Walnuts are nuts belonging to Genus Juglans. Botanically walnuts are not true nuts but seeds of the drupe. They are an excellent source of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and Omega fatty acids, etc, and provide many health and beauty benefits. However, there are also some side effects of overeating walnuts.
Side Effects Of Overeating Walnuts
Following are the major side effects of eating too many walnuts.
(1) Promotes Weight Gain
Dietary fibers in walnuts provide stomach satiety and control overeating, a major cause of obesity.
As per a one-year study at the Linda University, California individuals who ate 35 grams of walnuts per day for one year didn’t show significant signs of weight gain despite their high calories.
However, overeating walnuts may lead to weight gain because of their high calorific value of 654 calories per 100 grams.
If you are already getting enough calories through other food sources then calories from overeating walnuts may contribute to weight gain.
For proper weight management, eat walnuts in moderation.
Avoid salted walnuts as they increase water retention and fat accumulation.
Avoid roasted walnuts and fried walnuts as the former are deprived of healthy fats, and later may have unhealthy fats.
If the oil used for frying walnuts is unhealthy or contaminated then it’s an even bigger problem.
(2) May Cause Allergic Reactions
Walnuts provide many health and beauty benefits as they are abundant in nutrients.
However, avoid walnuts if you suffer from tree nut allergy as they may cause allergic reactions like abdominal pain, upset stomach, diarrhea, trouble swelling, itching of mouth, throat, skin, and other body regions, shortness of breath, wheezing, nasal congestion, and runny nose, etc.
People with a tree nut allergy are likely to be allergic to almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, and pistachios.
If you experience any allergic reaction or discomfort after eating walnuts, discontinue the use and immediately consult a doctor.
(3) May Cause Skin Rashes And Irritation
Walnuts provide many beauty benefits and are often added to cosmetic products like Exfoliators, cleansers, and face packs, etc.
However, in some people, the walnut extract may cause allergic reactions like skin irritation, swelling, rashes, and itching, etc.
If you have a tree nut allergy, you are at higher risk of having skin allergies from walnut products.
Do a patch test before using any cosmetic product involving walnuts.
If you experience any signs of reaction or another discomfort, avoid the use and consult a doctor.
Overeating walnuts may also trigger skin reactions.
(4) May Cause & Worsen Diarrhea
Dietary fibers in walnuts are natural laxatives that relieve constipation and other digestive problems like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and flatulence, etc.
However, when walnuts are consumed in excess then they may trigger diarrhea because of the high fiber content and high fats in them.
Walnuts are at a higher risk of carrying allergens that may worsen the conditions of diarrhea and other digestive problems.
Eat walnuts in moderation to reduce diarrhea risk.
If you have diarrhea, avoid walnuts and consult your doctor.
(5) May Cause Nausea
When our immune system encounters the allergens present in the walnuts, it stimulates the white blood cells to produce histamine.
Histamine is an organic compound involved in primary immune response as it allows the permeability of capillaries to the white blood cells and some proteins and allows them to deal with the allergens.
In small quantities, histamine is not a problem and is even required by our body.
However, overeating walnuts may increase histamine levels in the body, and give rise to allergic reactions like nausea, hives, itchy or flushed skin, red eyes, facial swelling, runny nose and congestion, headache, or asthma attacks.
(6) Not Safe For Pregnant And Nursing Women
When consumed in moderation and doctor’s supervision, walnuts may help in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Antioxidants in walnuts protect the fetus from free radical damage.
Omega-3 fatty acid and the folic acid in the walnuts promote the brain development of the fetus, and folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida.
Walnuts regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of gestational diabetes often experienced during 24-28 weeks of pregnancy.
However, allergens present in walnuts may trigger allergic reactions in some individuals.
They are high in calories and may contribute to weight gain when consumed in excess.
Dietary fibers in walnuts may trigger diarrhea and other digestive problems.
If you have a tree nut allergy, avoid walnuts.
For this reason, consult with your doctor before adding walnuts to your pregnancy or nursing routine.
(7) May Cause Lip Cancer
Long-term application of walnut extract on the lips may increase the risk of lip cancer as it contains a cancer compound called “Juglone”.
Juglone is a clear liquid (prejuglone) that is non-toxic when it is in the tree.
However, when the tree cells containing prejuglone are damaged, cut, or injured, it immediately oxidizes and become toxic.
(8) Not Suitable For Asthmatic Patients
Vitamin E in walnut reduces lung inflammation and airway inflammation and is beneficial against asthma and other respiratory disorders.
However, in some individuals, allergens in walnuts may trigger and worsen asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing, and rapid breathing, etc.
If you have asthma but are not allergic to walnuts, consult your doctor to find out if you can eat walnuts and to eliminate any food-drug intolerance risk.
Stick with the serving suggested by your doctor, and don’t go overboard.
(9) Walnuts And Breathing Difficulties
Allergens in walnuts may cause swelling of the throat, tongue, and even lungs.
In some cases, it may even cause breathing difficulties.
Avoid walnuts if you are allergic to them.
(10) Walnut Leaves May Cause Acne And Ulcers
Walnut leaves are often used on the skin for treating swelling, excessive sweating, and skin conditions like acne, eczema, ulcers, and infections.
However, avoid doing the same if you are allergic to walnuts (Tree nut allergy) as walnut leaves may trigger allergic reactions like skin irritation, itching, rashes, and swelling.
They may even cause and worsen acne, eczema, and ulcers.
To stay safe, do a patch test before using.
If you experience any allergic reaction or discomfort, discontinue the use, and consult a skin specialist.
(11) Walnuts And Blood Sugar Levels
Walnuts help in managing diabetes as it slowly releases sugar into the bloodstream, and prevents a sudden spike in blood sugar level.
The dietary fibers in walnuts slow down sugar absorption by the bloodstream and regulate blood sugar levels.
However, overeating walnuts may drop blood sugar abnormally, and cause symptoms like shakiness, dizziness, excessive sweating, excessive hunger, fast heartbeat, confusion, and irritability or moodiness.
Walnuts may interfere with diabetic medication.
Consult with your doctor before adding walnuts to your diet to ensure there is no food-drug intolerance.
(12) Walnuts And Regulating Blood Pressure
Walnuts contain 441 mg of potassium per 100 grams.
Potassium relaxes blood vessels and improves blood circulation.
This provides relief from hypertension or high blood pressure, a common cause of cardiovascular problems.
Avoid eating too many walnuts as the high potassium levels may drop blood pressure abnormally.
It may cause symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, nausea, trouble breathing, irregular heartbeat, dehydration, lack of concentration, blurred vision, and pale skin, etc.
Walnuts may interact with blood pressure medication.
If you are on blood pressure medication, consult with your doctor before eating walnuts to eliminate food-drug intolerance.
(13) Interaction With Certain Medications
Walnuts are loaded with essential nutrients and provide many health and beauty benefits.
However, they may interact with certain medications and reduce their effectiveness.
If you are on any medication then you should eat walnuts after consulting with a doctor to reduce food-drug intolerance risk.
(14) Eating Walnuts During And After Surgery
Essential fats like Omega-3 fatty acids in the Walnuts increase our body’s efficiency to absorb nutrients and promote healing.
However, walnuts may interact with the drugs prescribed for healing.
Consult with your doctor to ensure there’s no food-drug intolerance risk.
This article provides general information about the topic and is not be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice, treatment, and/or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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