With September being Nutrition Month, overall wellness is top of mind for many of us right now. Nutrient-dense food helps nourish and nurture the body and mind to improve well-being and maintain the immune system. For more than 30 years, published research has examined how eating walnuts may provide health benefits for the head, heart, and more. Equally as important, eating well means feeling well from the inside out. Incorporating nourishing foods, such as walnuts, into meals for family, friends, and clients comes with happiness extending beyond the plate. Below are recent studies that further highlight the benefits of walnuts.

1. Heart Health - A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that regular consumption of foods rich in omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), found in marine foods like fatty fish, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), found in plant foods like walnuts, was associated with improved outcomes in individuals who suffered a heart attack, including decreased risk of death. Additionally, the consumption of both ALA and EPA provided the greatest benefit, suggesting a synergistic effect and unique protective qualities when both types of omega-3 are consumed.

2. Cognitive Performance - Research continues to study the connection between walnuts and cognitive function, including areas like healthy aging as well as mood, concentration, and more. A recent systematic review of studies in humans helps solidify that walnuts are food for thought – literally. In the review paper, of all nuts, walnuts were the nut that most consistently showed a positive association between consumption and cognitive performance. In fact, the review analyzed the connection between brain health and overall nut consumption and found a positive association between walnuts and cognitive benefits in 5 out of 6 studies.

3. Longevity - According to a recent study by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, higher walnut consumption – both in terms of the amount and frequency – may be associated with a lower risk of death and an increase in life expectancy among older adults in the U.S. compared to those who do not consume walnuts.

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