Nutritional Information for Walnuts

Walnuts are high in essential fats like omega 3s. These fats are “essential” meaning that the body cannot produce omega 3’s on its own. This makes walnuts a great choice because walnuts have healthful fat, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals and antioxidants.

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Benefits of Walnuts

Cancer Prevention Benefits

The bioactive compounds, urolithins, formed in the gut after eating walnuts have been studied for their anticancer effects. Cell studies find urolithins to be chemoprotective (cancer prevention) with an ability to change the way genes are expressed in prostate cancer cells. In human trials, men at risk for prostate cancer were studied to see if biomarkers for determining prostate cancer risk changed from eating walnuts. They gave men 75 grams (about 2-3 ounces) of walnuts a day for 8 weeks and found improvements in vitamin E levels and prostate specific antigen (PSA) ratios. This study suggests walnuts may improve prostate health possible aiding in the prevention of prostate cancer.  

Men's Health Benefits

Eating just a serving (1 oz or a small handful) of walnuts a week may reduce the risk of heart disease by 59 percent. Another way to put it, those who don’t eat nuts have double the risk of heart disease. Other risk factors are significantly lowered when eating more nuts. Just an extra half ounce of nuts per day may slash the risk of stroke in half. Nuts seem to work against heart disease by opening up the arteries and helping blood flow better. Even though nuts are higher in fat, the fact they have fiber and so many protective compounds may be the reason why they help with weight loss.

 

Ways to Use Walnuts

  • Toast walnuts and crush on top of salads.
  • Mix toasted walnuts with grapes and cashew cream for a sweet treat.
  • Top banana “ice cream” with toasted walnuts.
  • Add walnuts to oatmeal and overnight oats.
  • Make a walnut-lentil loaf rather than meatloaf.
  • Toss walnuts into smoothies.
Resources for Walnuts

“Foods that Fight Cancer” from AICR: Walnuts

Nutrition Facts: www.nutritionfacts.org

Physicians Committee: www.pcrm.org

USDA Nutrient Database: Walnuts

Citations
  1. Mattes R, Dreher M. Nuts and healthy body weight maintenance mechanisms. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2010;19(1):137-41.
  2. Cortés B, Núñez I, Cofán M, Gilabert R, Pérez-Heras A, Casals E, Deulofeu R, Ros E. Acute effects of high-fat meals enriched with walnuts or olive oil on postprandial endothelial function. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006;48(8):1666-71.
  3. Bolling B, Chen C, McKay D, Blumberg J. Tree nut phytochemicals: composition, antioxidant capacity, bioactivity, impact factors. A systematic review of almonds, Brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts. Nutr Res Rev. 2011;24(2):244-75.
  4. Casas-Agustench P, López-Uriarte P, Ros E, Bulló M, Salas-Salvadó J. Nuts, hypertension and endothelial function. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011;21 Suppl 1:S21-33.
  5. Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvado J, et al. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet. N Engl J Med. 2013;368(14):1279-90.
  6. Spaccarotella K, Kris-Etherton P, Stone W, et al. The effect of walnut intake on factors related to prostate and vascular health in older men. Nutr J. 2008;7:13.
  7. Sánchez-González C, Ciudad CJ, Izquierdo-Pulido M, Noé V. Urolithin A causes p21 up-regulation in prostate cancer cells. Eur J Nutr. 201655(3):1099-112.

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