Walnuts – Benefits, Nutrition, Uses, and More
August 11, 2023
August 11, 2023
Walnuts are often referred to as “brain food” due to their resemblance to the brain and their potential to enhance brain function. Numerous studies have demonstrated that incorporating walnuts into one’s diet on a regular basis can have positive effects on cognitive abilities. Moreover, walnuts are highly versatile and can be easily included in various meals and snacks. They offer a wide range of essential nutrients, including potassium, iron, zinc, and magnesium, which further contribute to their overall nutritional value.
These tree nuts have little sodium, are cholesterol-free, and are loaded with good omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, people in the late 700 BC regarded walnuts as ‘the royal nut’. Back then, it was only for the royals. Since walnuts originated in Persia, it is known as Persian walnuts.
Walnuts contain 65% fat and 15% protein content. Being a tree nut, it has negligible carbohydrate content. The carbohydrate in walnuts is primarily due to their fibre content.
The nutritional value of 100 grams of walnuts is as follows:-
Walnuts have high fibre, protein, omega-3 and omega-6 content. These nutrients together act as appetite suppressants. Furthermore, walnuts stimulate the right insula of the brain which boosts the quantity of peptide YY (PYY), a hormone that increases satiety and makes the stomach feel full for a longer time.
A study suggests that a walnut-induced diet promotes better weight loss than other energy diets. Including walnuts in your diet on a daily basis not just aids weight loss but may also help in weight management.
As per studies, the vitamin B content in walnuts helps boost energy levels. You can add some walnuts to a cup of yoghurt and eat a handful as a mid-morning snack or add it to a smoothie for breakfast to boost energy levels.
Walnuts are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. Walnuts also possess more polyphenolic compounds than any other nut. Both omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols are essential foods for your brain. Studies link low levels of omega-3 to mood disorders and thus walnuts can help with mood stability and eliminate depression or anxiety.
Reports suggest that early and long-term nutritional intervention with walnuts may have beneficial effects in maintaining cognitive function and protecting against age-related cognitive decline. It also reduces the risk, delays the onset, or slows the cognitive impairment and dementia progression.
Walnuts contain potent antioxidants and vitamin E, which can make your skin look healthy and supple. In addition, vitamin E helps fight free radical damage caused due to oxidative stress.
Free radicals damage your skin cells and lead to premature ageing and other skin issues. Thus, consuming walnuts may help improve your skin health. Walnut oil is a great remedy for dry and dull skin. It nourishes the skin from within and keeps it moisturised.
Research has shown that walnuts are full of essential fatty acids that can boost metabolism, and help with digestion, growth, development, and other metabolic processes.
A study suggests that a dietary supplement of 45 g of walnuts for 16 weeks may improve metabolic syndrome status (MetS) by increasing the concentration of HDL-C and decreasing fasting glucose levels.
Oxidative stress and inflammation are key reasons behind age-related conditions like dementia. Walnuts contain multiple components that have additive or synergistic effects in suppressing inflammation and oxidative damage.
Inflammation also leads to many other diseases like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis and allergies. Consuming walnuts every day may help in combating these diseases better.
Walnuts encourage a healthy lipid supply due to an abundance of omega-3 fats like alpha-linolenic acid and linolenic acid. Studies suggest that a serving of walnuts a day helps lower cholesterol and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. They are also beneficial in lowering high blood pressure.
Research says that biochemicals, including omega-3 fatty acids, tocopherols etc., present in walnuts have cancer-prevention properties. These components present in walnuts can contribute to suppressing the risk of developing prostate, breast, or pancreatic cancers.
Research proves that the addition of walnuts to your daily diet may increase sperm count, quality and mobility. Walnuts may also help prevent sperm morphology or abnormal sperm growth.
The fatty acids present in walnuts prevent the loss of scalp hair and eyebrows. In addition, they help nourish and strengthen your hair to improve hair health.
Massaging your scalp with walnut oil may help stimulate dormant hair follicles and thereby improve its luster. The light texture of the oil allows it to penetrate deep into the hair shaft, moisturise it and reduce dandruff. The anti-inflammatory properties of walnuts help soothe and relax an inflamed scalp.
The high biotin, vitamin E and vitamin B in walnuts help strengthen your nails and improve nail health.
Walnuts contain an amino acid named tryptophan which helps in regulating the body’s clock. Our body uses this amino acid to produce serotonin and melatonin, both involved in regulating sleep.
Thus, having walnuts before bedtime may help improve your sleep quality and support better health, both physical and mental.
Walnuts offer various benefits: aiding weight loss, boosting energy, promoting brain health, improving skin condition, boosting metabolism, reducing inflammation, supporting heart health, preventing cancer, improving fertility, strengthening hair and nails, and promoting better sleep due to their nutrient content.
The fibre content of walnuts may cause issues for your digestive system. While moderate amounts catalyse digestion, too many walnuts can lead to gastronomical issues like diarrhoea, bloating and stomach pain.
Eating too many walnuts can also cause kidney stones because of their high oxalate content.
As in the case of most nuts, walnuts are notorious allergens. People susceptible to allergies or having any nut allergy should be careful when consuming walnuts.
Symptoms of a walnut allergy include nausea, shortness of breath, difficulty in swallowing, itching in the mouth, throat, or eyes, and nasal congestion. Some people can also get contact dermatitis, i.e. development of hives or rashes on the skin right after they come in contact with walnuts.
Granted that walnuts suppress appetite and facilitate weight loss, their excessive consumption works in the opposite direction. These nuts are dense in calories which can contribute to fat accumulation leading to weight gain.
Excessive consumption of walnuts can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea, bloating, and stomach pain. They can also contribute to kidney stone formation due to their high oxalate content. People with nut allergies should be cautious as walnuts can cause allergic reactions. Additionally, overeating walnuts can result in weight gain due to their calorie density.
You can eat raw walnuts or can incorporate them into your diet in many ways:
Walnuts are readily available, and you can add them to countless dishes.
Walnuts are single-seeded, spherical stone fruits that grow on the walnut tree. They are high in healthy fats, protein, and fibre. They may improve heart and bone health and aid in weight management, among other things. Salads can be topped with chopped walnuts. Make homemade granola using walnuts and a mix of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Use walnuts to make a pesto sauce to serve over pasta or flatbread. Chop walnuts and fruit and sprinkle over yoghurt.
Walnuts have a range of benefits, from improving heart health and brain health to good and improved hair, skin, and nails. It also reduces inflammation and helps you to fight various degenerative diseases. Consuming walnuts daily and in the correct proportion will result in a happy and healthy diet.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionists Here
A. Consuming 4-5 walnuts can help you reap its benefits.
A. Adding walnuts to your diet may improve heart health, brain health, promote weight management and keep blood pressure in check. In addition, walnuts also help in improving skin and hair health.
A. Walnuts are dense in calories, and you should consume them in moderation to reduce the risk of gaining weight. They may also lead to kidney stones because of the oxalate content present in them. High consumption of walnuts may cause diarrhoea, stomach pain or bloating due to their fibre-rich content. Walnuts can lead to high levels of phytate in the body, an anti-nutrient that hinders mineral absorption in the body.
A. The best time to eat walnuts is in the morning. You can soak walnuts at night and consume them on an empty stomach. Alternatively, you may have them before bed at night.
A. Improved cognitive function, healthy heart, younger-looking skin, better metabolism, weight management, etc., are some of the benefits of walnut consumption. Eating walnuts can also have a positive effect on one’s fertility.
A. Too many walnuts can lead to high levels of phytate in the body, an anti-nutrient. Phytate hinders mineral absorption in the body. Walnuts are dense in calories, and you should consume them in moderation to reduce the risk of gaining weight. They may also cause kidney stones because of the oxalate content present in them.
A. Ideally, you should eat walnuts early in the morning on an empty stomach. Though there is no specific best time to eat walnuts. They can be consumed as a snack between meals, added to breakfast, incorporated into salads or desserts, or enjoyed at any time that fits your dietary preferences and nutritional needs.
A. Individuals with nut allergies or those who experience adverse reactions to walnuts should avoid consuming them. Additionally, people with digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or those prone to kidney stone formation may need to limit or avoid walnuts based on their specific conditions.
A. Yes, walnuts can be eaten on an empty stomach. They can provide a nutritious and satisfying snack option or be incorporated into breakfast or meals, regardless of whether the stomach is empty or not.
A. Walnuts contain an amino acid named tryptophan which helps in regulating the body clock. This amino acid helps in regulating the sleep cycle.
A. Soaking walnuts in water reduces the phytic acid present in them which hinders mineral consumption by our bodies. Furthermore, soaked walnuts are softer, have a more buttery taste and are easily digested. Thus, it’s advisable to soak them overnight before consumption.
A. No, they help in regulating blood pressure. Walnuts encourage a healthy lipid supply due to an abundance of omega-3 fats like alpha-linolenic acid and linolenic acid. One serving of walnuts a day helps lower cholesterol and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. They are also beneficial in lowering high blood pressure.
A. Yes, walnuts contain omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that not only reduce bad cholesterol but even boost good cholesterol production.
A. Yes! Walnuts help to reduce bad cholesterol while reducing plaque formation, facilitating blood flow. Therefore, in the sense of the word, obstacles in the path of the blood are reduced helping the blood flow better.
A. Yes, walnuts are low glycemic index foods with high fibre content. They take longer to break down and digest, which ensures a slow release of sugar in the bloodstream.
A. Both walnuts and almonds offer various health benefits and choosing one over the other may be subject to personal choice and motive. Almonds may be the option for weight loss while one may choose walnuts for better brain health.
A. Yes. Walnuts increase brain power. Early and long-term nutritional intervention with walnuts may have beneficial effects in maintaining cognitive function and protecting against age-related cognitive decline. It also helps reduce the risk, delay the onset, or slow the cognitive impairment and dementia progression.
A. Approximately, one walnut has 28 calories.
A. Yes, when consumed in moderation, it is suitable for weight loss. Walnuts have high fibre, protein, omega-3 and omega-6 content which together act as appetite suppressants. The high fibre content gives satiety for extended periods. Hence, including walnuts in your diet helps in weight loss.
A. Improved cognitive function, healthy heart, younger-looking skin, better metabolism, weight management, etc., are some of the benefits of walnut consumption.
A. Yes, The fatty acids present in walnuts prevent the loss of scalp hair and eyebrows. In addition, they help nourish and strengthen your hair to improve hair health. Massaging your scalp with walnut oil may help stimulate dormant hair follicles and thereby improve its luster. The light texture of the oil allows it to penetrate deep into the hair shaft, moisturise it and reduce dandruff. The anti-inflammatory properties of walnuts help soothe and relax an inflamed scalp.
A. No, walnuts do not cause hair loss. In fact, the nutrients present in walnuts, such as fatty acids and vitamins, can contribute to improving hair health and preventing hair loss when consumed as part of a balanced diet.
A. Walnuts are the best nuts for the brain. Early and long-term nutritional intervention with walnuts may have beneficial effects in maintaining cognitive function and protecting against age-related cognitive decline. It also helps reduce the risk, delay the onset, or slow the cognitive impairment and dementia progression.
A. Both these nuts have their own unique micronutrient profile with their own set of benefits. Nutritionally, they are equitable but have different strengths and one may choose one over the other depending on their health objective.
A. Both almonds and walnuts are considered beneficial for brain health. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, while walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, both of which support brain function.