Blood Thinning Benefits of Walnuts for Healthy Heart and Arteries
Walnuts unfortunately may be best known for their fat content and contribution to reaching the daily recommended intake of calories. But, the tree nuts are also incredibly friendly to the heart and cardiovascular system in a large variety of ways. Walnuts are natural blood thinners, contribute to blood vessel health, lower cholesterol and fight of cell damaging and disease causing free radicals. They do not taste half bad either.
The benefits of walnuts may include reducing the thickness and stickiness of the blood. This can be great news for people who are at risk of dangerous clots or those with medical conditions that increase the viscosity of blood. Walnuts are thought to be foods that thin blood thanks to their abundance of omega 3 fatty acids, the same ones that are the basis for fish oil based blood thinning supplements, which are known for their ability to reduce the thickness of the blood. There are many foods that thin blood naturally, and this can contribute to a reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes that can result from clots. In fact, foods have been linked to a lessened risk of heart problems for a long time. For instance, people in the Mediterranean have long enjoyed a lower incidence of heart problems, and their love of garlic may be the source, thanks to garlic blood thinner properties, namely Allicin. The Omega-3 benefits of walnuts are thought to work in the same way and have the same positive effects, potentially reducing the risk for clots.
The cardiovascular system can benefit even further from walnuts however, giving even more cause to adding them into a heart healthy diet. They are useful for lowering cholesterol, a major contributor to heart problems. Their abundance of polyunsaturated fatty acids is responsible for this, and it is also incredibly helpful for maintaining good blood vessel and artery health, which can contribute to healthy circulation. It is the walnuts aptitude for lowering cholesterol that also links eating the tree nuts with a reduced risk of heart disease.
If it isn’t clear yet that walnuts are not a one trick pony, then perhaps the antioxidant benefits of walnuts can provide the icing on the cake to convince the skeptical. Walnuts beat out many well known antioxidant foods like artichokes and raspberries in terms of content with just less than 4 grams found per serving. This may not seem like much, however given the power of antioxidant foods to help stave off disease and battle cell damaging free radicals, it becomes abundantly clear how important they are to a heart healthy diet.
It is important to understand that while the benefits of walnuts can be utterly incredible, it is important to discuss their regular implementation into a diet with a health care provider before proceeding if medications are being taken or underlying health conditions exist. This is because while the benefits of walnuts are plentiful, there are some interactions to consider. Just like those taking medications like Warfarin need to be wary of the blood thinning benefits of pomegranate seeds to avoid an overthinning of the blood, walnut eaters need also consider this added effect if taking medications for this purpose. It is possible that the incorporation of blood thinning foods when medications are already being taken for this purpose can lead to complications or health concerns from the blood becoming entirely too thin.
There is also the dietary factor to consider when pondering the benefits of walnuts. In excess, the tree nuts can contribute quickly to a widening waistline, and therefore small portions are ideal. Too much weight can put a tremendous amount of strain on the heart and other important systems within the body, therefore negating any positive effects attained from the benefits of walnuts. They’re calorie rich and should be enjoyed as a part of a healthy and reduced calorie diet.
The fat and calorie content of walnuts may be responsible for keeping the tree nut from being deemed a super food, however they provide more than enough body benefits on its resume to prove that they’re a heart healthy addition to any well balanced diet. It keeps the consistency of the blood in check, reduces bad cholesterol and also boasts a tremendous amount of antioxidants. When enjoyed in moderation, walnuts are a definite cardiovascular powerhouse.