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May 22, 2019 • Healthy Eating & Nutrition

Walnuts Win for Blood Pressure

Walnut kernels and whole walnuts on rustic old wooden table

Want a delicious way to lower your blood pressure? Enjoy some walnuts! Thanks to researchers from Penn State, we now have yet another reason to go nuts for walnuts.
For this study researchers placed a group of 45 overweight, adult study subjects on one of three study diets. All of the study diets were low in saturated fats and included identical amounts of plant-based, “healthy” fats, but in various forms. Diet 1 incorporated whole walnuts; diet 2 included polyunsaturated fats without walnuts; and diet 3 included a combination of mono and poly unsaturated fats with no walnuts. All of the study subjects followed each of the three diets for six weeks with a break between each.

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After each diet, the researchers measured several markers of cardiovascular health including blood pressure and lipid levels. While all three diets resulted in improvements in the cardiovascular markers, the study diet that included the whole walnuts resulted in the greatest reduction in blood pressure. These results indicate that there is an additional ingredient or ingredients in walnuts—possibly antioxidant polyphenols or fiber—beyond their heart-healthy fats that have favorable effects within arteries.
This study is a beautiful example of the synergistic, collective health-boosting power that comes from whole, real foods. (1)
Remember, the two characteristics that define the healthiest diets are:
1.  That it is plant-based.
2.  That it consists of minimally processed, ideally whole foods.

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