-Sneha Sanjay D, Sr. Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Jayanagar
What we can do for weight loss, to stay fit and to stay healthy?
Popular diet plans, eating healthy & nutritious foods, counting calories, tools & calculators, best & not so good food options & the list to maintain optimal BMI goes on endlessly.
The best approach for weight loss is reducing the amount of not-so-healthy food choices while increasing the healthier choices to keep the balance.
One such healthy & tasty choice is to regularly consume nuts. Nuts are not only delicious but are also full of nutrients that are necessary for maintaining good health. Munching on a handful of these wonderful WALNUTS daily promises to help with weight management.
Brain-Boosting Nuts And Weight-Loss Management
Dive in to know more about the facts about the benefits of these brain-boosting nuts for weight loss:
- Walnuts contain high levels of PUFAs and MUFAs, which are healthy fats that keep cholesterol under good control.
- This specific component, Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA- a form of omega-3) in walnuts is known to promote good heart health and prompts the body to burn fat quickly.
- Walnuts stimulate the right region in the brain – that regulates appetite and controls food cravings.
- The presence of healthy fats lowers down the level of the hormone- ghrelin, which signals the body to feel hungry.
- An antioxidant called “ellagic acid” reduces inflammation and keeps the gut healthy and running smoothly. This leads to an improved metabolic rate that eliminates extra calories and fat faster.
- The combination of powerful nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin D, omega-3 fats, proteins, antioxidants, plant sterols, manganese, and copper, found in walnuts, fuels the body with sufficient nourishment and keeps hunger pangs away.
- In total walnut is an all-rounder and consuming a bunch of walnuts every day helps meet weight loss goals. Promote overall wellness of the body.
- So, consuming 100 calories worth of walnuts regularly can manage the weight in a better way. Include them as a snack option between meals to feel full which eventually leads to consuming fewer calories from major meals.
- Despite being high in fat and calories, walnuts are incredibly healthy & effective for weight loss if taken in controlled wise portions.
WALNUT ADDS NUTRITION ELEMENT IN PREGNANCY
- The best thing a mother-to-be should focus on is her health & baby’s health by making changes in her diet through the right food choices.
- Amongst which nuts are a priority & walnuts rank first. Walnuts contain Vitamin E (gamma-tocopherol) as it possesses unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It even helps get rid of harmful free radicals.
- Walnuts are a rich source of vitamins, fiber, magnesium, copper, and manganese. They are also loaded with calcium, iron, zinc, and selenium. These nutrients add to the numerous advantages of walnuts.
- It is an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid – an essential fatty acid required for the baby’s development.
- Walnuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and proteins which can help in the development of the eyes and brain of the unborn baby.
- Eating walnuts in moderate quantities can also help in maintaining the optimal lipid profile during pregnancy due to the presence of plant sterols.
- Walnut oil is found to be beneficial in preserving the function of endothelial cells, which line the blood vessels throughout the body. These cells play an important part in blood vessel flexibility. Hence, inflammation of blood vessels can be controlled with regular consumption of walnuts.
- Since walnuts relax the blood vessels, they can even help control high blood pressure.
- The antioxidants present in walnuts can help strengthen the immune system of an expecting woman.
- Post-delivery, it is recommended that mothers consume walnuts to keep postpartum depression away due to their alpha-linolenic acid content.
- Walnuts help regulate melatonin levels. Melatonin induces sleep and eating walnuts, especially during the third trimester, can be very beneficial as sleep becomes a major concern at that time.
- As walnuts make one feel full for longer and prevents one from binge eating, it helps in keeping pregnant women’s weight in check.
- Walnuts contain copper which is required for the formation of red blood cells. It also helps repair tissues and breakdown sugars.
- Manganese is a crucial nutrient required for the development of a baby’s bones and cartilage.
RISK INVOLVED IN OVER CONSUMPTION
Even though walnut consumption by an adult or during pregnancy is said to be safe, an excess of it can prove detrimental to health. So moderation is the key.
•Consuming walnuts in excess amounts can lead to bloating & diarrhea.
•A mild allergy to walnuts may get aggravated during pregnancy, in some cases only. It can cause skin rashes, swelling of lips, itching, dizziness, and wheezing.
•Over consumption of these nuts may hinder the absorption of various nutrients & medication due to their high fiber content. So always take the advice of a nutritionist for guidance on portions.