Walnuts: The Powerhouse of Nutrients
Healthy Living

Walnuts: The Powerhouse of Nutrients

Elina Dawoodani profile Authored by Elina Dawoodani on 13 Oct 2014 - 14:06.

Nuts and oilseeds are powerhouses of nutrients. They have a melange of nutrients found in no other food.They are believed to have amazing health benefits and hence make for a healthy snack.

Though nuts contain high fat content, walnuts is one which contains high value nutrients along with fat. Interestingly they also resemble the brain in its shape and structure and therefore it’s believed to bring with it, the intellectual quality.

Walnuts are basically edible kernels and they belong to the Juglandaceae family. Walnuts also have non-food applications. They have been used for preparation of inks and dyes for writing and for cleaning of aviation parts.

Walnuts contain the following nutrients:

 A study published in the Journal of Medical Association of Thailand in the year 2012 titled ‘Antioxidant activity comparison of walnuts and fatty fish’ found that the antioxidant capacity in walnuts is significantly higher than in fatty fishes and thus they concluded that ‘walnuts in the daily diet may be beneficial to maintain an antioxidant status in the body. ’ They are also a good source of proteins, fiber and many other vitamins and minerals.

The table below lists the nutrients for 100 g of walnuts: 
(Source: USDA National Nutrient Database)

Energy

654 kcal

Carbohydrates

13.7 g

Proteins

15.2 g

Fats

65.2 g

Cholesterol

0 mg

Dietary fiber

6.7 g

Vitamin A

20 IU

Vitamin C

1.3 mg

Vitamin E

20.8 mg

Vitamin K

2.7 mcg

Thiamin

0.3 mg

Riboflavin

0.15 mg

Niacin

1.12 mg

Pantothenic acis

0.5 mg

Magnesium

158 mg

Folates

98 mcg

Sodium

2 mg

Potassium

441 mg

Calcium

98 mg

Iron

2.9 mg

Zinc

3.09 mg

Health benefits of walnuts are:

1. Learning and memory functions

Walnuts are rich in omega 3 which have beneficial effects on brain functions. Studies prove that ‘walnut may exert its hypophagic and nootropic actions via an enhancement of brain 5-HT metabolism’ which in turn increases the learning capacity and concentration.

2. Prevention of coronary heart diseases

Most of the nuts contain monounsaturated fatty acids, but walnuts are rich in n3 and n6 fatty acids. They are unique since they have low lysine to arginine ratio and high levels of arginine, folate, fiber and polyphenol. Scientific evidences have also established the fact that walnuts contain components that lower cholesterol levels and thus play a key role in prevention of coronary diseases.

3. Semen production and quality

According to a study published in the journal ‘Biology of Production’, consumption of walnuts improves sperm vitality, motility and morphology.

4. Weight loss

Since walnuts are rich in proteins and fiber, they provide with good satiety and can be helpful for weight loss. Though they are high in calories, the trick is to eat in moderation.

5. Cures insomnia

Walnuts contain a hormone called melatonin which induces sleep and gives peace to the mind. They help in regulating the sleep and thus cure insomnia.

6. Prevention of breast cancer

Consumption of 14 whole walnuts a day keeps breast cancer at bay, suggests a study at the Marshall University of Medicine. Following this routine for around a month will help especially if you have family history of cancers.

7. Reduces diabetes

The Harvard School of Public health conducted a research on women to see the impact of walnut consumption on diabetes. The results: Significant reduction of upto 30 percent in blood glucose levels were observed in patients suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. This is so because Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fatty acids help in lowering insulin sensitivity.

8. Stress busting properties

A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition proved that walnuts lowers blood pressure to a great extent. Hence a diet which involves walnuts and walnut oil helps in combating stress.

9. Controls hair fall

Walnuts possess vitamin B7, also known as Biotin, which strengthens hair, controls hair fall and extends hair life.

10. Makes skin healthy

Walnuts have astringent properties and helps skin from becoming dry and flaky. The antioxidant content of walnuts makes skin healthy.

The outermost skin of walnuts : The outer layer of walnuts or the thin skin which is often thrown away for its bitter taste is the component of walnuts which has highest amount of antioxidants. A study in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that ‘walnuts and similar foods that are rich in antioxidants can decrease the enhanced vulnerability to oxidative stress that occurs in aging and these reductions are expressed as improvements in behavior. It also increases the health span and enhances cognitive and motor function in aging.

 

References:

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22895856

2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21677123

3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23130505

4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19640963

5.http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/19/7-walnuts-...

6. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/walnuts.html

*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.