The California Walnut Commission announced its second annual "Power of 3" global marketing campaign, which builds on the successful 2020 campaign. "Power of 3" launched on March 3 with a first-ever global event celebrated in the USA, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the Middle East to showcase how they like to get their daily handful of walnuts.
The campaign is an engaging way to build on one of California walnuts' core benefits as the only nut that is a rich source of plant-based omega-3 ALA (2.5g/oz). ALA is an essential nutrient needed by the human body that can only be provided through the diet and has been associated with benefits for heart health, brain health and healthy aging. A one ounce serving of walnuts provides plant-based protein (4g), fiber (2g) and is good source of magnesium. Walnuts are also a good source of vitamin B6 (0.2mg/oz) and an excellent source of copper (0.45mg/oz) and manganese (0.1mg/oz) all of which contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system.
"There was tremendous excitement around the globe for the Power of 3 campaign last year and we are thrilled to bring it back on an even bigger scale in 2021," shares Pamela Graviet, senior marketing director, international, for the California Walnut Commission. "This campaign makes it simple for consumers to remember just how easily they can improve their overall diet with a handful of walnuts."
The campaign will employ a variety of communications tools, including a video that is a core component of the campaign and will be used across all markets. Recipes, developed by influencers in each country, will be shared across the globe providing inspiration to consumers. Other elements will vary by market including digital and social media, blog posts, sweepstakes, influencer programs, recipe tips and tricks, easy recipes, in-store promotions, advertisements and more to generate awareness that a handful of California walnuts is a powerful addition to the diet.
All omega-3s provide health benefits, so it's important to get these good fats from a variety of sources. As the only nut significantly high in omega-3 ALA (2.5g per one oz/28g), one of the easiest ways to get more ALA into your diet is to start with walnuts.
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.1 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.2 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.3 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 risk of death among individuals who have suffered a heart attack.4 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.5 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.
1 Fleming JA, Kris-Etherton PM. The evidence for α-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.
2 Zhao 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
3 Barceló-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.
4 Lázaro 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
5 Sala-Vila A, Guasch-Ferré M, Hu FB, et al. Dietary α-linolenic acid, marine ω-3 fatty acids, and mortality in a population with high fish consumption: findings from the PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea (PREDIMED) study. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016;5(1):e002543. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.