The California Walnut Commission announced today the third annual “Power of 3” global marketing campaign to increase awareness about the benefits of omega-3s and highlight how walnuts are an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Walnuts are easily accessible, versatile in their use in meals and snacks, and a delicious way for consumers to meet the recommended daily intake of plant-based omega-3 ALA (1.6 g/day for men and 1.1 g/day for women).1
Power of 3
The campaign makes it easy for consumers around the globe to include a handful of walnuts in their daily meals and snacks. During March, the global campaign will run simultaneously in multiple continents and will feature retail promotions, advertising, plant-forward recipes, videos, and more – so consumers can easily create multi-cultural dining experiences right at home.
“We have seen incredible success with the Power of 3 campaign over the past two years and are thrilled to bring it back for 2022,” shares Pam Graviet, Sr. Marketing Director, International for the California Walnut Commission. “With more people adopting a plant-forward way of eating, it has been a great way to share how walnuts can help individuals achieve their personal goals. It’s always exciting to see how consumers share their personal experiences with California walnuts.“
“Walnuts are an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 ALA, which is often lacking in the diets of Indias large vegetarian population. They are the only tree nut to contain a significant amount of omega-3 ALA (2.5g/28g), which may play a role in heart health, brain health and healthy aging.2,3,4 There are three forms of omega-3s, including EPA and DHA commonly found in marine sources such as fish and algae, and ALA, an essential plant-based fatty acid that can be found in food sources including walnuts, flax and chia seeds,” adds Celebrity Nutritionist Nmami Agrawal. “Research continues to uncover the unique benefits of ALA, separate and apart from the more widely known benefits of marine sources.”
Consumers can show how they are doing more for their health, a handful of walnuts at a time, by sharing on social using the hashtag: #SharethePowerof3.
For more information about plant-based omega-3 ALA and California walnuts, along with delicious recipe inspiration, please visit californiawalnuts.in
The Science behind Plant-Based Omega-3 ALA
ALA and Heart Health – A study from Advances in Nutrition found that ALA may help improve heart health just as we have seen in studies focused on EPA and DHA.3 The literature review provided evidence showing the potentially beneficial role ALA may have in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, including stroke and heart attack. According to a clinical trial published in The Journal of Nutrition, eating a diet rich in omega-3 ALA, from foods like walnuts, may help to lower the risk of heart disease through anti-inflammatory effects.5 Given the current promising data, there is a need for well-controlled clinical trials to clarify the effects of ALA on risk for cardiovascular disease and to determine the recommended amount of ALA to consume for heart health benefits.
ALA and Brain Health – A review study from Progress in Lipid Research assessed the tissue levels of omega-3 DHA formed from ALA.6 They reported several important findings. The first was that ALA leads to the synthesis of EPA in some cases, and in particular, may contribute to DHA levels in the brain. Evidence from a variety of studies suggests dietary ALA may be able to fulfill the human requirement for DHA in the body when higher levels of ALA (at least 1.2g) are consumed. Assessing the synthesis of EPA and DHA from ALA in humans is limited to blood level measurements. The takeaway from this study is that through its conversion process, ALA may play a role in maintaining DHA levels in important tissues such as the brain. More research is needed to fully understand the effect of this process in the body.
ALA and Healthy Aging – A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2020) looked at regular consumption of foods rich in marine or plant-based omega-3s and the risk of death among individuals who have suffered a heart attack.7 In addition, research from one of the largest clinical trials looking at the benefits of a Mediterranean diet suggested older Spanish individuals (ages 55-80) with a high cardiac risk who supplemented a high fish diet with dietary ALA saw a reduced risk of all-cause mortality.8 Specifically, study participants who consumed at least 0.7% of their daily calorie intake from ALA had a 28% reduced risk of all-cause mortality.
About the California Walnut Commission
The California Walnut Commission, established in 1987, is funded by mandatory assessments of the growers. The Commission is an agency of the State of California that works in concurrence with the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The CWC is mainly involved in health research and export market development activities.
For more industry information, health research and recipe ideas, visit www.californiawalnuts.in.
1Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids (Macronutrients) (2005) NAS. IOM. Food and Nutrition Board.
2Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet and not resulting in increased caloric intake, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. (FDA) One ounce of walnuts offers 18g of total fat, 2.5g of monounsaturated fat, 13g of polyunsaturated fat including 2.5g of alpha-linolenic acid – the plant-based omega-3.
3Fleming JA, Kris-Etherton PM. The evidence for a-linolenic acid and cardiovascular disease benefits: comparisons with eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Adv Nutr. 2014;5(6):863S-76S. doi: 10.3945/an.114.005850.
4Sala-Vila A, Valls-Pedret C, Rajaram S, Coll-Padros N, Cofan M, Serra-Mir M, Perez-Heras AM R oth I1, Freitas-Simoes TM1, Domenech M1, Calvo C, Lopez-Illamola A, Bitok E, Buxton NK, Huey L, Arechiga A, Oda K, Lee GJ, Corella D, Vaque-Alcazar L, Sala-Llonch R, Bartres-Faz D, Sabate J, Ros E. Effect of a 2-year diet intervention with walnuts on cognitive decline. The Walnuts And Healthy Aging (WAHA) study: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nut.2020;111(3): 590-600, doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqz328
5Zhao G, Etherton TD, Martin KR, West SG, Gillies PJ, Kris-Etherton PM. Dietary alpha-linolenic acid reduces inflammatory and lipid cardiovascular risk factors in hypercholesterolemic men and women. J Nutr. 2004; 134:2991-7. doi: 10.1093/jn/134.11.2991
6Barcelo-Coblijn G, Murphy EJ. Alpha-linolenic acid and its conversion to longer chain n3 fatty acids: Benefits for human health and a role in maintaining tissue n-3 fatty acid levels. Prog Lipid Res. 2009;48(6):355-74. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2009.07.002.
7Lazaro I, Rueda F, Cediel G, et al. Circulating Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Incident Adverse Events in Patients With Acute Myocardial Infarction. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 Oct, 76 (18) 2089-2097. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2020.08.073
8Sala-Vila A, Guasch-Ferre M, Hu FB, et al. Dietary α-linolenic acid, marine Omega-3 fatty acids, and mortality in a population with high fish consumption: findings from the PREvencion con DIeta MEDiterrnea (PREDIMED) study. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016;5(1):e002543. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.