Do you know that walnuts can address various health woes? Know how to add walnuts to your daily diet with this expert
The shift in purchasing power and technology may have made our lives easier and faster - but has it made our lives better? Well, not 100%, if you ask me. In fact, we’re left with over-exploited resources, tighter schedules, and little to no physical activity. A result of which is a variety of lifestyle diseases. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the only cause of lifestyle diseases. Their causes could lie in your family history or your genes too, which you have no control over. Either way, you need to figure out a solution to cure it, a good point to start with would be proper nutrition.
Sharing inputs, Dr Jagmeet Madan, Eminent Nutritionist says, "On World Health Day 2021, I’ve listed down five of the most common lifestyle diseases that are haunting India and that one food item that I trust for help in preventing as well as managing them - walnuts. Multiple research studies have proven that walnuts are a powerhouse of nutrition and may help promote overall health. A handful (28g) of walnuts, for instance, contain 2.5g of essential plant-based omega-3, 4g protein, and 2g fibre."
That walnuts can increase the risk of obesity is a widely believed myth. Walnuts contain good fats - polyunsaturated and monounsaturated - that are essential for a healthy diet. Also, thanks to the presence of plant-based omega-3 and essential nutrients, walnuts may help suppress hunger. These amazing appetite-control powers further play a role in how much you eat and promote weight management.
According to the ICMR State-Level Disease Burden Report, from 1990 to 2016, the prevalence of heart disease has increased by over 50% in the country. And this includes all age groups. This disease contributes to nearly 18% of total deaths in the country. Almost three decades of research shows that incorporating walnuts into your daily diet may decrease your risk of heart disease. The polyunsaturated fats, also known as good fats, and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) in these nutritious nuts may improve cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure.
Research has shown that the right type of fats, like those found in walnuts, may prove beneficial in diabetes management and may help prevent type 2 diabetes. Crunchy and delightful, these nuts have a low glycemic index and hence, don’t raise blood glucose level. Excess weight is one of the causes of type 2 diabetes. Since walnuts promote weight management, these may help control this lifestyle disease as well.
Mental health is the foundation of our well-being, but there’s still a stigma associated with it. WHO estimates that our country's burden of mental health problems is 2443 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) per 10000 population. And it’s a sign enough to take steps towards improving the situation. Walnuts play a supporting role in the brain's overall well-being. An epidemiological study published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging associates walnuts with improved memory, concentration, and information processing.6 Meanwhile, another published in Nutrients states consuming walnuts may be associated with lower depression symptoms in adults.7
Incorporating nutritious food items like walnuts into your diet may reduce your risk for several diseases. So, this World Health Day, pledge to include a handful of these crunchy delights into your everyday meals.
With inputs from Dr Jagmeet Madan, Eminent Nutritionist, Professor and Principal, Sir Vithaldas Thackersey College of Home Science, SNDTWU, Mumbai and National President Indian Dietetic Association
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