As noted in recent news lately, walnuts are water guzzlers. While California’s water crisis soars, agricultural acreage devoted to walnuts has grown 30 percent in the state over the past 10 years.
What California farmers may eventually lose to conservation may trickle down to a global walnut drought, depriving us an abundance of one the healthiest foods on the planet.
The nutritional benefits in walnuts are amazing in their reach, ranging from heart health and cognitive function, to prevention of cancer and diabetes One of the mighty nutrients inside the walnut are Omega-3 fatty acids.
According to Dr. Frank Sacks Professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), one of the two major types of omega-3 fatty acids vital to our health. A handful of five or six walnuts is enough to meet our daily requirements for ALA. They also serve up key antioxidants that protect our health and help block our consumption of bad cholesterol.
Walnuts are a nutrition packed, guilt free snack. And with higher prices looming, just may be worth their weight in gold.
Sometimes one man’s story allows us to zoom in and witness the impact of lifestyle change on disease.
The peer-review Cardiology journal Hindawi reported a dramatic reversal of angina in a case study published earlier this year. Presenting with chest discomfort, emotional stress and a family history of acute myocardial infarction, a 60 year old man had borderline elevated blood pressure, BMI (body mass index) and lipid levels, with limited functional capacity due to angina.
The patient declined invasive testing and drug therapy, including antiplatelet and cholesterol lowering agents. Instead, with physician counseling, he chose to adopt a whole-food plant-based diet and gradually increase his exercise regimens.
Within weeks of his lifestyle change his symptoms improved. After four months, his BMI and cholesterol were controlled and his blood pressure normalized. Previously unable to exercise, he could now walk one mile without chest pain. Two years after initial presentation he remains asymptomatic without traditional interventions and jogs four miles without incident.
Researchers note that evidence shows “A whole-food plant-based diet improves plasma lipids, glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, reduces weight and blood pressure, improves vascular function, may profoundly improve coronary artery disease , and is associated with reduced mortality.”
They conclude by stating “Our case reinforces these findings and highlights that even in our ‘modern’ Western society such improvements can be achieved without medications or procedures.”