Walnuts are little brain-shaped tree nuts that are packed with nutrition in the same family as pecans, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, pine nuts, and hazelnuts.
Humans have eaten walnuts for nearly 10,000 years. Walnuts were even traded along the silk road, and in ancient times, they were reserved for royalty. However, walnuts were first cultivated in California in the 1700s. Since then, we’ve learned that in addition to being delicious, there is much to love about the humble walnut.
Walnuts are one of the most nutrient-packed nuts available to you. For those on the Kaufmann Diet, they are an item that should always be on your grocery list, for a variety of reasons.
Walnuts Are Packed With Healthy Fat
Walnuts are high in alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. ALA is a type of plant-based omega 3 fat, similar to the types of healthy fats found in salmon and olive oil. This type of fat is associated with healthy cholesterol levels. Subsequently, walnut consumption is associated with improved cardiovascular health.
Omega 3 fats are also known to be anti-fungal, making anything containing them great for someone on the Kaufmann Diet to enjoy.
Walnuts Contain Antioxidants
Walnuts are rich in antioxidants, including some antioxidants that are rare in other foods, making them a unique source of these important compounds.
Everyone knows that antioxidants fight cancer, and to this end, walnuts have been shown to be beneficial against prostate cancer and breast cancer.
Antioxidants play other roles in the body, as well, including fighting inflammation and oxidative damage. To this end, walnuts may be beneficial against aging, heart disease, cancer and other health problems in which inflammation and oxidative stress play a role.
Walnuts (And Other Nuts) May Assist in Weight Loss
Once vilified for their fat content, walnuts and other nuts have been vindicated in their status as a health food.
Instead of promoting weight gain, walnuts have shown benefit for those trying to lose weight. A review of studies indicated that those who included a healthful amount of nuts in their diet lost an average of half an inch more off their waistlines than those who did not.
Walnuts May Be Beneficial for Those With Diabetes
Compounds in walnuts may be beneficial for blood sugar control. Studies indicate a significant improvement in numbers for people with type 2 diabetes who consumed a quarter of a cup of walnuts each day.