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Benefits of Eating WALNUTS

Many a times, the simplest foods prove to be best for the health and this is certainly in the case of nuts. Yes nuts are a complete and perfect package of protein, vitamins, healthy fats, fiber, minerals, antioxidants and plant sterols. And amongst the nuts we can say walnuts are the king, as studies show they can boost our health in a number of ways.

Abha Toppo
Walnuts are full of amino acid l-arginine that offers several vascular benefits to people with heart problems
Walnuts are full of amino acid l-arginine that offers several vascular benefits to people with heart problems

Walnuts belong to the tree nut family along with cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans etc. Each of the nuts has its own unique nutritional benefits. It is said that the walnut tree dates back to 700 B.C. They were also considered gods’ foods during the early Roman times and were named after the planet Jupiter – thus the scientific name ‘Juglans regia’.

On the other hand, the "English" walnut that all of us are familiar with is native to India and areas around the Caspian Sea. It was named for the English merchants who carried it for trade all over the world. There is one more variety, the black walnut, which is native to the North America - in Appalachian region and central Mississippi valley.

Walnuts Nutrition

As per the U.S Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database, one cup of organic walnuts (30 grams) has:

Energy: 200 calories

Sugar: 1 grams (g)

Fiber: 2 g

Protein: 5 g

Fat: 20 g

Carbohydrate 3.89 g

Calcium: 20 milligrams (mg)

Iron: 0.72 mg

Sodium: 0 mg

Walnuts are also a good source of – copper, manganese, vitamin B, magnesium, phosphorus and  iron

Walnuts Benefits 

The health benefits of walnuts actually lie in their high concentration of nutrients. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods says “walnuts not only contain notable amounts of vitamin E and antioxidants, but are rich in monounsaturated fats. They in fact are one of the few nuts that have alpha-linolenic acid and omega-3”.

Moreover, one-quarter cup of walnuts offers more than 100 % of the daily recommended value of plant-based omega-3 fats plus high amounts of copper, manganese, biotin and molybdenum. Below we have listed some of the best health benefits of walnuts.

1. Cancer-fighting properties

Walnuts help in reducing not only the risk of prostate tumor but breast cancer also. They contain several rare and strong phytonutrients that are found in very few other foods. The unique compounds, which are well known for their strong cancer-inhibiting properties comprises of tannin tellimagrandin, quinone juglone and flavonol morin4. If you consume just 2 handfuls of walnuts daily it may keep breast cancer away, according to a study conducted on mice.

2. Heart health

Walnuts are full of amino acid l-arginine that offers several vascular benefits to people with heart problems or disease. It is best for people who have increased risk of heart disease because of multiple cardiac risk factors. If you are struggling with herpes, then you must avoid or control your intake of walnuts because high levels of arginine can reduce the amino acid lysine, which can cause herpes recurrences.

3. Weight control

If you include walnuts in your diet, it will help in maintaining an ideal weight over time. There are evidences which shows that eating walnuts in the place of other foods does not cause increases body weight although they are energy rich, offering a great snack alternative for those looking to manage their weight.

4. Brain health

Walnuts do have a number of neuroprotective compounds that includes folate, vitamin E, omega-3 fats, melatonin and antioxidants. Studies have shown that walnut consumption may support brain health; take for instance increasing inferential reasoning in young adults.

5. Mood booster

Omega-3, found in walnuts is essential in the development as well as functioning of the central nervous system. There are positive researches and clinical proofs to show that omega-3 fatty acids can well play a role in certain mood disorders.

6. Control Diabetes

The helpful dietary fat in walnuts can help in improving metabolic parameters in people suffering from Type 2 diabetes. Obese adults having Type 2 diabetes who ate one-quarter cup of walnuts everyday can have significant reductions in their fasting insulin levels if compared to those who did not.

7. Good for Digestive System

A recent study on animal has demonstrated that eating walnuts can enrich the gut microbiome and boost particular good bacteria strains, which could give benefits to humans with more research.

8. Improved reproductive health in men

One of the lesser-known advantages of walnut is its impact on the male fertility system. Men who eat a Western-style diet, including 75 grams of walnuts every day, considerably improved sperm quality, counting vitality, motility and morphology.

 Surprising facts about Walnuts

  • The outermost layer of a shelled walnut contains up to 90% of the antioxidants hence you must avoid removing it.

  • As walnuts are highly perishable their healthy fats easily get damaged. If you are buying shelled walnuts in the large amount, avoid those that look withered or smell bad.

  • You can further improve the quality of walnuts by soaking them in water for 7-8 hours. This will tend to lower some of the enzyme inhibitors along with phytic acid.

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