Walnuts are round, single-seeded stone fruits that grow from the walnut tree. They are a good source of healthful fats, protein, and fiber. They may enhance heart and bone health and help in weight management, among other benefits.
Consuming plant-based foods of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions.
The possible health benefits of walnuts may include boosting the cardiovascular system and bone health, reducing the risk of gallbladder disease, and treating epilepsy.
According to research published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, routine nut consumption is associated with higher levels of energy use while resting.
In trials that compared weight loss using diets that include or exclude nuts, the diets that included nuts in moderation showed greater weight loss.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also found that women who reported rarely eating nuts had a greater incidence of weight gain over an 8-year period than those who consumed nuts two times a week or more.
According to another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, frequent nut consumption is associated with a reduced risk of cholecystectomy, an operation to remove the gallbladder.
In over a million people documented over 20 years, women who consumed more than 5 ounces of nuts a week had a significantly lower risk of cholecystectomy than women who ate less than 1 ounce of nuts each week.
Walnuts are a good source of the mineral copper. Severe copper deficiency is associated with lower bone mineral density and an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become thinner and less dense, making them easier to fracture and break.
More research is needed on the effects of marginal copper deficiency and on the potential benefits of copper supplements to prevent and manage osteoporosis.
Copper also plays an important role in the maintenance of collagen and elastin, major structural components of the body.
Without sufficient copper, the body cannot replace damaged connective tissue or the collagen that makes up the building blocks for bone. This can lead to a range of issues including joint dysfunction.
Walnuts contain a high amount of manganese. Manganese has been shown to prevent osteoporosis in combination with the minerals calcium and copper.
Magnesium, another mineral in walnuts, is important for bone formation as it helps with the absorption of calcium into the bone.
While manganese and copper supplements may provide quantities of minerals that can be harmful, getting these minerals through the diet is thought to be good for bone health.