Health Benefits of Walnuts

All nuts are highly fat providing but they do boost us with some essential nutrients. Walnut is the only nut that look like a little human brain. Walnut, not only improves memory, but also lowers diabetes and cholesterol, and improves your overall health. Let’s look at some of the health benefits of eating walnuts, nutrients found in walnuts, daily recommended serving, and ways to consume walnut in your daily diet.

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Walnuts are one of Mother Nature’s creative formations.They are part of the tree nut family. Tree nuts like cashews, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts, are also included in this family. Walnuts are like a hard spherical ball that is the fruit of a walnut tree. The shell is wrinkly and hard, and when opened you can see the walnut in it, which looks more like a human brain.

The English walnut and the black walnut are the two major species of walnuts that are grown for their seeds. The English walnut (J. regia) originated in Persia, and the black walnut (J. nigra) is native to eastern North America. The black walnut is of high flavor but has a hard shell and poor hulling characteristics.

Walnuts are a rich source of heart-healthy fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are essential for human health. Polyunsaturated fats contain Omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for the development and functioning of the human brain. Walnut also contains nutrients like Vitamin B, Vitamin E, folate, Ellagic Acid, which helps in memory functions.

Some of the Health Benefits of Walnuts

  • Healthy Heart: Walnuts are rich in Omega 3 fatty acid which lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases the production of good cholesterol, which overall results in a healthy heart. In a research, it is shown that eating one ounce (around 14 walnut halves) of walnuts a day may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Lowers the risk of Diabetes: Consuming Walnuts on a regular basis lower the risk of diabetes. In a research published in The Journal of Nutrition, it is found that women who consumed 28gm of walnut twice in a week have a lower risk of getting diabetes than ones who hardly eat them.
  • Helps in Weight Loss: Walnuts are high in fats, but it can help you shed some extra pounds if you consume in limited portions. The daily recommended serving of walnut is one ounce or one handful. One handful of walnut consists of about 2.5 gm omega-3 fatty acid, 4gm protein, 2gm fiber, with 190 calories, which can keep you, full for longer.
  • Improves Sleep: Walnut contains a hormone known as Melatonin which is associated with inducing sleep and regulating sleep. So, eating walnuts can give you healthy and improved sleep.
  • Gives Healthy Hair: Walnut consists of biotin which reduces hair fall and strengthens hair roots. Thus it is very useful for healthy hair.
  • Glows Skin and Anti-Aging: Walnuts contains vitamins and minerals that help your skin shine. The Anti-oxidant found in walnuts reduces wrinkles and prevents the sign of aging, and gives you a beautiful glowing skin.
  • Improves Memory: Consumption of walnut supports brain health as it contains neuroprotective compounds like Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, Melatonin.
  • Healthy Bones: Walnut contains very high amount of manganese. Manganese, with copper and calcium, which are also found in walnut helps with the absorption of calcium into the bones and helps to prevent osteoporosis.

Walnuts can be eaten on their own or slightly roasted. A good way to introduce walnuts to your diet is to add them to salads, pasta, soups, cereals, walnut pickle and can also be added to baked goods like walnut banana bread, walnut pie, and brownies. You can also make energy bars adding walnuts and some other nuts for your kids. Walnut oil is expensive culinary oil that is often used in salad dressings.

Walnuts are high in fats, so they go bad very soon if not stored properly. The best way to store walnuts is to keep them in a cool and dry place to improve its shelf life. Walnuts can stay fresh for a few months at room temperature, a year in the refrigerator, and about two years in the freezer. The daily recommended serving of walnuts is 1 ounce that is about 14 walnut halves.

Source: Wikipedia

  • Thank you for putting this list of benefits together. Considering that I have a huge bag of walnuts at the house, I feel even better now about grabbing a handful and enjoying the goodness.

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