Health Benefits of Walnuts – The Brain Superfood
Often times, the simplest foods are best for your health, and this is certainly the case for nuts. Mother Nature has crafted a nearly perfect package of essential macro and micronutrients for the human body in walnuts. Walnuts are a rich source of healthy fats and antioxidants. It is known as “brain food” due to its beneficial effects on our brain. Read on to know about the several health benefits of walnuts!
Walnuts commonly referred to as ‘Akhrot’ in Hindi are round, single-seeded edible seeds which have a crinkly appearance. Walnuts are an important ingredient of many makeup and skin care brands due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Did You Know?
– The U.S. produces 75% of the world’s supply of walnuts
– If you want to preserve the taste of a walnut, do not shell it
– Walnuts were brought to California in the 18th century
– Walnut trees can live up to 250 years
Most of health benefits of walnuts are due to its omega-3 fatty acid content. Along with this, they are a rich source of vitamins like vitamin A , vitamin C , vitamin K and other B vitamins. They have minerals like calcium , magnesium , potassium , selenium and phosphorous . Walnuts are also rich in carotenoids, phytosterols and dietary fibers .
Health Benefits of Walnuts
Let’s explore some of the health benefits of walnuts in detail.
Good for Heart
Due to the high content of omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts are extremely beneficial for heart, especially in cases of cardiovascular diseases. They have an ample supply of mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and essential fatty acids like linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and arachidonic acids which help prevent coronary heart diseases by favouring a healthy lipid supply. Consumption of walnuts also helps in the production of HDL or “good” cholesterol and lowering the LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Know about functional foods for heart health here!
Good for Brain
The omega-3 fatty acid content of walnuts helps maintain proper functioning of the brain and nervous system and also aid in improving memory function. Scientific studies prove that a lack of omega-3 fatty acids causes hyperactivity and irritability. Walnuts compensate for the deficient essential fatty acids (EFAs) and uplift the mood; hence they help in battling depression and stress in adults.
Good for Immune System
Walnuts have a high number of antioxidants that help keep the body healthy and prevent the onset of many diseases. They contain an essential fatty acid named alpha-linoleic acid which leads to stronger and healthier bones. Omega-3 fatty acid also reduces inflammation and help prevent inflammatory diseases like asthma, arthritis and eczema. Black walnuts are excellent for cleansing the system from fungal infections like candida and various other fungal species.
Good for Digestive System
Walnuts are a great way of maintaining a proper digestive system as they are rich in dietary fibers. The dietary fibers help maintain proper bowel movement and keep digestive problems away.
In addition, they are also great for improving the overall metabolism of the body as they provide minerals like manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium to the body along with EFAs which help contribute to metabolic activities like growth and development, sperm generation, digestion, and nucleic acid synthesis.
Good for Pregnancy and Better Sleep
Walnuts contain healthy B vitamins like folates, riboflavin and thiamin which are immensely beneficial for pregnant women and the fetus. They also have a considerable amount of melatonin which is responsible for inducing and maintaining healthy sleep patterns. The omega-3 fatty acid content of walnuts is also responsible for maintaining normal blood pressure and relieving stress.
How do I include walnuts in my diet?
For integrating walnuts in your daily diet, you can add shredded walnuts to chicken and fish right before cooking them or you can simply ground some walnuts and add them on your sandwiches, salads or any other dish, for that matter. Applying walnut oil to hair can help keep the hair strong, thick and dandruff free. Walnut oil massaged on the skin can make it healthier, vibrant and supple.
Walnuts give a rich nutty taste that helps bring aroma and flavour to foods along with the health benefits it provides for the body.
If you are already a walnut consumer on a daily basis then feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments section below and help us know more about its amazing benefits!
Disclaimer: People allergic to walnuts should strictly avoid it, especially black walnuts as they may induce allergic reactions in the body. Walnuts also contain a compound called phytates which can absorb about 50% to 60% of the body’s iron content which can cause iron deficiency. Hence, excess consumption of walnuts should be avoided. If you are on prescription medication, consult your doctor before consuming walnuts.
100 grams of walnut provides 654 calories, Carbs – 14 g (Dietary fiber – 7 g), Fat – 65 g, Protein – 15 g, Sodium – 2 mg, Potassium – 441 mg
And a percentage daily value of Vitamin A – 0%, Vitamin C – 2%, Calcium – 9%, Iron- 16%, Vitamin B6 – 25%, and Magnesium – 39% (based on a 2000 Calorie diet).