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It’s been said that walnuts are the oldest known tree food, dating back 10,000 years. Walnuts appear to have a wide variety of health benefits, plus they’re rich in certain phytochemicals – especially phenols, phytates and phytosterols – making them the top nut of all the healthiest nuts. They’re a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to anti-inflammatory benefits. Specifically, walnuts are rich in alpha-linoleic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid associated with improved bone health and prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A year-long walnut-rich diet improved total and LDL cholesterol in obese women, as noted in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Walnuts may have more cardiac benefits, too. With powerful antioxidant qualities, proteins in walnuts fight colon and breast cancer cells, shown in a study published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition.

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