Walnuts are nuts that belong to any tree of the genus Juglans. Technically speaking, walnut is actually a seed of the drupe and is not a true botanical nut. It is available in many varieties and is consumed in many ways. For example, green walnuts are used for making pickles and processed walnuts are used as food. Walnuts are an excellent source of numbers of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and other essential fatty acids, and presence of these compounds, make walnuts very beneficial for our health In this article, we will know about the major health benefits of walnuts in detail, but first take a look at the below-mentioned nutrition chart of walnut.
Nutrition Chart Of Walnut
Health Benefits Of Walnuts
(1) Keep Our Cardiovascular System Healthy
Regular consumption of walnuts is good for our heart and keeps our cardiovascular system healthy because of the high level of omega-3 acid and monounsaturated fatty acids ( around 72 %) like oleic acid in it. As per scientific studies, the inclusion of walnuts in any diet reduces the risk of coronary heart disease because of the presence of essential fatty acids like linoleic acid, alpha-linoleic acid and arachidonic acids in it.
Eating walnuts on a regular basis reduces the bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) level of our body and increases the level of good cholesterol ( HDL cholesterol) in our body. Bad cholesterol can stick to the arteries of the heart and increases the risk of cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke etc. But, walnuts minimizes this risk and eating only 25 grams of walnuts a day provides 90 percent of the recommended daily intake of the essential fatty acids, and this, in turn, reduces the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems.
(2) Maintains Cholesterol Level
The presence of high level of bad cholesterol in our body can be very dangerous for our health because of the ability to bad cholesterol to stick to the inner lining of the arteries wall and give rise to various heart problems like heart attack, heart stroke etc.
High cholesterol level can also give rise to chest pain, numbness in the legs, building up of plague etc. and also harms our kidneys and liver.(source) Eating walnuts prevents us from all these risks by reducing the bad cholesterol level of our body and giving rise to good cholesterol level, because of the presence of essential fatty acids in it.
(3) Regulates Blood Pressure
Regular consumption of walnuts is very beneficial for the people suffering from high blood pressure because of the high level of potassium present in it. High blood pressure or hypertension can give rise to many other health complications like heart problem, heart attack, heart stroke, narrowing of blood vessels, kidney problems etc. (source)
(4) Improves Bone Health
Eating walnuts is good for our bones and make them stronger because of the presence of essential fatty acids like alpha-linolenic acid in it. The presence of alpha-linolenic acid and other compounds present in walnuts have been found to be associated with bone health and make them stronger and healthier by increasing the absorption and deposition of calcium, and reducing the loss of calcium while urination.
Walnuts are also an excellent source of omega fatty acids which are known for making our bones stronger by decreasing inflammation.
(5) Improves Metabolism
Eating walnuts on a regular basis improves the metabolism of our body and provides a lot of benefits because of the presence of essential fatty acids and minerals like manganese, copper, manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium in it.
These minerals play an important role in metabolic activities like growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and synthesis of nucleic acid, and this is what makes walnuts so beneficial for our health.
(6) Controls Diabetes
As per a research conducted by the Gillen et al. (2005) at the University of Australia, eating walnuts on a regular basis is very beneficial for people suffering from diabetes because of the presence of high level of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
As per an article titled, “The impact of nuts on diabetes and diabetes “, regular consumption of walnuts reduces the risk of development of type-II diabetes. The glycemic index of walnuts is zero which means consuming walnuts don’t increase the blood sugar level.
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(7) Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
Eating walnuts on a regular basis is very effective for reducing the risk of various types of cancer because of the high level of antioxidants and phenolic compounds present in it. The antioxidants fights with the free radicals of our body, stabilizes them and prevents them from doing damage to our cells and thus reduces the risk development of cancer. As per a 2010 research conducted by the Carvalho et al. , University of Portugal, phenolic compounds found in walnuts controls the development of cancer cells in human. As per a 2009 research volume published by the American Association For Cancer Research, it was found that consuming few walnuts every day reduce the risk of breast cancer.
(8) Provides Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
As per an experiment conducted by the Papoutsi et al. (2008) in the Mediterranean area, consuming walnuts on a regular basis is very effective in reducing the inflammation in the body because of the polyphenolic compounds and phytochemical substances present in walnuts. Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of walnuts, they are very effective against inflammatory diseases like asthma, arthritis, eczema etc.
(9) Good Source Of Vitamins
Regular consumption of walnuts is very beneficial for our health because walnut is an excellent source of vitamin E which is a strong antioxidant that provides a lot of benefits like reduces cholesterol, decreases the risk of heart diseases, controls diabetes, improves eyesight, improves hair health and provides many other benefits.
Along with this, walnuts are also an important source of B complex vitamins like folate, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and vitamin B-6. These compounds also play an important role in keeping us healthy.
(10) Promotes Peaceful Sleep
If you are having trouble in getting a good night sleep then walnuts can be very beneficial because of the presence of melatonin in it. Melatonin is a hormone that helps in inducing and regulating sleep.
So, if you are having difficulty in sleeping then eat some walnuts soaked in water before going to bed. Alternatively, you can use walnuts as the topping for dishes or in the salad, to enjoy a peaceful sleep.
(11) Helps In Weight Management
Walnuts are high in calories and eating just one ounce of walnuts provides around 190 calories, 18 grams of fats and 4 grams of carbohydrates. Looking at these statistics, it may feel like eating walnuts is bad for weight management and can give rise to weight gain, but this is not the case in reality.
As per a research conducted by the Sabat’e et al. (2005) at the Loma Linda University,California, USA it was found that individuals who ate about 35 grams of walnuts per day for a period of one year, didn’t show any significant weight gain. This means, that one can enjoy eating walnuts without worrying about the significant weight gain, but it is better to not to eat too much as the high amount may lead to weight gain and other side effects.
(12) Provides Relief From Stress & Depression
Eating walnuts on a regular basis is very effective for reducing stress and depression in adults because of the presence of Omega-3 fatty acids and other essential fatty acids in them.
Lack of omega-3 fatty acids can cause hyperactivity, irritability, and tantrums in children, and if your kids are showing any of these symptoms then it’s time to add walnuts to your child’s meal. Omega-3 fatty acid also lowers blood pressure and provides relief from stress.
(13) Boost Immune System
Eating walnuts on a regular basis is good for our immune system as the antioxidants present in walnuts boost the immune system of our body by fighting the free radicals in our body. The antioxidants stabilize the unstabilized ions or free radicals and thus prevents them from doing damage to our immune system ( and other body cells )
The immune system of our body plays an important role in keeping us healthy by protecting us from the attack of the foreign pathogens like bacteria and virus, and thus reduces the risk of various diseases. By making our immune system stronger, walnuts prevents us from many health problems.
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(14) Good For Brain
High level of omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts make walnuts very beneficial for our brain, improves memory, make our nervous system function smoothly.
In addition to this, walnuts are also a good source of potassium and that too plays an important role in keeping our brain healthy and reduces the risk of cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
(15) Good For Pregnant Women
Regular consumption of walnuts is very beneficial for pregnant women and for the development of fetus because of the vital nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other essential fatty acids present in them. Walnuts are a good source of B-complex vitamins like folates, riboflavin, thiamin etc. and these compounds are very beneficial during pregnancy.
(16) Provides Relief From Constipation
Consuming walnuts on a regular basis is very beneficial for our stomach and keep our digestive system healthy because of the presence of dietary fibers in it. These dietary fibers help with the bowel movement and provide relief from constipation by ensuring that waste material gets excreted out of the body smoothly.
These were some of the major health benefits of walnuts. Although walnuts are good for our health and provide numerous health benefits but it is better to eat walnuts in moderation to avoid all the side effects of walnuts overeating.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, but I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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