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Walnut Health Benefits Research Summary

This page summarizes the research I have discovered about the health benefits of walnuts. For a free download of the infographic below and full pdfs of the academic studies I have read so far visit

A Walnut Health Summary

Cancer Reduction

Numerous mice studies have shown that mice fed diets high in walnuts showed reduced incidence and severity of multiple types of cancer, including mammary, prostate, and colorectal. While the exact mechanisms of this are not fully understood, researchers typically point to specific phytochemicals that have been discovered in walnuts that have known antioxidant properties.

Cognitive Function

Human clinical trials suggest that walnut consumption improves cognitive function, particularly among the elderly, where walnuts can reduce the likelihood and slow the onset of dementia. Mice studies show the same result. The current understanding is that walnut consumption improves antioxidant defense and decreases lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation, thereby reducing the oxidative stress believed to contribute to decline in cognitive function .

Heart Disease Prevention

Walnut consumption has been linked to a decrease in the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Walnuts have been shown to decrease low density lipoprotein cholesterol (“BAD” cholesterol) by approximately 9% to 16% and blood pressure (diastolic blood pressure) by approximately 2-3 mm Hg. Both of these are key elements in preventing cardiovascular disease.

Gut Health

A 2018 study found that “Daily intake of 43 g [1.5oz] of walnuts over eight weeks significantly affects the gut microbiome by enhancing probiotic- and butyric acid-producing species in healthy individuals.” Another 2018 study found “fecal secondary bile acids, deoxycholic acid and lithocholic acid, were 25% and 45% lower, respectively, after the walnut treatment compared with the control treatment.

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