Fun fact: Walnuts are the oldest known tree food — they date back to 10,000 BC!
Eating healthy means making the right choice as to what to eat. Aside from the more popular fruits and vegetables, nuts are also a great source of nutrients. Walnuts, in particular, hold surprising health benefits.
Grown in sub-tropical countries, walnuts are kernels from Juglan trees. There are about 30 cultivar types of walnuts in the world with English or Persian, Black, and White or butternut as the more popular. Walnuts have been attributed to intellectuality, because of its inside surface that looks like the human brain.
Walnuts contain 654 calories per 100 grams, but with zero cholesterol. An excellent source of energy, it is also packed with 13.71g of carbohydrates, 15.23 grams of protein, and 65.21g of fat. A larger portion of this fat is made up of monounsaturated fatty acids that manufacture more omega-3 fatty acids. The excellent load of monounsaturated fats in walnuts helps lower the bad cholesterol level, while increasing the good cholesterol level.
Walnuts are definitely rich in dietary fiber with 6.7g or 18% of the daily-recommended level per 100g. Dietary fiber is important for a healthy diet to improve bowel health and control blood sugar level. Because it is basically high in dietary fiber, walnuts make a great snack option when trying to lose weight because it makes you feel full faster and for a longer period of time.
This edible kernel provides an outstanding quantity of minerals including 167% DRA of copper, 148% DRA of manganese, 49% DRA of phosphorus, 39.5% DRA of magnesium, 36% DRA of iron, and 28% DRA of zinc.
Aside from its role in metabolism of energy, copper primarily helps in the manufacture of red blood cells. Magnesium, meanwhile, regulates blood pressure and builds strong bones and teeth. It also works along with calcium to perform some of its functions including muscle contraction.
Serving as a component of DNA and RNA is phosphorus, which sends nutrients to body organs for normal and proper functioning. Manganese finds importance in bone development as well as in wound healing. Iron assists in the transportation of oxygen to body cells by powering both hemoglobin and myoglobin. Zinc is an essential mineral for wound healing and protection of immune system.
Vitamins present in walnuts include vitamin E (139% DRA), pyridoxine (41% DRA), thiamine (28% DRA), and folates (24% DRA).
Vitamin E protects cell membranes and fights against free radicals, while vitamin B complex is involved in metabolism of fats, protein, and carbohydrates.
The Delicious Health Benefits of Walnuts
Effective Weight Loss Supplement
There have been many false notions that consumption of walnuts can cause weight gain. This is not the fact because continuous studies and research proved that regular consumption of this type of nuts promotes the otherwise. This is because walnuts have omega 3 which are good types of fats that boosts satiety and curbs appetite. Eating walnut will make you fell full for hours. This will help you regulate further food intake thus results to losing weight. If you are looking for an effective weight loss diet, associating walnuts in it will yield to visible and instant results. You can consume walnuts in between meals or for snacks to reduce further food intake during meals.
Improves Quality of Sleep
Melatonin’s presence in walnuts makes this food a great sleeping stimulator. Melatonin is the compound that travels the cycle of light and dark’s signals throughout the body. Eating walnuts heightens the melatonin amount in the blood vessels thus assuring quality sleeping hours. If you wish to improve your sleeping patterns, you must eat walnuts on a regular basis. This is good for those who suffer from sleeping disorders like insomnia.
Good for your Hair
Eating walnuts is good for the hair. It is proven to promote hair growth and to repair damage caused by external factors. If you are experiencing hair loss, eating walnuts will help negate that. Because of its Vitamin B7 content, it improves the quality of the hair. To keep your hair as healthy and as beautiful as possible, you must always eat walnuts.
Beautifies the Skin
Walnuts are rich sources of B-Vitamins that have skin nourishing effects. The antioxidants infused in this food defy the effects of ageing in the skin. Regular consumption of walnuts will help you in preserving the firmness of your skin even as you age. If you want a glowing, young looking, and flawless skin as you grow old, eat as much walnuts as you can.
Improves Heart Health
Walnuts have the highest antioxidant content as compared to all types of nuts and dietary plants. Its antioxidants are very powerful that they work together to optimize the condition of the heart. In addition to its antioxidant content, this type of nut also has Amino L-arginine that fights varieties of heart ailments. It also has omega-3 fat ALA or Alpha-Linolenic acid that eliminates possibilities of blood clots. Studies found that diets rich in ALA are less likely exposed to cardiac death for up to 50%. This is because of the ALA’s ability to normalize the body’s cholesterol levels. Having walnuts for at least once a day will guarantee lower risks of heart failure.
Eliminates Free Radicals
As mentioned above, walnuts contain powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants remove toxins from the body. Antioxidants also maintain healthy cells as well as repair the damaged ones. Specifically, walnuts have tannin tellimagrandin, flavanol, and quinine juglone that are unique and very effective antioxidants that can rarely be found in this type of nut. These antioxidants remarkably avoid and eliminate development of free radicals. Free radicals primarily trigger cancer and other serious illnesses in the heart and other internal organs.
Promotes Men’s Reproductive Health
Eating walnut can also improve the reproductive health especially that of men. It has been found that consumption of walnuts on a regular basis can boost the fertility of men and can avoid impotence. It contributes in men’s sex drive and can also heighten libido. Studies concluded that eating at least a half cup of walnuts everyday can enhance the quality, vitality, morphology and motility of the sperm.
Boosts Brain Functions
We always hear that nuts are food for a healthy and fully functional brain. Because of the neuroprotective compounds walnuts have, it specifically boosts the functionalities of the brain even as you grow old. Walnuts have high levels of melatonin, folate, omega-3 fats, vitamin E plus its unique antioxidants that support their power in elevating inferential reasoning, cognitive and motor functioning. It is given that as we age, brain functions deteriorate causing shorter memory, inability to cope with fast pace and loaded information, and difficulty to focus. If you associate walnuts in your diet, you will not only maintain a healthy brain but also aid its optimal functioning. This will greatly affect your performance at work or at school. If you have exams coming or if you are given a difficult task at work, eating walnuts will increase the quality of your performance and will make you more efficient and productive.
Stops Type 2 Diabetes
Because walnuts are rich in omega-3 fats, consumption of such is proven to prevent type 2 diabetes as well as lessen the condition of those who suffer from such. If you have type 2 diabetes, consuming at least one fourth cup of walnuts proves to reduce insulin level fasting. Walnut properties also strengthen the blood vessel walls as well as lower the fat composition in the blood. This is interconnected with the fact that walnuts are good for the heart because it avoids blood clots that can lead to heart attack.
Books on Walnuts & Healthy Cooking
- 8 Different Types of Nuts With Enormous Health Benefits – Snack on These Nuts Instead
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- Fun Facts of Walnuts