Whether you’re training for a half marathon, building strength or simply focusing on maintaining a healthy weight, fitness goals start with the right fuel. Today, one in four consumers wants to eat foods that provide health benefits, and they may turn to you for advice (International Food Information Council 2019). Walnuts are a simple but powerful food that offer health benefits from head to toe. Here’s why:

  • Start with the Heart: Walnuts are a heart-healthy1 whole food that may beneficially impact cholesterol levels, blood pressure, inflammation and blood vessel function, all key factors for a strong heart. While all nuts are packed with good, unsaturated fats, walnuts are the only nut that is an excellent source of the plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), with 2.5 grams per ounce. What’s more, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats (like those found in walnuts) to support cardiovascular health (HHS and USDA 2015).
  • Keep the Brain in Mind: Research suggests walnuts may positively impact concentration, mood, depression and memory—including risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Go with the Gut: Certain foods can foster a healthy gut microbiome, which may be linked to a variety of health benefits. Read the research that shows why walnuts may be a good choice.
  • Reduce Inflammation: Whether it’s sore muscles after a strenuous workout, pain after an injury, or the result of a chronic disease (like obesity or diabetes), inflammation can damage the body. Fortunately, what you eat can help lessen this impact (Galland 2010). Certain nutrients in walnuts, including antioxidants2 and omega-3 ALA (2.5 grams per ounce), may play a role in reducing inflammation. 
  • Make it Work for Your Clients: From Mediterranean to vegetarian diets, walnuts can enhance a variety of eating plans by providing a convenient source of key nutrients. In addition to good polyunsaturated fats, walnuts are gluten-free, lower in carbohydrates (4 grams total per ounce, including 2 grams of fiber), and have plant-based protein (4 grams per ounce).

Walnuts support an active lifestyle with nutrients that deliver the staying power to achieve health and fitness goals. Blend them into a smoothie, pulse them into a satisfying meat substitute, puree them for creamy dips, nut butters and sauces, or add them to a trail mix.

Visit walnuts.org for more nutritious meal prep and snack ideas, published research and downloadable educational resources.