Nuts: what are their health benefits?

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it acts in particular on cognitive functions and the brain. 

Nuts: what are their health benefits
nuts benefits

This Sunday, February 7, France 5 will broadcast a documentary devoted to this small nut from the Middle East, to meet producers and consumers. The opportunity to focus on its multiple virtues.

Ideal for filling a small hollow, walnuts are nuts that grow on walnut (Juglans regia. L). This tree can reach 25 meters in height and live up to 400 years. It is easily recognizable thanks to its imposing gray bark. The nuts come from the Juglandaceae family. Before tasting them, it is necessary to break the husk, the envelope, which contains them. Stain is not edible, but it is often used as a stain by cabinet makers.

What are the virtues of nuts?

  • Walnuts have several health benefits. It is in particular:
  • antioxidant
  • anti-atherosclerotic, which means that it helps fight against the deposition of cholesterol in the arteries.
  • laxative
  • cholesterol-lowering, which means it lowers the amount of cholesterol in the blood
  • hypotriglyceridemic, which means that the walnut helps reduce the level of triglycerides in the body
  • anti-inflammatory

Despite its many virtues, walnuts remain very high in calories. It is therefore not recommended to consume it every day. For a 100g handful, nuts are estimated to contain around 654 calories. Its consumption nevertheless makes it possible to fill up with minerals, and in particular calcium (94mg / 100g), magnesium (120mg / 100g), phosphorus (260mg / 100g) and potassium (399mg / 100g). Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 are also present in good quantity (23.3g / 100g) in nuts. This nut also provides a good supply of vitamin A (52µg / 100g).

Walnuts, an ally for cognitive functions

When you're feeling a little slack, snacking on a few nuts can help you reenergize, but that's not the only benefit. In 2019, Chinese researchers observed the effects of nuts on the brain and cognitive functions. Their results have been published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging.

For research purposes, scientists collected data from a study in China that followed 5,000 people aged 55 and over for more than 22 years. According to the researchers, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions of the nut were beneficial for the cognitive health of the participants.

The study authors, therefore, estimated that moderate consumption of nuts could slow down age-related cognitive decline and prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

Walnuts, a powerful laxative

Thanks to their high fiber content, walnuts help relieve bloating and abdominal pain caused by constipation. It also promotes the proper functioning of the intestines. However, be careful if you have a fragile digestive system, as eating nuts speeds up intestinal transit.

Walnuts help fight cholesterol

The presence of omega-3 and omega-6 in nuts helps fight against the build-up of bad cholesterol in the body. Its anti-atherosclerotic and cholesterol-lowering properties help reduce cholesterol deposits in the arteries and in the blood. Regularly ingesting nuts also helps protect the cardiovascular system.

Walnuts: this fruit acts against osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a bone disease characterized by a decrease in bone density and changes in its micro-architecture. To slow down its development, the walnut is the ideal ally, because it is rich in calcium and antioxidants. Consumption of nuts is also recommended to slow the progression of atherosclerosis, a condition that affects the inner lining of the arteries.

In which cases is the walnut not recommended?

Nuts are responsible for many food allergies. To limit the risks in young children, it is not recommended to consume nuts before the age of one year. When one of the parents or a brother or sister is already allergic, nuts should be avoided until the child turns three years old.

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