-year study involving adults at high risk of developing heart disease, participants were put on a Mediterranean diet supplemented with 1 ounce (28 grams) of nuts, including walnuts, daily. At the end of the study, people on a nut enriched Mediterranean diet recorded a decrease in their diastolic blood pressure compared to the control group.
This shows that in addition to a healthy diet such as the Mediterranean diet, nuts, including walnut supplementation, may help promote cardiovascular health.
7. May lower the risk of type 2 diabetes or promote its management
Walnuts have the ability to control weight which can, in turn, lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
In one study, people with type 2 diabetes were put on one tablespoon of walnut oil extract for 3 months in addition to their healthy diet and medication. Their fasting blood sugar decreased by 8 percent at the end of the study. Read More Benefits Of Walnuts.
How many walnuts should you eat in a day?
Walnuts are generally high in fats, calories, protein, and carbohydrates. Although these nutrients are necessary for the body, too much may cause side effects.
For instance, a high-calorie diet may cause weight gain and especially interfere with any weight loss regime one could be following.
And in case you think you’ve been overconsuming nuts and see a weight change physically and think you’re lucky not to gain weight, think again because you’re most definitely accumulating the fat around your internal organs.
This increases your risk of other conditions like insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver, heart disease, and even cancer.
So how many walnuts should you consume to ensure maximum benefits and avoid falling victim to overconsumption?
There is no exact number of walnuts to consume, but experts recommend anything between 7-10 should be okay.
Effects of too much walnut consumption
Regularly exceeding the recommended number of walnuts per day may result in various health issues, including:
- Swelling and rashes
- Weight gain
What Is The Best Way To Eat Walnuts?
While walnuts can be eaten directly from their shell, the best way is to soak them overnight and eat them first thing in the morning.
Soaking lowers the level of phytic acid, eases digestion, promotes metabolism, and promotes nutrient absorption.
As nutritious as walnuts are, you don’t need lots of them to reap the benefits.
Also, too much consumption has been associated with gastrointestinal discomfort, allergic reactions, and high-calorie intake, causing weight gain,
Make it a routine to stick to anything between 7-10 walnuts per day.
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