Walnuts (scientific name is Juglans regia ) is a nut from a walnut tree.
They originated in the Mediterranean and Central Asia regions, being part of human diets for thousands of years.
The nuts are rich in omega-3 fats and contain more antioxidants than most other foods. Eating walnuts can improve brain health and help prevent heart disease and cancer .
Walnuts are often eaten right away as snacks. However, they can also be added to salads, pasta, breakfast cereals, soups and baked goods.
They are also used to make an expensive cooking oil is often used in salad dressings.
This is walnut:
Sometimes they are referred to as ordinary walnuts, British walnuts or Persian walnuts.
Another breed related to other commercial interests is (Juglans nigra), native to North America.
Walnuts include 65% fat and a small amount of protein (only about 15%). They contain less carbs, mostly fiber.
The table below contains nutritional information in walnuts :
|Saturated fat||6.13 g|
|Monounsaturated fat||8.93 g|
|Polyunsaturated fat||47.17 g|
Walnuts contain about 65% fat by weight .
Like other nuts, most of the energy ( calories ) In walnuts are all derived from fat. This makes them a high calorie and energy-rich food.
However, although walnuts are high in fat and calories, studies show that they do not increase the risk of obesity when replacing other foods in the diet .
Walnuts are also rich in polyunsaturated fats than most other nuts. The most abundant fat is omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid.
They also contain a relatively high percentage of healthy omega-3 fats called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This constitutes about 8-14% of total fat .
In fact, only walnuts are nuts that contain a significant amount of ALA .
ALA is considered to be particularly beneficial for cardiovascular health. It also helps reduce inflammation and improves the composition of blood fats .
ALA is also a precursor to long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are linked to many health benefits .
Summary: Walnuts contain mostly polyunsaturated fats. They contain relatively high levels of omega-3 fats, which are associated with various health benefits.
Vitamins and minerals
Walnuts are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Copper: This mineral enhances heart health. It also helps maintain bone, nerve and immune function .
- Folic acid: Also known as folate or vitamin B9, folic acid has many important biological functions. The lack of folic acid during pregnancy can cause birth defects .
- Phosphorus: About 1% of our body is made up of phosphorus, a mineral mainly found in bones. This substance has many functions in the body .
- Vitamin B6: This vitamin can boost the immune system and support neural health. Vitamin B6 deficiency may cause anemia .
- Mangan: This mineral is found most in nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Vitamin E: Compared to other nuts, walnuts contain a lot of vitamin E in a special form called gamma-tocopherol .
Summary: Walnut is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including copper, folic acid, phosphorus, vitamin B6, manganese and vitamin E.
Other plant compounds
Walnut contains a complex mixture of biologically active plant compounds.
They are especially rich in antioxidants, concentrated in thin brown skin .
In fact, walnuts ranked second in a study investigating the antioxidant content of 1113 foods commonly eaten in the US .
Some notable compounds found in walnuts include:
- Ellagic Acid: This antioxidant is found in high amounts in walnuts along with other related compounds such as ellagitannin. Ellagic acid may reduce the risk of heart disease and help prevent cancer formation .
- Catechin: Catechin is a flavonoid antioxidant that can have many health benefits. It may also enhance cardiovascular health .
- Melatonin: This nerve hormone helps regulate the body clock. It is also a powerful antioxidant that can reduce the risk of heart disease .
- Phytic acid: Also known as phytate, phytic acid can reduce the absorption of minerals, such as iron and zinc from the gastrointestinal tract .
Summary: Walnuts are one of the richest sources of antioxidants. These include ellagic acid, ellagitannin, catechin and melatonin.
Health benefits of walnuts
Eating walnuts is related to some health benefits. These include reducing the risk of heart disease, possible cancer prevention and improving brain function.
Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, is a broad term used for chronic diseases related to the heart and blood vessels.
In many cases, heart disease can be prevented with healthy living habits, such as eating nuts .
Walnuts are no exception. In fact, many studies have shown that eating walnuts can counteract risk factors for heart disease by:
- Lower LDL, "bad" cholesterol .
- Reduce inflammation .
- Improve the function of blood vessels, reduce the risk of plaque build up in arteries .
These effects may be due to the beneficial fat content as well as the abundance of walnuts.
Summary : Walnuts are a rich source of antioxidants and healthy fats. They may also reduce some risk factors for heart disease, especially when combined with other healthy living habits.
Prevention of cancer
Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by abnormal cell growth.
Many types of cancer can be prevented by healthy eating , exercise and avoid unhealthy living habits.
Because of the rich source of beneficial plant compounds, walnuts can be an effective part of the cancer prevention diet .
- Walnuts contain some bioactive ingredients that may have anti-cancer properties. Include:
- Phytosterols .
- Gamma-tocopherol .
- Omega-3 fatty acids .
- Ellagic acid and related compounds .
- Many antioxidant polyphenols .
Observational studies have linked regular consumption of nuts to reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancer .
This is based on animal studies that eating walnuts can prevent cancer from developing in the breast, prostate, colon and kidneys .
However, before stronger statements can be made, these benefits need to be confirmed by human clinical studies.
Summary : Consuming walnuts can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. However, more research is needed before making certain conclusions.
Some studies in humans have shown that eating nuts may improve brain function. They also show that walnuts can help reduce depression and age-related brain function decline .
Research in the elderly involves regular consumption of walnuts with significant memory improvement .
However, these studies are only observational and therefore cannot prove walnuts are the cause of improving brain function. Studies investigating the effect of eating walnuts directly provide stronger evidence.
An eight-week study in 64 healthy, young adults found that eating walnuts improved awareness. However, significant improvements in nonverbal reasoning, memory and mood have not been discovered .
However, walnuts are also shown to improve brain function in animals.
In another study, Alzheimer's mice were fed walnuts every day for 10 months. Their memory and study skills have been significantly improved .
Similarly, studies in older mice showed that eating walnuts for eight weeks reversed age-related brain function decline .
These effects may be due to the high antioxidant content of walnuts. However, omega-3 fatty acids contained therein may also play a role .
Summary : A diet rich in walnuts can improve brain function and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease. However, the evidence is limited and more research is needed in humans.
Side effects and concern personal
In general, walnuts are very healthy. However, some people may be allergic to them.
Walnuts can also reduce mineral absorption in some individuals.
Walnut is one of the eight most allergenic foods .
In addition, symptoms of allergies to walnuts are often particularly serious. Walnuts sometimes cause allergy shock (hypersensitivity), which can be fatal without treatment.
People who are allergic to walnuts should absolutely avoid taking them.
Reduce steaming collection mineral matter
Like all nuts and walnuts with high levels of phytic acid .
Phytic acid, or phytate, is a plant substance that weakens the absorption of minerals, such as iron and zinc, from the gastrointestinal tract. This only occurs in foods with high levels of phytate.
People who adhere to the diet are rich in phytic acid but less iron and zinc are at higher risk of mineral deficiency.
Summary : Walnuts are particularly healthy fruits. However, some people may be very allergic to them.
Walnuts can also reduce mineral absorption in some individuals.
Walnuts are rich in heart fat and contain many antioxidants.
In addition, regular consumption of walnuts can improve brain health and help prevent heart disease and cancer.
This nut can be easily combined in the diet because it can be eaten immediately or added to many different foods.
Simply put, eating walnuts can be one of the easiest things you can do to improve your health.