Often, the simplest foods are the best for your health – think fruits and veggies. This reins true with nuts as well. Among nuts, Mother Nature crafted a near perfect package of protein, healthy fat, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals when creating the walnut. Adding just one ounce (approximately 7 walnuts) to your diet may be all it takes to reap these benefits and more.
Walnuts may help reduce not only the risk of prostate cancer, but breast cancer as well. In one study, mice that ate whole walnuts for 18 weeks had significantly smaller and slower-growing prostate tumors compared to those that consumed the same amount of fat from other sources. In another study, the human equivalent of just two handfuls of walnuts a day cut breast cancer risk and slowed tumor growth in mice by 50%.
Adding a healthy amount of walnuts to your diet can help to maintain your ideal weight over time. In one review of 31 trials, individuals who substituted walnuts for other foods lost about 1.4 extra pounds and half an inch from their waist. Eating walnuts is also associated with increased satiety after just three days.
Research shows walnut consumption may support brain health, due to the number of neuroprotective compounds, including vitamin E, melatonin, omega-3 fats, and antioxidants they contain. One study also found that consuming high-antioxidant foods, like walnuts, can enhance cognitive and motor function in aging adults.