Walnuts health benefits includes supporting health cardiovascular health, supporting bone health, healthy metabolism, managing diabetes, preventing cancer, fighting inflammation and supporting healthy skin. Other health benefits includes supporting healthy sleep, managing stress, supporting weight loss and acting as astringent.
Walnuts are incredibly delicious; they can easily take a dish from an 8 to a 10. Besides they are the perfect healthy snack. How? Keep on reading
What Are Walnuts?
Walnuts are a single-seeded stone fruit, widely used for its meat after the fruit fully ripens. The top layer (husk) is removed, while the meat is left in a hard wrinkly casing. The meat is segmented into two portions separated by a thinner paper like a version of the shell. The shell itself is quite rich in antioxidants and protects the meat from the free radicals present in the atmosphere around it.
These free radicals can result in a rancid taste and walnuts that are not fresh should be avoided. Walnuts are late bloomers, and they also release chemicals into the soil beneath them to prevent any flowers or plants from growing. It is highly recommended that you avoid planting any vegetation or flowers near a walnut tree.
History And Origin
The walnut tree is native to the belt that stretches between Balkan and China. The largest forests for walnut production are situated in Jalalabad, Kyrgyzstan. They usually grow at higher altitudes of 1000 to 2000 meters.
The earliest cultivation of this fruit dates back to Babylon around 2000 B.C. But, there is also evidence that walnuts were roasted and consumed in Southwest France around 8000 years ago. Romans cultivated this tree across wide parts of Africa and Europe. The Greeks introduced the selective breeding techniques for the Walnut tree. Walnuts entered North America during the 1800s through England.
Today a lot of countries are involved in the trade and cultivation of this delicious fruit. Chine leads the market, followed closely by the U.S.A. In favorable conditions, walnut trees can live up to 300 years, but the commercial crop survives to be 60 or 70 years.
Nutrition Information of Walnut
This is the part where the “walnuts being one of the healthiest snacks in the world” is justified. These are nutrient and antioxidant-dense fruits. The following information is based on 100 grams of serving
Fat 65 g
Carbohydrates 14 g
Dietary fiber 7g
Iron 2.9 mg
Zinc 3.1 mg
Potassium 441 mg
Phosphorus 346 mg
Magnesium 158 mg
Copper 1.6 mg
Manganese 158 mg
Folate 98 µg
Vitamin B6 0.54 mg
Thiamin 0.34 mg
The above given nutritional information provides a picture of how beneficial walnuts are for the human body. The minerals, vitamins and other nutrient groups provide impressive nutritional value to this fruit.
11 Amazing Health Benefits Of Walnuts
1. Healthy Cardiovascular System
Walnuts are one of the healthiest foods for the cardiovascular system. This can be attributed to the fact that they are rich in potassium which is a natural vasodilator for the heart. Moreover, the presence of oleic acid, omega 3s, alpha linoleic acid and linoleic acid make it very beneficial for managing coronary heart disease. Walnuts also reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
2. Bone Health
Walnuts are excellent for increasing and maintaining bone density. This is because they are rich in copper, zinc, Vitamin B, and calcium. Walnuts contain about 98 mg of calcium per 100 grams of shelled walnuts. The vitamin B, copper and zinc increase the calcium absorption and retention in the body.
3. Healthy Metabolism
Walnuts have been observed to show a positive effect on the metabolic rate of the body. The combination of magnesium, manganese, calcium, folate, copper, and iron are very effective in promoting a healthy metabolism. Moreover, the healthy fats help break down proteins much faster and promote cell regeneration.
4. Diabetes Management
Type-II diabetes patients can safely consume walnuts almost every day without any side effects. This is due to the impressive balance between good fats and nutrients found in Walnuts. A recent study conducted in Australia proved that walnut consumption and type-II diabetes have an inverse relation.
5. Cancer Prevention
Cancer is a fatal disease and leading a healthy lifestyle can prevent its onset. Walnuts are a treasure of antioxidants. From their fruit core to their hard shell, walnuts are rich in phenolic acids. Oxidative stress can be a potential cause of cancer acceleration in the body and have a handful of walnuts every day just might prevent you from this life-threatening disease.
A recent study concluded that walnuts being rich in phenolic compounds and antioxidants reduce inflammation in all parts of the body and also prevents it from occurring. The phytochemicals present in walnuts show some anti-inflammatory properties that are very effective in reducing inflammatory symptoms.
7. Healthy Skin
The good fats, vitamins, and minerals make the perfect skin-cocktail. Especially vitamin E is known for its wonderful effects on the skin. The shells of walnuts are used by cosmetic brands to create physical exfoliants for the skin. Moreover, the Vitamin B complex increases cell renewal and promotes collagen production.
8. Healthy Sleep Cycle
Walnut consumption promotes melatonin production in the body. This is a hormone that induces sleep and can help you maintain a healthy sleep cycle. Having trouble sleeping? Add a few walnuts to your breakfast porridge or afternoon lunch to stimulate melatonin.
9. Stress Management
Foods rich in magnesium and zinc have a positive effect on stress levels. They help the mind relax and think clearly. It provide a combination of these minerals to help keep the brain functioning properly without succumbing to anxiety or stress.
10. Weight Loss
Contrary to the popular belief that high-fat content can result in weight gain, walnuts do otherwise. They are high in good fats and also contain a good amount of fiber. The right kind of fat can stimulate the metabolic process and reduce the retention of bad cholesterol and unwanted fat. Walnuts can be a perfect snack between meals, which helps you stay full and reduces the craving for junk food.
The nutty deliciousness of it’s oil can not only elevate the flavor of a dish but also possess astringent properties. This makes it perfect to use with carrier oils and even in aromatherapy. This also helps reduce the growth of bacteria in the stomach lining and keeps the skin looking healthy. Next time you are diffusing some oils a few drops of walnut oil with lavender will do the trick.
Walnuts are delicious and nutrient dense. But eating in moderation is the best way to make use of its benefits. Overeating can result in weight gain and fat retention. Walnut oil should always be used with other carrier oils.