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Nuts, like walnuts, are an integral part of a healthy, balanced diet. Like all nuts, walnuts contain a wealth of healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and valuable omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts contain certain chemicals that, in conjunction with their fats, offer tremendous health and brain benefits.

Walnuts are a rich source of many phytochemicals that have great antioxidant activity. Some of them are melatonin, vitamin E, carotenoids and poly-phenolic compounds. These compounds are known to have positive health effects against cancer, aging, inflammation and neurological diseases.

Scientific studies published in the Journal of Nutrition, and more specifically in the clinical trials of J.Obrien, O. Orekereke and F.Grodstein, have shown that eating walnuts has beneficial effects on some intermediate indicators of chronic disease, such as high levels of cholesterol, endothelium. oxidation, hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. The study concluded that the increased consumption of walnuts was associated with a reduced risk of serious chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

In addition to the scientific publication in the British Journal of Nutrition by Peter Pribis, Rudolph N. Bailey (etc.) with “Title Effects of Walnut Consumption on cognitive performance in young adults” shows that increased consumption of nuts or both It is capable of altering cognitive performance in humans and may prevent or reverse the effects of neurodegeneration on aging. It is noted that increased walnut intake seems to delay cognitive brain aging for up to 2.5 years.

According to her, participants in an experimental group consumed the test meal (banana with walnuts) for the first 8 weeks while the other experimental group followed a diet of virtual medicine (banana without nuts). The results were encouraging in the first experimental group with significant improvement after nut filling.

In conclusion, the study notes that at a practical level perhaps students or young professionals in social studies, mathematics, related sciences or other fields that involve critical thinking or decision making could possibly benefit and gain a small advantage through regular nut consumption.

In addition, there may be concern that frequent consumption of nuts can lead to weight gain. However, in both groups, increased nut intake was associated with less weight gain. Similarly, in other prospective cohort studies and clinical trials, increased walnut consumption was associated with a reduced waist circumference, less weight gain, and a reduced risk of obesity.

The results of the above study conclude that compared to control diets, diets fortified with nuts did not increase body mass index or waist circumference in controlled clinical trials. Therefore, incorporating walnuts, about 30 to 50 g / d, into the standard diet would be appropriate to ensure various health benefits without the risk of weight gain.

How much should be consumed to provide health benefits?

 An overall protective effect has been observed for those who consume at least one to three servings per week, which translates to about 4 to 12g / day. for cancer, the effect was observed only in those who consumed three or more servings per week.

Thus, anti-nut consumption tips throughout the study could offset the protective effect of taking these foods throughout life.

Dietitian - Nutritionist with active postgraduate studies in Public Health | M.Sc Public Health and Further Education in the Management of Cardiovascular Diseases/ Member of the Greek Medical Society of Obesity.