Secret To A Long, Healthy, Fit Life — Is A Handful Of Walnuts Every Day? By John Anderer for Natural Blaze
Parents, if you want your kids to have long, healthy, and active lives, make sure the kitchen pantry is always stocked with walnuts. An expansive new study covering decades of research reports people who eat walnuts early in life are more likely to be physically active, eat healthy in general, and experience a better heart disease risk profile as they age and enter middle adulthood.
Of course, numerous previous studies show how walnuts pack powerful health benefits. This latest study — partially funded by The California Walnut Institute — is the longest and most exhaustive project to indicate that simply adding a handful walnuts to one’s diet is enough to promote additional healthy lifestyle habits later in life. Moreover, this research suggests walnuts are an easy, accessible food choice capable of improving heart disease risk factors if eaten during young to middle adulthood.
Scientists at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health theorize walnuts may act as a “bridge” to other healthy habits throughout life. They credit the tree nut’s unique combination of nutrients, and its subsequent effect on overall health.
For instance, walnuts are the only tree nut that is an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, shown to influence heart and brain health in addition to healthy aging processes. Just one serving of walnuts (1 oz., or roughly a handful) boasts an impressive array of nutrients that support overall health. This includes four grams of protein, two grams of fiber, and a good source of magnesium (45 milligrams). Walnuts also provide numerous antioxidants, including polyphenols.
“Walnut eaters seem to have a unique body phenotype that carries with it other positive impacts on health like better diet quality, especially when they start eating walnuts from young into middle adulthood – as risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, obesity, and diabetes elevates,” says Professor of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and Lead Researcher on CARDIA, Lyn M. Steffen, PhD, MPH, RD, in a statement.