Oatmeal with Walnuts

Why are walnuts good for your gut?


Walnuts have a crunchy texture and neutral flavor, making them extremely versatile! You can add them to anything savory, sweet, or spicy. Walnuts are an excellent source of healthy fats, they are loaded with fiber, and contain plenty of antioxidants and nutrients! They contain many different vitamins and minerals such as copper, folic acid, phosphorus, vitamin B6, manganese, and vitamin E, as well as specific essential fats like ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) omega-3 fatty acids, which help to lower bad cholesterol. More than just the plethora of micronutrients, 1/2 cup of walnuts contains 3.9 g of fiber for your #Goodgut!


Adding walnuts into your diet helps promote a healthy gut because compounds contained in walnuts (especially the omega-3 fatty acids) can potentially decrease inflammation and also can combat oxidative stress on the body. Inflammation is harsh on the gut and can lead to problems such as SIBO or IBS, and create worse symptoms: adding walnuts to your diet can potentially help soothe the gut.


One study conducted on walnuts provided evidence that people who ate walnuts consistently for 8 weeks straight had an increase in healthy gut bacteria versus those who did not consume walnuts for 8 weeks consistently. In the study, they found that consuming walnuts produces butyrate, which is a nourishing compound made in the large intestines that promotes gut barrier integrity and health. Walnuts are not only amazing for your gut, but because they are so high in omega-3 fats, they are also an amazing food to boost your brain health and increase your focus!


A 2018 double-blind placebo cross-over study in humans found that consuming walnuts regularly over a 6 week period increased the abundance of commensal/ healthy microbial strains in the gut including Ruminococcaceae and Bifidobacteria– the “good” beneficial bacteria– while Clostridium sp. cluster XIVa species (Blautia; Anaerostipes)-- also known as “bad” or less beneficial bacteria– decreased significantly during walnut consumption.


It’s never too late to add this delicious and gut-loving food into your diet! When buying walnuts at the store you should aim to get raw walnuts that don’t have added salt, oil, or sugars.


Ways to eat it

  • Make a homemade walnut butter and eat it with fruit, sandwiches, or desserts!

  • Roast walnuts in the oven with your favorite spices to make a savory and crunchy salad topper!

  • Melt your favorite unsweetened dark chocolate and indulge in decadent dark chocolate covered walnuts!

  • Add walnuts into a homemade trail mix, just eat whole raw walnuts on their own!

Recipe: Oatmeal with Walnuts












Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):

  • 2 cups choice oats (rolled oats, whole oat groats or steel-cut oats)

  • 1-2 medjool dates, pitted and mashed

Toppings for each serving:

  • 1-2 Tbsp chia seeds

  • 1-2 Tbsp hemp seeds

  • 1-2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds

  • 1-2 Tbsp walnuts, chopped

  • 1 Tbsp goji berries

  • optional toppings: seasonal fruits like apples, peaches, passion fruit, etc.

Directions:

  1. Cook your preferred oats in water or your favorite plant-based milk.

  2. Top each bowl with the toppings.

Heal with each meal!

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References

Arnarson, A. (2019, March 26). Walnuts 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Healthline.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/walnuts

Bamberger, C., Rossmeier, A., Lechner, K., Wu, L., Waldmann, E., Fischer, S., Stark, R.,

Altenhofer, J., Henze, K., & Parhofer, K. (2018). A Walnut-Enriched Diet Affects Gut Microbiome in Healthy Caucasian Subjects: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 10(2), 244. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10020244

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2019, May 22). Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential

Contribution. The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/omega-3-fats/


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