Walnuts are one of the densest naturally occurring sources of omega-3’s – they have much higher concentrations of these healthy fats than any kind of fish.
People who eat at least 3 ounces (loose handfuls) of walnuts a week have a 50% reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes and sudden death due to cardiac arrhythmias. If you are having trouble believing this, check out www.walnuts.org.
Walnuts lower levels of LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and improve HDL/LDL ratios.
There is evidence that walnuts improve cognitive functioning. College students who ate 1/2 cup of walnuts a day showed significant improvement in "critical thinking". Walnuts also can treat depression and protect cognitive function in early Alzheimer’s Disease.
Walnuts have been shown to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. They improve insulin resistance and lipid profiles in type 2 diabetes.
Walnuts are being studied as a diet aid. Eaten before meals they produce a feeling of satiety and reduce overall calorie consumption.
Because omega-3’s reduce inflammation, there are indications that they can reduce symptoms of arthritis.
The short chain omega-3’s that are found in walnuts (ALA) have the same biological activity as the long chain omega-3’s found in fish (DHA and EPA), as shown by epidemiological studies. In addition, some short chain omega-3’s are converted to long chain omega-3’s in the body. Walnuts are also very high in cancer-fighting anti-oxidants, and studies on laboratory mouse models have shown significant anti-breast and anti-prostate cancer properties.
The health benefits of walnuts have been studied at least as well as those of fish and red wine.
Walnuts are a more sustainable and safe source of omega 3's than fish. Worldwide the fishing industry is rapidly depleting wild populations. Fishing is the last vestige of market hunting (think buffaloes), and the deep, cold-water fish, highest in omega-3’s, are among the most endangered. Furthermore, wild fish (esp. the ones high on the food chain which are high in omega-3's) often have high levels of mercury and other toxins, while farmed fish have been shown to harm wild populations of ocean fish – especially salmon, where wild juvenile salmon are subjected to lethal infestations of sea lice originating from fish farms. Farmed fish can escape and pollute the gene pools of wild fish populations. In addition, fish farms damage coastal ecosystems, especially in the developing world, and farmed fish are fed other species of wild fish, resulting in a net loss of wild fish.
Note that because of the high omega-3 fats, walnuts will go bad if not stored properly. Industry standards indicate that walnuts can be stored for 2 years frozen and one year refrigerated. We store frozen to maintain best flavor.
Click here for: A cross sectional study of the association between walnut consumption and cognitive function among adult US populations represented in NHANES