This Is What Happens When You Eat Walnuts Every Day

It's actually food for thought! Walnuts have what it takes be an integral part of your superfood diet. These brain-like fruits of the walnut tree grow in shells that can be cracked open to be roasted or eaten raw. Like other nuts, walnuts are also known for their health benefits. They are rich in omega-3 fats and other nutrients, making them a great addition to our dietary habits (via Healthline). The high antioxidant amounts in walnuts also helps prevent cancer, heart disease, and even improve brain health (via Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition).

Although walnuts are popular as snacks, they also have other uses. Per Healthline, they are used to make walnut oil, which is used as salad dressing. Walnuts are also known for their nutrition profile. Besides 2.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acid, an ounce of walnuts contains 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and 45 milligrams of magnesium, making it a popular choice as a versatile and healthy snack (via California Walnuts).

The health benefits are just too good to miss out on. No wonder it's a favorite — in 2019, the per capita walnut consumption in the U.S. stood at 5.4 pounds (via Statistica). Popularity aside, what happens when you eat walnuts regularly? How does your body respond to this habit, and are there any health benefits associated with eating walnuts every day? 

Eating walnuts every day might benefit your gut and heart health

The walnut is a powerhouse of nutrients, which is one reason why researchers have long studied it. A 2019 study from Pennsylvania State University published in the Journal of Nutrition revealed that people who replaced saturated fats with walnuts experienced cardiovascular health benefits and improved blood pressure. Scientists also discovered that the improvements in heart health after consuming walnuts were linked to improvement in gut health as well. 

"The walnut diet enriched a number of gut bacteria that have been associated with health benefits in the past," explained Professor Kristina Petersen, one of the investigators of the study (via Medical News Today). "We also saw enrichment in Eubacteria eligens and Butyricicoccus," says Petersen. The presence of this bacteria, as explained by researchers, can affect blood pressure. An increase in the amount of this bacteria in the body indicated a lower risk of heart disease in individuals.

With ample nutrients and great heart and gut benefits, walnuts are a great snack to munch on. Maybe it's time to check out one of the many delicious recipes out there containing walnuts!