alnuts have a wealth of the good kind of fats — polyunsaturated fats, which are better for you than saturated fats. They also have a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids.

Studies have shown that eating walnuts can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in particular, but also lower your cholesterol overall. Cholesterol can form plaque inside your arteries, but eating walnuts can help keep your artery walls healthy.

Walnuts also have been shown to ease the type of inflammation that leads to heart disease, and they may help lower your chances of a blood clot that could cause a heart attack. Two large studies found that five servings of nuts a week can reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 50%.

And early studies show that walnuts may cut your odds of some types of cancer. They have a type of acid called ellagic acid, which is also found in pecans. Bacteria in your stomach and intestines change this acid into compounds with antioxidant power, which may help ward off cancer. But more research is needed to know for sure.

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