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Good food :: Walnut - The brain food

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Walnut is colloquially called brain food not because of its shape like brain, but due to its rich unsaturated fats which are needed for the brain proper functioning.

Nutrition Facts of Walnuts

– Approximately 90% of the phenols in walnuts are found in the skin, including key phenolic acids, tannins, and flavonoids.

– Contain high level of vitamin E in the form of gamma-tocopherol which is significant for protection from heart problems.

– Phytonutrients like the quinone juglone — are found in virtually no other commonly-eaten foods. Other phytonutrients like the tannin tellimagrandin or the flavonol morin—are also rare and valuable as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. These anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytonutrients also help explain the decreased risk of certain cancers—including prostate cancer and breast cancer for people who eat more walnuts.

– A rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and an excellent source of those hard to find omega-3 fatty acids. For instance, 100g walnuts contain 59g unsaturated fat where 8.9g is mono unsaturated fat.

– A very good source of Copper, Manganese, Zinc and vitamin group-B.

– A good source of high quality protein, some amino acids cannot be produced in the body and rarely found in other food sources.

Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Nuts, walnuts, english [Includes USDA commodity food A259, A257]

Health benefits of Walnuts

1) Boost Your Brain
A Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease study published earlier 2012 showed that eating walnuts as part of a Mediterranean diet is linked with protection from brain functioning decline that occurs with aging.

The study, conducted by Spanish researchers, included 447 people ages 55 to 80. Walnuts were linked with improved memory in the study participants, researchers found, but other kinds of nuts were not.

2) Lower Cholesterol
Eating nuts — including walnuts! — could help to lower your cholesterol if you consume them daily, according to a 2010 study.

WebMD reported on the study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which showed that eating about 2.4 ounces of nuts a day is linked with 7.4 percent lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and 5.1 percent lower total cholesterol.

3) Might Decrease Breast Cancer Risk
Marshall University researchers found that eating walnuts every day seemed to halve the risk of mice developing breast cancer, Medical News Today reported.

Their findings, published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, showed that even in the mice fed walnuts that did develop cancer, their tumors were smaller and fewer, according to Medical News Today.

4) Slow Down Prostate Cancer (In Mice)
Mice engineered to develop prostate cancer that were fed diets high in fat, including walnuts, had slower-growing tumors than mice fed diets that were low in fat, Science News reported.

The researchers for that study, who presented their findings in 2010 at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, said that a possible reason for this effect are the omega-3 fatty acids and alpha linolenic acids found in walnut.

5) It Could Improve Sperm Quality
University of California, Los Angeles researchers found that men who ate 75 grams of walnuts daily — about two handfuls’ worth — in addition to their regular diets had an improvement in semen quality, compared with men who didn’t eat the nuts.

The researchers found that the men who ate the walnuts “experienced improvement in sperm vitality, motility, and morphology,” while those who didn’t eat the nuts “saw no change,” they wrote in the Biology of Reproduction study.

6) Chock Full Of Antioxidants
Walnuts beat all the rest when it comes to maintaining a healthy ticker, according to a study presented last year the American Chemical Society.

WebMD reported on the findings, conducted by researchers from the University of Scranton, which found that walnuts have more antioxidants than other nuts like cashews, hazelnuts, pecans and pistachios.

Reference: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/18/walnuts-sperm-quality-health-benefits_n_1791710.html

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