Exciting New Research Supported by California Walnuts

Posted 01/08/2015 | By HealthCorps

A recent federal study on American eating habits found that 4 in 10 Americans are not consuming enough nuts, though more women than men consume nuts, and nut consumption appears to increase with age. About 1.5 ounces daily can support heart health.

The California Walnut Board has been a partner of HealthCorps for years. They’ve also lent support to research projects that resulted in 29 peer-reviewed published papers in 2014 and a total of 150 publications over the past two decades. Walnuts are quite the powerhouse In terms of nutrition and they are incredibly versatile, lending themselves to salads, healthy muffins and cookies, homemade trail mix and nutrition bars, as a topping on yogurt parfaits and baked potatoes.

Highlights from the research to date include:

Brain health and its positive link to walnuts: One study showed a link between lowering risk of Alzheimer’s disease in the presence of walnut consumption. Another in vitro study suggests that eating walnuts helps to enhance the membrane-associated functions in brain cells. Another study this year showed how walnuts appear to help maintain brain health during aging. Since some of the findings were based on animal studies, additional research will be required to determine impact on humans.

Cardiovascular health and walnuts: Researchers reviewed cardiovascular disease (CVD)research related to walnut consumption, and found overwhelmingly that eating walnuts does appear to improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Studies appear to show that consumption of walnuts decreases LDL and lowers blood pressure, two risk factors for CVD. Walnuts also improve endothelial function, reduce oxidative stress and increase cholesterol efflux. So it seems obvious that if you are seeking a heart-healthy diet, walnuts should be a regular feature.

Find these and other studies on the California Walnut website.

-Amy Hendel, PA/HealthCoach

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