Walnuts – The ultimate super food for brain, heart, and soul and rightfully called the “King” among nuts.
More often, the simplest of foods are packed with Mother Natures complete nutrition package. Considered the ultimate superfood, walnuts possess anti-inflammatory properties, helps weight management, reduces cholesterol, enhances heart health, and also elevates mood
In a nutshell – Walnuts are one of those complete nutrition packages in the form of a nut which provide proteins, healthy fats, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Walnuts – Nutritional Facts
Walnuts are an excellent source of many nutrients which are essential for good health. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, fiber, anti-inflammation properties to mention a few.
The following chart shows the nutrients for which walnuts are either an excellent, very good or good source
|Omega-3 fats||2.72 g||113||10.4||excellent|
|Copper||0.48 mg||53||4.9||very good|
|Manganese||1.02 mg||51||4.7||very good|
Density>=7.6 AND DRI/DV>=10%
|Very good||DRI/DV>=50% OR|
Density>=3.4 AND DRI/DV>=5%
Density>=1.5 AND DRI/DV>=2.5%
They are an excellent plant based source of all omega-3 essential fatty acids (linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and arachidonic acids) which makes up around 8–14% of the total fat content.
Walnuts are also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (about 72%) like oleic acid and are also richer than most other nuts in polyunsaturated fats.
Many pieces of research suggest that regular consumption of walnuts may help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol).
A diet rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids like the Mediterranean diet, may also help cut down the risk of coronary artery disease, and prevent strokes.
In a nutshell, walnuts are rich in heart-healthy fats.
Antioxidant Properties of Walnuts
Walnuts are the antioxidant superheroes of all the nuts in the world.
Antioxidants fight free radicals damage which contributes to premature ageing, cell death, heart disease and even cancer.
According to a research, walnuts are rich in polyphenols and packs almost twice the amount of antioxidant when compared to other nuts like almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, and pecans.
In a direct and conclusive study presented at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society: Walnuts hold the largest amounts and the
the highest percentage of antioxidants compared to other nuts.
The study also found that the walnuts have more than 15 times antioxidant potency vis-a-vis vitamin E. They protect oxidative stress caused by the free radicals and also aid decrease unhealthy inflammation which is linked to many health risks.
Walnuts Are Rich In Vitamins & Minerals
They are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals which include vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin E, vitamin K, and vitamin A.
Walnuts are also rich in carotenoids which include beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
They are rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.
Scroll down for detailed information on macro and micro nutrients of walnut.
7 Amazing Health Benefits of Walnuts
Walnuts are a rich source of ALA omega-3 fatty acids. The anti-inflammatory properties of plant based ALA omega-3 fatty acids prevent blood clots. Research suggest that people who eat a diet rich in ALA reduce the chances of fatal heart attack by 50%.
Eating just four walnuts a day can raise ALA levels significantly which helps lower LDL, the BAD cholesterol, improve the functioning of blood vessels, control plaque buildup, reduce inflammation.
Walnuts are a rich source of many neuroprotective compounds like antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, melatonin, folate etc. Research suggest that eating walnuts can decrease the effects of oxidative stress and enhance brain health. They also enhance cognitive abilities and motor function in the aging.
Several human studies also suggest that walnut consumption can help in age-related brain decline and depression.
A new Yale University research says walnuts may help reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. They also improve metabolic parameters.
Another research suggests that by eating just a quarter cup of walnuts every day reduces fasting sugar levels significantly to those who did not. These results were achieved within the first three months.
Nuts play an important role in weight loss and it’s management over time.
Eating walnuts increase satiety and in a review of 31 trials, it was found that those who included nuts in their daily diets lost about 1.4 extra pounds and 1/2 inch from the waist.
A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that a diet containing unsaturated fats like those found in walnuts and olive oil have similar weight loss effects as a low-fat, high-carb diet.
Walnuts are rich in minerals which help improve the metabolism in the body. The minerals in walnuts not only help contribute to metabolic activities like growth and development they also help sperm generation, aid and improve digestion, and nucleic acid synthesis.
A study on mice which was published in the Journal of Nutrition found that consumption of walnuts had the ability to improve the metabolisms of obese mice that were fed an unhealthy, high fat, high-sugar diet.
The walnut-fed group scored better on key indicators of metabolic health. They had better glucose tolerance, a measure of how efficiently the body uses sugar. Poor glucose tolerance is a precursor to Type 2 diabetes. The mice that got walnuts and also raspberries, apples or green tea had the best glucose-tolerance scores.
Several research studies have revealed that the walnuts can inhibit cancer development and even initiate the death of cancer cells.
It has been found that diets rich in walnuts or walnut oil can slow prostate cancer growth in mice.
Researchers have also determined that just two handfuls of walnuts every day could cut half the risk of breast cancer and tumor growth. It has been observed that walnuts can shrink levels of the hormone IGF-1 which is known to play a key role in the development of prostate and breast cancer.
Consuming food rich in the plant omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) like walnuts and flaxseed oil improved bone health, according to a small trial from the US. source
EFAs from walnuts help secure the bone health of the body and increase calcium absorption and deposition. EFA’s also help in reducing urinary calcium excretion.
Walnuts are an excellent source of manganese and magnesium. Manganese helps prevent osteoporosis and magnesium which is important for bone formation and calcium absorption.
Vitamin and Mineral in Walnuts
|WALNUTS – Micronutrients|
|Vitamin B1||0.10 mg||8|
|Vitamin B2||0.05 mg||4|
|Vitamin B3||0.34 mg||2|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin Equivalents)||1.16 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.16 mg||9|
|Vitamin B12||0.00 mcg||0|
|Folate (DFE)||29.40 mcg|
|Folate (food)||29.40 mcg|
|Pantothenic Acid||0.17 mg||3|
|Vitamin C||0.39 mg||1|
|Vitamin A (Retinoids and Carotenoids)|
|Vitamin A International Units (IU)||6.00 IU|
|Vitamin A mcg Retinol Activity Equivalents (RAE)||0.30 mcg (RAE)||0|
|Vitamin A mcg Retinol Equivalents (RE)||0.60 mcg (RE)|
|Retinol mcg Retinol Equivalents (RE)||0.00 mcg (RE)|
|Carotenoid mcg Retinol Equivalents (RE)||0.60 mcg (RE)|
|Beta-Carotene Equivalents||3.60 mcg|
|Lutein and Zeaxanthin||2.70 mcg|
|Vitamin D International Units (IU)||0.00 IU||0|
|Vitamin D mcg||0.00 mcg|
|Vitamin E mg Alpha-Tocopherol Equivalents (ATE)||0.21 mg (ATE)||1|
|Vitamin E International Units (IU)||0.31 IU|
|Vitamin E mg||0.21 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.81 mcg||1|
Include walnuts to your daily healthy diets as they are rich in heart-healthy fats and antioxidants. It would not only improve your brain health but also protect you from heart ailments and even cancer.
A lot of people remove the goldish brown skin of shelled walnut for its bitter flavor. Even if you do not like the bitter flavor of it, resist the urge to remove it because you would want to eat it because it contains 90% of antioxidants of the walnut.
You can add walnuts to your food or just eat straight. They go well with chicken or fish dishes, salads, desserts.
And in a nutshell, eating walnuts may be one of the easiest things you can do to improve your health.
Walnut nutrition chart source: WHFoods