Walnuts: the 5-star health food

Walnuts score a perfect five out of five under the new Australian Government Health Star Rating system. This is because walnuts are naturally low in sugars and sodium, and packed with nutrients: healthy fats (plant omega-3 ALA), protein, fibre, antioxidants, as well as vitamins and minerals – folate, thiamin, magnesium, potassium, manganese and copper.

Helps maintain heart health

Among all the dietary plants and nuts, walnuts contain the highest amount of antioxidants. Around 100 g of walnuts will give more than 20 mmol antioxidants, which makes them extremely effective in combating heart disease by their ability to destroy free radicals. They are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that lowers bad cholesterol and increases the production of good cholesterol making it a great snack to keep your heart in great health.

Helps promote brain health

Eating walnuts everyday can help ward off dementia. In the study, Dr. Abha Chauhan and his team from the New York State Institute found that mice deprived of walnuts suffered a dramatic loss in learning, memory and physical and emotional control. According to the results, vitamin E and flavanoids in walnuts helped destroy harmful free radical chemicals that cause dementia.

Helps maintain men’s health

Eating 2.5 ounces of walnuts per day improves semen quality in healthy young men, researchers say. According to a study by UCLA researchers, eating 75 grams of walnuts a day improves the vitality, motility, and morphology of sperm in healthy men aged 21 to 35.

Cancer fighting properties

The researchers at the Marshall University found that a daily dose of walnuts – equal to 2 ounces a day in humans – reduces the growth of breast cancer tumours in mice. Lead researcher Elaine Hardman, Ph.D., of Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and colleagues studied the mice from the mother, through conception and throughout life. They then compared mice given walnuts to those fed a regular diet. The research found that the group whose diet included walnut at both stages developed breast cancer at less than half the rate of the group with the typical diet. In addition, the number of tumours and their sizes were significantly smaller.

Helps regulate sleep patterns

Walnuts contain a compound called melatonin, responsible for conveying messages regarding the cycle of light and dark to the body. Since melatonin is already synthesised by the body, consumption of walnuts increases the blood levels of melatonin, thereby inducing sleep. That’s why eating walnuts can be a great way to improve sleep.

Walnuts in hand

Enjoying a handful of nuts every day will contribute:

Protein – needed for growth and repair of tissues such as bones, muscles and skin as well as being a plant protein source for vegetarians

Fibre – keeping you regular and helping control appetite

Plant omega 3s called Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA) – just four or five walnuts a day can provide 100 per cent of daily adult ALA needs

Antioxidants – which protect cells against free radical damage (polyphenols, copper, manganese)

Nutrients for energy production – thiamin, copper, manganese, magnesium

Nutrients for brain and neurological function – magnesium, copper, folate, thiamin

Folate – needed during pregnancy and for blood formation

Arginine an amino acid and polyphenol antioxidants – both help keep blood vessels elastic.

A healthy diet low in sodium, but with a variety of foods such as walnuts, can help reduce blood pressure and contribute to heart health. A 35g serve of raw walnuts contains 1mg sodium and 154mg of potassium. (A 35g serve of walnuts equals about 10 walnut kernels or five walnuts in-shell.) This may help explain why a large, long-term Mediterranean diet study called PREDIMED, which included a 30g handful of nuts every day (15g as walnuts), found similar effects for heart health.

Simple, delicious recipes

Walnuts are versatile and can be used as a snack, a meat crumb, or raw or candied in a salad. They are also great for sweets including biscuits, slices & smoothies. Walnuts can be incorporated into almost any meal! Our range of recipes will help you on your way

Walnuts contain antioxidants

Walnuts are low in sodium and contain potassium

Walnuts are a source of plant protein

Walnuts contain plant omega 3

Walnuts are a source of plant protein