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.