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National Walnut day. An excuse to eat healthier snacks.

Walnuts come from trees of the genus Juglans. They are very healthy as most nuts tend to be. High in protein and polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts are a great source of nutrients. Some studies suggest that inclusion of walnuts in a balanced diet can lead to decreased risk of heart disease.

Other more recent studies suggest that “These findings suggest that walnut consumption may increase salience and cognitive control processing of highly desirable food cues, leading to the beneficial metabolic effects observed.”

This shows how beneficial a healthy diet can be. As we keep discovering, our diet plays a very important role in all aspects of our health. With additional information from other studies that “Walnut consumption affected the composition and function of the human gastrointestinal microbiota, increasing the relative abundances of Firmicutes species in butyrate-producing Clostridium clusters XIVa and IV, including Faecalibacterium and Roseburia, and reducing microbially derived, proinflammatory secondary bile acids and LDL cholesterol. These results suggest that the gastrointestinal microbiota may contribute to the underlying mechanisms of the beneficial health effects of walnut consumption.”

This combined with recent studies that show that our microbiome can affect our mood and interact with our brains, shows the importance of having a balanced diet that includes various sources of nutrients. Nuts tend to be very healthy and convenient to include in your diet as a quick snack.

So enjoy walnut day, and make sure to follow Qul Mind on Twitter and Facebook for more science news.

Sources: Walnut consumption increases activation of the insula to highly desirable food cues: A randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled, cross‐over fMRI study, Walnut Consumption Alters the Gastrointestinal Microbiota, Microbially Derived Secondary Bile Acids, and Health Markers in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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