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Walnuts are rounded, single-seeded fruits of the walnut tree. The fruit and the seed of the walnut are enclosed in a thick, inedible husk. The shell of the fruit that encloses the kernel is hard and two-halved. Walnuts are also a delicious supplement and therefore can be easily included in anyone’s diet. Walnuts are also considered as ‘power food’, since they are believed to improve body stamina. Below are several health benefits of walnuts.
Walnuts are rich in omega-3 and are an ample source of monounsaturated fatty acids (72%) like oleic acid. It also contains EFAs like linoleic acid, alpha linolenic acid (ALA), and arachidonic acids. Scientific studies prove that the inclusion of walnuts in any diet helps prevent coronary heart diseases by favoring a healthy lipid supply. Consumption of walnuts lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases level of good cholesterol (HDL). Consumption of 25 grams of walnuts every day would provide 90% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of EFAs, which in turn lowers the risk of high blood pressure and heart diseases.
EFAs from walnuts secure the bone health of the body. These increase calcium absorption and deposition, while reducing urinary calcium excretion.
One of the health benefits of walnuts consumption is that it improves the metabolism in the body. Walnuts, along with EFAs, provide minerals to the body. Minerals like manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium are also provided by walnuts. These minerals help contribute to metabolic activities like growth and development, sperm generation, digestion, and nucleic acid synthesis.
People suffering from diabetes can have walnuts on a regular basis without any significant weight gain, since walnuts contain a high amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, as per research conducted by Gillen et al. (2005) at the University of Wollongong, Australia. In an article titled “The impact of nuts on diabetes and diabetes risk”, by Lovejoy (2005) it is mentioned that the intake of nuts is inversely proportional to the risk of developing type-II diabetes.
Some of the components present in walnuts have the capability of controlling the growth of cancer cells in the body. The phenolic compounds and antioxidants found in walnuts recorded a control on human cancer cells.
The polyphenolic compounds and phytochemical substances found in walnuts reduce the effects of inflammation in the body.
Rich in gamma-tocopherol, walnuts are also a good source of vitamin E, which is a strong lipid soluble antioxidant. The vitamin E present in walnuts helps in maintaining and protecting the skin from free radicals that are harmful in nature. They are also an important source of B-complex vitamins such as folate, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B-6.
Eat some walnuts soaked in water before sleeping or eat a salad or any other dish using walnuts as toppings. Melatonin, a hormone that helps induce and regulate sleep, is available in walnuts in a bioavailable form. Thus, walnuts help make for a perfect dinner that leads you to a great, restful sleep.
The amount of fat, calories, and carbohydrate content found in walnuts is about 18 grams, 190 cal, and 4 grams, respectively per 1 ounce. Therefore, it is believed that walnut consumption may result in weight gain.
A scientific study indicates that a lack of omega-3 fatty acids (provided by walnuts) cause hyperactivity, irritability, and tantrums. Supplementing a child’s diet with walnuts compensates the deficit in EFAs and alleviates their mood. It is even applicable to adults who are battling depression and stress.
Walnut oils have significant astringent properties. Walnut oil has a rich, nutty flavor that helps bring aroma and flavor to the food. This flavor gives a pleasant taste, but only when the walnut oil is used in moderation. It is used as a carrier/base oil in various therapies like aromatherapy, massage therapy, and aromatherapy, as well as in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. Walnut oils are terrific as dressings on chicken, turkey, salads, pasta, fish and steaks. The uses of walnut oils in dessert recipes help bring a nutty flavor to the dish.
Along with their delicious taste, walnuts have antioxidants and proteins that help in imparting a multitude of health benefits.
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