The Secret Superpowers of Walnuts

A new study is highlighting the benefits of walnuts (among other whole foods), offering further evidence that good dietary habits can help us maintain independence as we age.

The Secret Superpowers of Walnuts

The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, suggested that when women had certain dietary habits, they had reduced rates of physical impairment. (In other words, they were less likely to need assistance with everyday tasks like carrying groceries or dressing themselves.) These dietary habits included a higher intake of fruits and vegetables, moderate alcohol consumption, and a lower intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat and sodium. And when it came to food, women benefited from eating more oranges, pears, romaine or leaf lettuce, apples and walnuts.

Walnuts were flagged as being particularly beneficial to health: researchers indicated that 1/4 cup of walnuts per week could reduce the risk of developing impairments in physical function.

Walnuts have particular superpowers. They contain large amounts (2.5 grams per 1 oz. serving) of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid that’s required by the human body. In fact, walnuts are the only nut to contain a significant amount of ALA.

Guess the old adage “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away” has some truth to it – plus a few walnuts.

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