Natural Health and Wellness for the Whole Family

Another Reason Why Walnuts are My Favorite Nut

By Sarah Axtell, ND February 4, 2021

I have written on the health benefits of walnuts in the past (“Why You Should Be Eating Walnuts Daily“), and I just came across another study highlighting yet another health benefit of this super-nut: Gut health!

This study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that eating walnuts daily as part of a healthy diet may increase our good flora. The fatty acids and fiber in walnuts enrich the microbiome. There were also positive associations found between the particular gut bacteria that were increased with walnut consumption (Eubacterium eligens) and reduction of heart disease risk factors, such as blood pressure.

Aim for 1/4 cup walnuts per day. I love them combined with blueberries as a snack. They also provide a nice crunch on your salad. I also always use them in pesto as an alternative to pine nuts (which can be quite costly and are not as nutrient dense as walnuts).

Kale Walnut Pesto

  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale, chopped and stems removed
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast

Put the walnuts and garlic in food processor and process until it is a paste. Add the kale and basil. Pulse until finely chopped. Add olive oil, lemon and nutritional yeast and pulse until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve as a dip with rice crackers, carrots or celery.

Cilantro Pesto

  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, stems removed
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast

Put the walnuts and garlic in food processor and process until it is a paste. Add the cilantro and basil. Pulse until finely chopped. Add olive oil, lemon and nutritional yeast and pulse until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve as a dip or as a topping for fish or tacos.

Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.


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