Walnuts are not only delicious, they also pack a nutritional punch. Check out the health benefits of walnuts

The health benefits of walnuts

1. They can reduce the risk of breast cancer

Eating about 28 walnut halves a day provides antioxidants and phytosterols that may help reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to a study at the Marshall University School of Medicine in West Virginia. Mice were fed a daily diet with the human equivalent of two ounces (60 g) of walnuts. Compared to mice fed a control diet, the walnut eaters had significantly decreased breast tumour incidence and a slower rate of tumour growth.

2. They're packed with omega-3 fatty acids

A diet rich in omega-3s is beneficial in reducing depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and there’s also strong evidence that omega-3s counter inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

3. They can reduce risk of diabetes

Women who reported eating one ounce (30 g) of nuts at least five times per week reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by almost 30 percent compared to those who rarely or never ate nuts, say researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. The mono- and polyunsaturated fats in nuts are good for insulin sensitivity.

4. They contain antioxidants that boost heart health

A new study from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania shows walnuts have higher quality antioxidants and a mix of more healthful antioxidants than any other nut.

5. They can help you deal with stress

A diet rich in walnuts and walnut oil may help the body deal better with stress. Research published last year in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that walnuts and walnut oil lowered both resting blood pressure and blood pressure responses to stress in the laboratory. The researchers said the study shows that a dietary change could help our bodies better respond to stress.

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