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Walnuts are one of the oldest known nuts, having been in use for over a thousand years. These are a type of tree nuts belonging to the walnut family. The most common type of walnut in use is the English Walnut, also known as the Persian Walnut.
Walnuts can be eaten as a snack in itself or can be used as a topping for salad, pasta, cereals, and in baked products.
Walnut oil is also a popular salad dressing. The benefits of eating walnuts are endless as these have been scientifically proven to provide the body with a plethora of essential nutrients. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fats, fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
Top Nutritional Facts About Walnuts
Here is a comprehensive list of all the essential nutrients that walnuts provide to your body:
- Contain a high amount of polyunsaturated fats and omega-3.
- Rich in copper, phosphorus, and manganese.
- Rich source of vitamin B6, E, and folic acid.
- Rich source of protein.
- Contain high amounts of healthy plant compounds, especially antioxidants such as ellagic acid, catechin, melatonin, and phytic acid.
- Rich in iron and calcium.
- Rich in carbs.
Common Benefits of Having Walnuts Every Day
The list above is just the surface of the health benefits that walnuts offer. Walnuts are beneficial for the brain, heart, bones, aids in digestion and weight loss. Let’s understand better.
1. Walnut Benefits for Brain Health
Walnuts are more popularly known as ‘brain food’ owing to their resemblance with the human brain. The anti-inflammatory benefits of walnuts protect the brain from damage. Eating walnuts has also been proven to improve memory, increase the processing speed of the brain and enhance mental flexibility. The high amount of polyunsaturated fats, polyphenols, and vitamin E present in the walnuts also helps in reducing damage and inflammation to the brain. Walnuts have also been linked to improving mood, learning skills, and reducing anxiety.
2. For a Healthy Heart
Walnuts contain monounsaturated fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid and linolenic acid, helping to ease inflammation and lower bad cholesterol in the body. They can also help in preventing the formation of blood clots, thereby promoting a healthy heart.
Walnuts can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, and walnut oil has more beneficial effects for endothelial activity, which is the lining of our blood and lymphatic vessels.
3. Walnut Benefits for Hair
Apart from keeping the hair strong and shiny, incorporating walnuts in your hair care regimen promotes a healthy scalp and reduces the chances of baldness. Consuming walnuts also helps in treating dandruff, strengthens your hair, and enhances the hair colour. The omega-3 fatty acids present in the walnut strengthen the hair follicles, promoting stronger and healthier hair.
Walnuts are also an excellent source of vitamin B, protein, and magnesium, which nourish the scalp. Eating walnuts helps combat the thinning of hair and promotes hair growth.
Also Read: 15 Health Benefits of Almonds
4. Helps in Boosting Metabolism
People with slow or sluggish metabolism can consume a handful of walnuts every day to boost metabolism. They are full of essential fatty acids and assist with metabolism, production, and growth, as well as other metabolic processes.
5. Walnut Benefits for Skin
Walnuts also have high quantities of vitamins B, E, and antioxidants such as ellagic acid, catechin, melatonin, and phytic acid. All of these nutrients help in preserving the health of the skin and the overall well-being of the skin. The richness of antioxidants and vitamin E helps in removing dead skin cells and dirt from the skin, thereby exfoliating the skin. Regular consumption of walnuts also boosts the skin by preventing fine lines and wrinkles, promoting healthy ageing of the skin.
6. Walnut Benefits in Pregnancy
Walnuts are healthful and highly recommended to be eaten during pregnancy to aid in developing a child’s brain. Maintaining a healthy intake of walnuts during pregnancy has been shown to improve IQ, memory, and concentration powers in the child.
Walnuts are a rich source of vitamins, protein, minerals, antioxidants, which promote a healthy pregnancy and baby’s brain development.
7. Good for Weight Loss
Although the major nutrient present in walnuts is fat, most of these are polyunsaturated fats. Further, they keep your appetite and hunger in control, hence assisting in weight loss. Unlike many other dry fruits, Walnuts do not cause weight gain. You can have a handful of walnuts at any time of the day to overcome hunger pangs and stay full for a while.
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8. Stronger Bone Health
The rich amount of calcium and copper present in walnuts helps maintain a high bone density. It also helps in bone formation. Walnuts assist with the body’s increased calcium absorption. They also decrease calcium excretion during metabolic processes.
9. Induces better mood
As already mentioned, Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the central nervous system to grow and function. There has been promising findings and clinical data to show that omega-3 fatty acids may well play a part in some mood disorders.
10. A healthy option for Diabetics
Walnuts help to develop insulin resistance, stabilize blood glucose levels, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. They have protein, good fat, and fibre with an outstanding serving. Diabetics should get them without fear since they do not contribute to the kilos.
Simple Ways To Add Walnuts to Your Diet
Walnuts can be eaten as a standalone snack or can be used for dressing salads, pasta, and cereals. Here are some of the ways walnuts can be eaten:
- Topped on salads.
- Topping on yogurt and oatmeal.
- Walnut oil can be used for salad dressing.
- Chopped walnuts can be used in pasta and baked food items.
- Finely ground to be used in a dip or sauce.
- Crushed walnut can be used for coating fish and chicken.
- You can make homemade granola with walnuts and a mixture of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.
Walnuts are one of the most nutritious food items available and are packed with all the essential nutrients needed by the body. They can be consumed in a variety of ways, which makes it easier for you to consume them. Incorporating walnuts into your diet offers a host of health benefits.