Eat walnuts for a happy gut

written by Meena Azzollini

Walnuts isolated on a white background.

Credit:123RF

By now the health benefits of nuts have been validated through numerous studies.

Out of all the nuts, walnuts are considered to be a super nut as research has shown that consuming just a handful of walnuts can derive many benefits.

Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, phytochemicals and antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals and are low in sugar and sodium making them unique compared to other foods.

There was a significant increase in beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus – typically associated with probiotics suggesting that walnuts may act as a prebiotic

Walnut consumption has been associated with reduced cardiovascular disease risk and risk of cancer along with slower tumour growth in animals and improved brain health.

New research from the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine has found that walnuts are also having a beneficial effect on gut health.

In a study which identifies the changes in gut microbial communities, researchers randomly divided 344 mice in two groups.

One group was fed walnuts (W) for 10 weeks and the other was given a replacement (R) diet for 10 weeks in which the fat, fibre, and protein in walnuts were matched with corn oil, protein casein, and a cellulose fibre source.

The researchers then measured the types and number of gut bacteria in the descending colon.

They found that the groups had distinct microbial communities.

In the walnut consuming group, the bacteria were significantly more diverse. The number and types of bacteria had changed and so had their functionality.

There was a significant increase in beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus – typically associated with probiotics suggesting that walnuts may act as a prebiotic.

Less bacterial diversity in the gut had been linked to obesity and other diseases like inflammatory bowel disease and consuming walnuts in our diets can significantly improve or health.

If you are going to be picky about your nuts, choose walnuts for maximum health benefits.

Source: The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry


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Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!