Walnuts, or nuts in general, have been found to aid the prevention of chronic illness, improve lifespan, and, according to new research, combat inflammation, the single most important marker of aging. They are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, fiber, and minerals, all of which work together to reduce inflammation and its negative effects on the body. Here are some health benefits of walnuts that may help aged adults age gracefully and live long and healthy lives.
Walnuts can combat inflammation essential for preventing cognitive decline and dementia in old age. Patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s have higher inflammation levels, which can be attributed in part to decreased levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, and walnuts, in particular, are rich in polyphenols and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is a source of molecules that resolve inflammation, protect neurons and help repair free radical damage to tissues. Walnuts have higher antioxidant activity as compared to other nuts, and have also been shown to reduce oxidative stress, another cause of the cognitive decline.
Research has shown that one of the greatest benefits of walnut consumption is the prevention of cardiovascular disease. This is especially essential for older individuals, given that aging is a major risk factor for heart disease, the most common single cause of death for individuals above 65 years of age. Other than health-healthy fatty acids like alpha-linolenic acid (AHA), walnuts are rich in fiber, copper, plant sterols, all of which have been linked to lowering bad cholesterol, improving blood vessel functions, and reducing inflammation.
Age is the main risk factor in the development of cancer. And while nuts can’t keep the years from passing, they may be able to reduce biological markers of aging and reduce the risk of developing cancer. Observational studies have linked the regular consumption of nuts to a lower risk of colon and prostate cancer. Meanwhile, as many cancer patients actually die of complications of cardiovascular disease, rather than cancer itself, eating nuts may be doubly beneficial among those battling cancer.
Walnuts can help to prevent and control Type 2 diabetes by curbing weight gain and lowering blood glucose and insulin levels. When incorporated into high-carb meals, walnuts can help avoid blood sugar and insulin surges, which are linked to both bad diabetes management as well as the development of Type 2 diabetes. The combination of fat, protein, and fiber helps to slow digestion, converting high-GI (glycemic index, a measure of how food affects blood sugar levels) meals to low-GI ones.
Embark on Your Health and Wellness Journey with Veranda Club
Here at Veranda Club, our programs are designed with residents’ health and wellness in mind. You or your loved one can enjoy chef-prepared meals that fulfill specific nutritional needs. If you are interested to find out more, contact our team of professionals and we will be more than happy to assist, schedule a tour and answer any questions you may have about the living options, amenities, and more.