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properties, calories, contraindications and allergies

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The walnuts they are typically autumn-winter nuts and represent a very important food for our health. Thanks to them omega 3 fatty acids, essential for the human body, the high quantity of dietary fiber and the presence of proteins, carbohydrates and mineral salts such as football, iron, phosphorus and potassium. Among the vitamins, the most important are certainly the thiamine (vitamin B1), useful for the beneficial actions at the level of the intestine and the nervous system as it helps digestion and is essential for brain health, and Vitamin E, powerful antioxidant.

Used in the kitchen as such for a energizing snack or as an ingredient for cakes, pesto and salads, their leaves are also considered a noteworthy aromatic ingredient, especially for the aging of some types of cheeses.

Properties and benefits

  • They improve metabolism. This is demonstrated by a study in the Journal of Nutrition conducted at Oregon State University, in the United States. The team of researchers fed a group of mice the equivalent of the diet cheeseburger-fries-sugary drink, which is consumed by millions of people around the world and is contributing to the growing obesity epidemic. Some of these mice were also given one and a half servings a day of nuts. At the end of the study, those who also ate walnuts had not lost weight, but showed a lot less fat in the liver, compared to those who were fed only a high-fat diet. In addition, they had better scores on key indicators of metabolic health, including better glucose tolerance (which measures how efficiently the body uses sugar), much higher levels of good fats (HDL) in the blood and generally lower levels of ‘bad’ lipoproteins (LDLs). This is because nuts – experts explain – as well as being rich in fiber, protein and potassium, are a good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega 3 fatty acid important for normal development.
  • They are good for the heart. Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine and conducted on over 200,000 men and women in the southern United States and Shanghai found that the more nuts people consume, the lower their mortality rates, especially for heart disease and stroke. In particular, sthanks to their polyunsaturated fatty acids, they could then help decrease bad cholesterol levels. The omega 3 and omega 6, in substitution of other (saturated) fats, can in fact favor the maintenance of the correct cholesterol values ​​and improve some cardiovascular health parameters.
  • They are allies against diabetes. 3 tablespoons of walnuts a day halves the risk of diabetes. Supporting this hypothesis is a large study of 34,000 American adults published in Diabetes / Metabolism Research and Reviews. The average intake among nut consumers was about 1.5 tablespoons per day. In those who reported a doubled consumption of nuts (3 tablespoons), on the other hand, there was a 47% lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes, regardless of age, gender, race, education, body fat and physical activity.
  • They improve mood and relieve stress. There are several nutrients in walnuts that could be responsible for the mood improvement according to scholars, like alpha-linolenic acid, vitamin E, folic acid, polyphenols and melatonin. A mix of substances that, as seen in a research by the University of New Mexico, published in the journal Nutrients, could be of particular benefit to young males.
  • They are good for skin and hair. From nuts an oil is extracted with moisturizing and nourishing properties rich in vitamin E which, if applied as a pack before washing, can help fight dermatitis and dandruff. In addition, it can be used on the skin of the face and body, especially if the skin is oily and does not tolerate other types of oils. Finally, in walnuts, as well as in all nuts, they are present high amounts of copper and selenium which favor the production of collagen and unsaturated fatty acids.

How many nuts can you eat a day

The walnut induces a sense of satiety because it is rich in fibre and therefore it can be a panacea for those who need to lose weight or for those who are already on a healthy and balanced diet. However, it is good not to overdo the quantities: it is a fairly caloric food that it counts about 600 in 100 grams. They are enough 3 nuts a day, to be enjoyed also with salads or at breakfast with yogurt, to cover our daily needs of essential nutrients for health.

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Contraindications and allergies

The walnuts, if consumed in small quantities, have no particular contraindications, but allergy to these foods is not uncommon. A study published in JAMA Pediatrics, however, shows a method for preventing children from develop an intolerance: the authors state that women may decrease the risk of having a child with allergy eating peanuts while pregnant, and the reduction is greatest among children whose mothers ate nuts 5 or more times a month.


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