January 7, 2012 3:54:01 am
Goodness of nuts in general has been rooted in tradition and now being re-discovered,thanks to the validation by modern scientific research. A handful of nuts (40 gms) per day may reduce risk of heart disease.
Walnuts provide not only the benefits of nuts but in general have a unique distinction of being rich in a valuable fat- the omega-3 fats (the kind found in fish and flax). Many people are taking fish oil supplements which contain omega-3 fatty acids. Driving this trend is the accumulating data from observation and clinical research that these lipids reduce the risk of heart disease. In fact,there are several other wide-ranging benefits of consuming these special fatty acids including boosting immunity,anti-inflammatory,protection against arthritis,asthma,psoriasis,PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) and certain types of cancer. Where anti- depressant medications have failed,it is worth trying omega-3 fats through supplements,walnuts,flax or fish. Intake of omega-3 fats has also been found to help patients of schizophrenia,manic depression,mood instabilities and bipolar disorders.
Several studies have shown that walnuts enriched diets have lowered cholesterol and lowered cardio-vascular risk. Besides,lowering cholesterol,they also have an anti-inflammatory effect and improve endothelial function. Impaired endothelial function is associated with increased risk of diseases such as high blood pressure,diabetes,abnormal cholesterol level and heart disease.
Walnuts also contain a number of potentially neuro-protective compounds like vitamin E,folate,melatonin,polyphenols and antioxidants. These may also offer additional benefits in brain function and delay ageing. Perhaps,its shape like the brain is no co-incidence.
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Walnuts contain multiple nutrients that individually,have been shown to slow cancer growth,including antioxidants and phytosterols. Its addition as a part of a healthy diet can go a long way in reducing risk of several diseases including cancer.
Ishi Khosla is a former senior nutritionist at Escorts. She heads the Centre of Dietary Counselling and also runs a health food store. She feels that for complete well-being,one should integrate physical,mental and spiritual health. According to her: To be healthy should be the ultimate goal for all.
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