One of the most misunderstood aspects of health is that of the gut and digestive system. Digestive issues are downright ubiquitous; they can be caused by many different things and they can also lead to additional health troubles and concerns. In a new study conducted at Louisiana State University, it was found that walnuts can actually positively contribute to the health of the gut by increasing good bacteria.
Walnuts have been dubbed a superfood because of their compositional makeup. They are full of necessary, beneficial components such as alpha-linoleic acid, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. The nut also contains one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants. Its elements of fiber may be what contribute to its powerful abilities within the digestive system. This study took on finding out exactly why walnuts are essential to the gut.
They conducted the study using a rodent model and introduced walnuts to one group while the other was not. The gut bacteria of the rodents was then measured after a specific amount of time and the numbers of the test group that did ingest walnuts was vastly healthier. In fact, the walnut-exposed test group showed a noticeably improved amount of gut bacteria in the descending colon.
The amount of healthy bacteria was increased in the walnut test group. A very important distinction to make in the findings is not only the amount of good bacteria that was easily observed but that the functional capacity of the bacteria was superior. An important bacteria called Lactobacillus was also located in the results.
We found that walnuts in the diet increased the diversity of bacteria in the gut, and other non-related studies have associated less bacterial diversity with obesity and other diseases like inflammatory bowel disease. Walnuts increased several bacteria, like Lactobacilus, typically associated with probiotics suggesting walnuts may act as a prebiotic, explained the lead researcher.
There is so much unknown about gut health and the reactions the gut has to many different foods and environmental factors. There are largely still a lot of questions associated with the digestive system and how it operates. These types of studies provide quantifiable information as a physiological mechanism to improve health. This is why science and research are so vital - especially in a world that moves at the speed of light. Understanding that eating a few walnuts a day can potentially change your gut health issues would be life shifting for so many.
Many autoimmune conditions have been thought to be linked to gut health in some way. Painful conditions that have a whole slew of symptoms could be better treated just by taking better care of the gut. Typically, the issues aren't as serious and expansive as those examples. Even so, if the extent of your digestive issues is gas, bloating and occasional nausea, finding a quick fix that will help to regulate your digestive system is a Godsend. No one wants to struggle to go to the bathroom or deal with feeling too full after a holiday party.
Incorporating things like walnuts and other gut-positive foods could be the true antidote for these issues that seem to elude the medical community. With this type of concrete information followed by results, we can better heal ourselves with natural foods and not rely on other, less effective methods.