Including nuts in the diet is one of the healthiest habits that we can incorporate into our day today. Much better if it is a good handful of walnuts. For what reason? Here we detail it.
So, can it be that with a single gesture, we are improving health? Well, this seems to be the case with walnuts, actual functional food that, due to its properties, helps to reduce blood pressure.
Perhaps it is a little known effect, but it is essential since this health problem affects a large number of people around the world and continues to increase.
Besides, it does not usually present apparent symptoms, and it exercises significant damage to some organs and body tissues.
In case of having high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, or being worried about having a healthier lifestyle.
It is good to know how a proper diet, accompanied by healthy habits and foods like nuts, can contribute to cardiovascular well-being.
Table of Contents
The Nutritional Richness Of Walnuts
Walnuts are the fruit of the common walnut tree or Junglans Regia. This is one of the most widespread varieties in Europe, up to southwest and central Asia and China.
In general, it is a food that valued for its content of nutrients and bioactive components.
These qualities give it a series of beneficial properties for health. Among these, for example, its beneficial effect in reducing blood pressure stands out.
Also, it is part of the group of dried fruits, which appreciated for their ability to promote well-being.
Its consumption has been widespread for a long time, especially in the Mediterranean diet, as there is evidence of its positive effects on heart and brain health.
Specifically, this variety of food made up of 65% fat and 15% protein. Besides, they provide almost no carbohydrates, and many of these are in the form of fiber.
On the other hand, it is characterized by its contribution of polyunsaturated fatty acids, in particular alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), from the omega 3 series.
Likewise, please provide us with significant amounts of vitamins E and B6 and minerals such as potassium, copper, and phosphorous.
Walnuts stand out for their content of omega 3, vitamin E, protein, and essential minerals.
How Do Walnuts Help Lower Blood Pressure?
As we have seen, one of the nutritional components of walnuts is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). A recent study from the University of Pennsylvania, in the United States, found a relationship between walnut consumption and improvement in cardiovascular health.
Scientists determined that people who added walnuts to their regular diet had lower blood pressure than those who ate the same food without the nut.
Also, replace saturated fats in the diet with other sources of instauradas had other cardiovascular benefits.
Thus, the results suggest that walnuts help reduce blood pressure thanks to its new lipid profile with alpha-linolenic acid. However, not all benefits are due to this component.
Also noteworthy is the role of other nutrients such as tocopherols, phenolic acids, melatonin, or flavonoids.
They have antioxidant activity, which protects endothelial function and reduces oxidative damage to the arteries.
These findings are significant since the ability of walnuts to lower LDL cholesterol known at the moment, but the effects they could have on diastolic pressure were unknown.
As some know, both conditions are considered risk factors for cardiovascular health.
The Diet For Hypertension
High blood pressure is a health problem that affects many people, and it is necessary to have it under control.
Preventing hypertension, and monitoring high values in case of already suffering from the disease, is essential to reduce its adverse effects.
This, besides, reduces mortality and morbidity from coronary causes.
Fortunately, implementing small lifestyle changes is one of the most useful tools to achieve this. The healthiest habits are the following:
- Do physical activity, if possible, every day.
- Maintain an adequate weight.
- Try to control stress. Physical exercise is one of the most suitable activities for this purpose, but we can also try some disciplines such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, or massage.
- Avoid some harmful habits, like tobacco and alcohol.
Walnuts alone cannot lower blood pressure. They need included as part of a healthy diet, such as the popular DASH diet.
Limiting the amount of sodium has been one of the most common recommendations in diets for high blood pressure. This practice is positive for the elderly or those with diabetes mellitus.
Similarly, it is essential to encourage the total intake of other minerals that should be abundantly present. Among all, magnesium, potassium, and calcium stand out, for example.
Therefore, it is convenient to promote the consumption of foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts (highlighting walnuts), and skim dairy.
A well-studied dietary guideline is the DASH diet (nutritional approach to stop hypertension). There is scientific evidence that the combination of this regimen, together with a lower amount of sodium, reduces systolic blood pressure.