A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition has found that eating 2 to 3 ounces of walnuts every day helps improve your gut health and lowers your risk of heart disease.  That amounts to about two handfuls of walnuts and can be accomplished as simply as substituting them for your usual afternoon snack.

The study showed that after eating walnuts every day for 6 weeks, participants in the study increased the good bacteria in their gut, which resulted in lower blood pressure as well as lower total cholesterol and LDL measurements.  Walnuts are high in fiber, Omega-3 and unsaturated fats, all of which lead to better gut health.

Compared to other nuts, walnuts have the most polyphenols, which act as antioxidants and help prevent inflammation in the body.  Inflammation can lead to chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

In addition to lowering your risk of heart disease and improving your gut health, walnuts are very high in DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid which is particularly beneficial for brain health.  It protects the brains of newborns, improves cognitive performance in adults and also helps prevent or reduce age-related cognitive decline.

As if that wasn’t enough, walnuts can also help you prevent weight gain.  By snacking on an ounce or two of walnuts instead of chips or cookies, you’ll not only reap the nutritional benefits and avoid the detrimental effects of junk food, but the high fiber content will help you feel full longer and keep you from overeating.

We’ve previously highlighted walnuts as a superfood and this latest study just kicks them up a notch!

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