Easy and accessible’ snack could protect your heart as you age, study finds

by Rajesh Kaur

Adding a handful of certain nuts into your diet often could act as a bridge to healthier aging. One particular nut that stands out for its health benefits is the walnut. Besides being crunchy and flavorful, walnuts offer a unique combination of nutrients that support various health outcomes.

What sets walnuts apart from other nuts is their nutritional profile. They are the only tree nut that contains a mix of plant-based essential omega-3s, protein, fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and B vitamins. These nutrients work together to promote heart health as you age, according to the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study (CARDIA).

The CARDIA study, partially supported by the California Walnut Commission, analyzed data from 3,023 otherwise healthy black and white men and women between the ages of 18 and 30. Researchers collected self-reported diet history from the participants three times throughout the 30-year study and also took physical and clinical measurements.

Based on the nut consumption of the participants, they were divided into three groups: walnut consumers, other nut consumers, or no nut consumers. The data revealed that around 352 of the study subjects consumed walnuts as part of their regular diet.

The findings of the study suggest that incorporating walnuts into your diet could have a protective effect on your heart. The unique combination of nutrients in walnuts, including omega-3s, fiber, and antioxidants, may contribute to this beneficial outcome.

Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their heart-healthy properties as they help reduce inflammation and improve blood vessel function. Additionally, the fiber in walnuts helps lower cholesterol levels, while antioxidants protect against oxidative stress, which is a major contributor to heart disease.

Including walnuts in your meals is an easy way to reap these health benefits. You can sprinkle them on top of salads, blend them into smoothies, or use them as a crunchy topping for yogurt or oatmeal. The earthy yet sweet taste of walnuts adds a delicious touch to any dish.

In conclusion, walnuts offer more than just a tasty snack. Their unique combination of nutrients supports heart health as you age. By adding walnuts to your diet, you can enjoy the numerous benefits they provide and take a step towards healthier aging.

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