In the pseudodocumentary “Best in Show,” Christopher Guest plays Harlan Pepper, who is heading to a dog show with his bloodhound, Hubert. As he’s driving there, he starts a monologue about his childhood obsession with “naming every nut there was.”

“It used to drive my mother crazy,” he says. And we believe that. But what drove us crazy was the fact that he never mentions walnuts. That’s a big oversight — in many ways, walnuts are the Best in Show in nut land.

A new study in The Journal of Nutrition confirms that. The researchers looked at walnuts’ benefits to the gut biome and heart health, and found that eating 2 to

21/2 ounces of whole walnuts daily had huge benefits.

Forty-two folks who were overweight or obese were fed controlled diets that included walnuts. Turns out the alpha-linolenic acid and polyunsaturated fatty acids in the nuts nurture good-for-the-intestinal-tract bacteria. ALA and those fatty acids, in combination with the fiber and bioactive compounds in the walnuts, promote improved heart health by lowering blood pressure, total cholesterol and various forms of lousy LDL cholesterol.

Your move: Snack on walnuts. Enjoy them in a pesto with parsley, lemon and olive oil and spread on grilled fish. Sprinkle them in oatmeal, on salads, in grains like quinoa, and on sauteed spinach or green beans. Dr. Mike likes them roasted (275 F for seven to nine minutes), and Dr. Oz likes them soaked in water.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit

©2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.