Studies have already shown that the antioxidants found in walnuts can improve learning skills, memory, and coordination – and they even protect your brain from being damaged by the “plaques and tangles” that are so closely linked to Alzheimer’s.
But now, new research shows that walnuts aren’t just good for your brain. They’re also beneficial for your “second” brain – your gut.
For this latest study, researchers fed the human equivalent of about a half cup of ground walnuts a day to rats over the course of 10 weeks. By the end of the study, those rats who feasted on walnuts saw the composition of their gut flora exploded with new populations of beneficial bacteria.
And that’s pretty notable – because having a more “diverse crowd” of bacteria down there is linked to better overall health, while less diversity can set you up for obesity and inflammatory bowel disease.
No such change was seen in the rat group that didn’t feed on the walnut powder.
What’s more, only the walnut eaters had a boost in the numbers of certain “good” strains of bacteria in their guts, including one in particular known for contributing to healthy digestion, called Lactobacillus.
The theory is that walnuts can act as a “prebiotic,” fueling the friendly bacteria in your gut with what they need to grow and thrive.
In fact, the positive changes that walnuts can make in your gut might even explain their positive impact on your noggin, since we’re finding more and more that brain health begins in the gut.
The more than 100 million nerve cells that line your gastrointestinal tract from top to bottom not only control digestion but also immunity and even mood.
You get all of that in one little package!
So, crack open some walnuts – or, make it easy on yourself and buy a bag of these treats ready to eat.
They’re great on their own by the palm-full and also lend a nutty crunch to Greek yoghurt with fruit, fresh veggie salads, and savory meat dishes.
Just stay away from sugar bombs like candied walnuts and walnut brownies.Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Eating Walnuts May Keep Gut Happy: Study, newsmax.com/Health/Health-News/walnuts-gut-digestive-system/2017/07/25/id/803640/
Walnuts May Promote Health by Changing Gut Bacteria, sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170728100832.htm
Changes in the Gut Microbial Communities Following Addition of Walnuts to the Diet, sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286317301110?via%3Dihub