Walnuts relieve stress symptoms and thereby reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Daily consumption of walnuts can protect the body from stress reactions. According to a study by scientists from the University of Penn State in Pennsylvania, however, a relatively high amount of walnuts has to be consumed daily. On average, nine walnuts and a spoonful of walnut oil per day should be enough to protect the body from stress-related reactions.
In the form of a diet, nine walnuts and a spoonful of walnut oil were able to sustainably reduce the so-called diastolic blood pressure at rest and the blood pressure under stress. The reason for the study was the finding that many people react particularly strongly in stressful situations and that there is an increased risk of heart disease. The researchers write in the journal "Journal of American College of Nutrition", the aim of which was to examine the influence of omega-3 fatty acids on stress-related "cardiovascular reactions".
22 healthy adults participated in the study. However, all subjects had an elevated LDL cholesterol level. The participants were divided into two different groups. The first group received a normal average American diet plus 40 grams of walnuts and a tablespoon of walnut oil. The second group only got the walnut food plus one and a half spoons of linseed oil. The test ran for a total of six weeks.
The result showed that the participants in the walnut diet had a reduced rise in blood pressure in physical and psychological stressful situations. The blood pressure rise was lower than those who ate normal food. To determine the values, the participants were put into artificially generated stress situations. The subjects had to give a speech while their feet were immersed in the ice-cold water. The blood pressure values at rest were also significantly reduced. No additional influences were observed when adding linseed oil.
Everyday stress cannot always be prevented, according to the scientists. However, the results of the study showed that the administration of walnuts or unsaturated fatty acids can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The body is then better protected. Walnut kernels have a fat content of 42 to 60 percent and have an above-average amount of the omega-3 fatty acids that are healthy for the heart. A study on Mediterranean diets found that walnuts also reduce the risk of type II diabetes. (sb, 05.10.2010)
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