A tuned-up and fueled-up race car will perform much better in a high stakes competition than a car that is low on lubricant, motor oil and gasoline and is firing with a few less spark plugs. It likely works the same way with humans under stress, according to a new Penn State study.
Researchers found that including walnuts and walnut oil in the diet of 22 healthy adults with elevated LDL cholesterol, lowered resting blood pressure and blood pressure in response to certain stressors. The stressors in this study included asking participants to give a speech with a few minutes notice or immerse their feet in ice-cold water. The participants consumed about 9 walnuts a day (1.3 ounces) and 1 tablespoon of walnut oil while on the test diet.
What’s In Walnuts That Might Be Helping?
What are walnuts contributing to our bodies that might be helping to prepare them for physical and emotional stress? Walnuts are a rich source of antioxidant-acting phytochemicals, plus plant omega-3s and fiber.
People who show an exaggerated biological response to stress are at higher risk of heart disease.
Six Quick Ways To Add Walnuts To Your Day:
* Grab a handful of walnuts as a mid-morning or afternoon snack.
* Top your hot or cold cereal with some walnuts.
* Sprinkle walnuts over your green salads or pasta salads.
* Toss some walnuts into risotto, polenta, casseroles, bread stuffing or stuffed peppers.
* Sprinkle walnuts into your yogurt or cottage cheese.
* Stir some walnuts into your chicken or tuna salad.
NOTE: How about walnuts plus ground flaxseed?
In one of the study groups, the participants were given 1.5 tablespoons of flaxseed oil (another source of plant omega-3s) in addition to the walnuts. They experienced improved vascular health and a decrease in C-reactive protein blood levels (indicating an anti-inflammatory effect) possibly reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease further. I recommend adding ground flaxseed to your daily diet instead of flax oil because when you consume the ground flaxseed you are getting all of its powerful components together, many of which seem to have synergy.
[Journal of the American College of Nutrition, October 4, 2010, Sheila G. West, Associate Professor of Bio Behavioral Health]
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
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