Consumed throughout the world, walnuts are far from your regular ol’ nut. Deeming walnuts as merely a healthy food will be a gross understatement!
It is safe to say that walnuts are an old testament and have been around for generations. Growing on walnut trees, this single-seeded stone fruit originated in Persia thousands of years ago. It was referred to as “Jupiter’s Royal Acorn” in Ancient Rome.
These nutrition-packed fruits are rich in fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins. They are very versatile and easy to incorporate into all your favorite foods. These range from salads to desserts. Walnuts make not only a healthy but also a delicious addition to your meals.
Available to purchase as raw or roasted, walnuts carry a ton of health benefits! We will be helping you learn some of them in this article.
Nutritional Significance Of Walnuts
They Are a Rich Source Of Healthy Fats
Walnuts are a generous source of healthy monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is an essential fatty acid and is extremely beneficial to your health.
A 28g serving of walnuts contains 2.5g of ALA (Plant source Omega-3 acid). This is more than the adequate intake required for both males and females in a day. Therefore, a cup of walnuts is a blissful source of your daily requirement of healthy Omega-3 fats.
Walnuts Have An Exquisite Vitamin And Mineral Content
The list of minerals and nutrients that walnuts are rich in is a long one. It is a great source of various significant minerals like manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron. The mineral content in walnuts is so rich that a 30g serving contains:
- More than 10% of your daily iron requirement
- About 15% of your daily magnesium requirement.
Along with these minerals, walnuts are also a rich source of Biotin (A b vitamin). Biotin is a nutrient important for your hair. Walnuts are also an amazing source of Vitamin E and vitamin B6 that contributes significantly towards your mental health.
We told you that walnut is not your run-of-the-mill nut. It contains a higher amount of antioxidants than any other common nut.
This antioxidant activity is a result of its rich vitamin E, Melatonin, and polyphenols (plant compounds). These antioxidants present in walnuts play a significant role in preventing damage to the body from bad cholesterol.
Glycemic Index Of Walnuts
Walnuts are a nutritious and delicious type of tree nut that is known for their potential health benefits. The glycemic index (GI) of a food is a measure of how quickly it raises blood sugar levels. Here is what you need to know about the glycemic index of walnuts:
- Walnuts have a low glycemic index: Walnuts have a low glycemic index, which means that they are less likely to cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels compared to foods with a high glycemic index. Foods with a low glycemic index are generally considered to be better for blood sugar control and may be beneficial for people with diabetes or at risk for developing diabetes.
- Walnuts may have other health benefits: In addition to having a low glycemic index, walnuts are also a good source of nutrients such as fiber, protein, and healthy fats. They are also a good source of antioxidants, which may help to protect against oxidative stress and chronic diseases.
- Walnuts should be used in moderation: While walnuts have a low glycemic index and may offer some health benefits, it is important to use them in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Like any other food, eating too many walnuts can contribute to excess calorie intake and weight gain.
In conclusion, walnuts have a low glycemic index and may offer some potential health benefits. However, it is important to use them in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. If you have diabetes or are at risk for developing diabetes, it is always a good idea to talk to your healthcare professional about incorporating walnuts into your diet.
How Does Walnut Benefit Your Health?
Significant Benefits to Brain Functioning And Health
Although, it might be a freaky coincidence that walnut is shaped like our brains. This unusually shaped fruit has been proven to contribute significantly to an improvement in brain health and functioning.
The nutrients along with the polyunsaturated fats, polyphenols, and vitamin E can help reduce inflammation in the brain. This contributes significantly towards maintaining healthy brain and body function. The Omega-3 fatty acids play an extremely important role in reducing any oxidative stress on the brain. These EFA’s also help in Neurogenesis (neuron creation) and play an important role in improving brain signaling.
Walnuts Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
Numerous studies have shown that the consumption of walnuts may help reduce the risk of numerous types of cancers. The most prominent ones are prostate, breast, and colorectal cancer.
We are aware of how walnuts are rich in polyphenols. Certain microbes help convert these antioxidants into Urolithins. Urolithins have strong anti-inflammatory properties, especially in the gut allowing them to prevent colorectal and prostate cancer. Their hormone-like properties also help block hormone receptors and prevent hormone-based cancers like breast and prostate cancer.
The Omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts paired with these antioxidants are also known to fight cancer
Helps You Manage Your Weight
Although nuts have a high caloric content, walnuts are rich in healthy fats and nutrients. The vast combination of these healthy fats, fibers, and protein provides a sense of fullness to an individual upon consumption. This feeling of fullness might help assist in controlling your appetite and contribute towards weight loss.
This very property of walnuts makes it an amazing alternative for snacks. In comparison to chips and crackers, they are much healthier. Snacking on walnuts regularly may help you control your weight in a very effective manner.
May Be Beneficial For Managing Irregularities In Blood Pressure And Maintaining a Healthy Heart
It is very safe to say that having abnormally high blood pressure carries numerous health issues. High blood pressure can have a significant negative impact on your cardiovascular health. Walnuts have a significant potassium and calcium content which helps lower blood pressure.
Moreover, walnuts contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats like alpha-linolenic acid and linolenic acid which helps lower bad cholesterol levels and significantly improve good cholesterol in the body, and also lower your triglyceride levels. This contributes significantly to a healthy heart and also reduces the risk of strokes.
In A Nutshell
For over 50 years numerous scientists have gathered annually to discuss walnuts at a “Walnut Conference”. No! that is not a joke.
The health benefits of walnuts are so vast that individuals have dedicated years of their lives to studying it.
The benefits listed above are a few from a long long list. However, we do hope that we’ve given you some much-needed insight into this “common nut”. Hopefully enough for you to consider making it a part of your daily routine.