Origin of walnuts
Walnuts are edible seeds extracted from the trees of Juglans genus which are originated in the Mediterranean region and Central Asia. They have always have been a part of the human diet.
Walnuts have a delicious taste and crunchy texture
Uses of walnuts
- It is used in Various desserts items
- Baked goods like cookies, energy bars, cakes, granola, cereals , banana walnut bread and my favourite – walnut brownies! and many many more.
Dr Vinson states that just 7 walnuts a day can give you the health benefits. “A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nuts.
Recommendations per day : 5 to 7 walnut halves (or 2 tablespoons pieces)
It is said that Walnuts rank above peanuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios and other nuts.
The Nutritional Wonders :
- Walnuts are very good sources of vitamin C.
- They are an excellent source of B vitamins like (vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin thiamine, pantothenic acid, and folate)
- It contains vitamin E too
- The major mineral ingredient in walnuts in present is Copper which promotes heart health and also maintain bone, nerve, and immune system.
- Other important minerals found are :
- sodium and zinc.
3] PLANT-BASED CHEMICALS
Walnuts are also rich in certain phytochemicals (plant-based chemicals)!!
- Phytic acid present in it act as a beneficial antioxidant.
- Ellagic acid in it reduces your risk of heart disease and cancer
- Melatonin helps regulate your body clock and reduces your risk of heart disease with its antioxidant properties.
- Catechin a flavonoid antioxidant that may have various health benefits, including promoting heart health
- Rich source of alpha-linolenic acid(Plant-based Omega 3 fatty acid)
- Melatonin is naturally found in walnuts
Health Effects : –
a) Antioxidant Property
- Walnuts are superbly rich in antioxidants, which are mainly concentrated in the brown skin.
- Walnuts ranked second in a study which was investigating the antioxidant content of 1000 foods commonly eaten in the United States
b) Fat Content
- Walnuts contain high amounts of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAS)
- PUFA is beneficial for both brain health and function.
- Walnuts have a relatively high amount of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid.
- Omega-3 plays a part by helping to improve brain signalling.
The polyphenolic compounds found in walnuts reduce the effects of inflammation in the body which in turn benefits in cardiovascular and oncology health.
Health Benefits from Walnuts: –
Let’s not forget the benefits of consuming this nut as Walnuts offer Wonderful disease/ system-specific benefits.
- Diabetics may have walnuts on a regular basis .
- They contain a high amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats so it is always better to eat this nut in moderation.
2) Cleanses Digestive System
- Walnuts clean the internal digestive tract, helping in detoxification by removal of toxins and waste.
- It cures constipation too.
- An associate professor at the Louisiana State University in the United States said in her research that walnuts help the gut and have good probiotic properties.
- Eating walnuts regularly will increase Lactobacillus and Roseburia which improved the gut function.
3) Improve Male Fertility
- In a study published in the Journal of Biology of Reproduction at the University of California said that Walnuts have a good effect on male fertility.
- It helps by improving the sperm quality, quantity, vitality, and motility
4) Lower bad and improve good cholesterol
A study suggested that walnuts are good choices for daily consumption.
A study of 365 participants in 13 trials found that diets enriched with walnuts led to a lower the total cholesterol (TC)and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol when compared with other diets. The latest analysis combined data from 26 previous trials of more than 1,000 people; compared with those on a regular diet, Study who was consuming a walnut-enriched diet had :
- a lower triglycerides level
- a lower level of apoprotein B which is a protein that linked to cardiovascular disease
- total cholesterol level has reduced too.
- LDL cholesterol level also found low.
5) Cardiovascular health
- Walnuts are made up of a good amount of protein and polyunsaturated fat.
- According to the Institute of Medicine, an adequate intake of alpha-linolenic acid (polyunsaturated fat omega 3)is 1.6 and 1.1. grams per day for men and women.
- Do you know that a single serving of walnuts meets that guideline?
- Studies have shown that each gram of ALA you eat per day lowers your risk of dying from heart disease by at least 10%
6) Cancer prevention
- Walnuts are rich in the polyphenol ellagitannins.
- Few Gut microbes can convert these to urolithins which are compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties in your gut
- It can help protect against colorectal cancer.
- Its anti-inflammatory actions could help protect against other cancers too.
7) Pregnancy nutrition
- The rich source of vitamin B-complex present in roasted unsalted walnuts is essential for foetal growth.
8) Regulate Sleep
- Melatonin is present in the bio-available form in these nuts.
- Walnuts make melatonin, a hormone that helps induce and regulate sleep.
9) Mood Booster
- Insufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids may cause hyperactivity, tantrums.
- Supplementing a child’s diet with these nuts compensates the deficit in EFAs (Essential fatty acids)may help alleviate their mood.
- This is even applicable to people who are battling depression and stress after trauma.
10) Skin Care
- The vitamin E in walnuts helps in protecting the skin from harmful free radicals.
- It helps in preventing dry skin.
11) Boost Immunity
- Regularly consumption of walnuts helps in building a strong immune system, which can prevent the onset of various diseases.
- The rich source of antioxidants responsible for this benefit.
12) High blood pressure
- It is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
- Few studies suggest that eating walnuts may help lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.