Walnut – Health in a Nut Shell!

by Head Health Nutter on June 20, 2016

Yummers! Who doesn`t love walnuts? In today`s article by Karishma Pandey, she gives us a ton of additional reasons to indulge in this delicious nut!

Fast life, stress, and unhealthy eating habits have taken a toll on urban health. Polluted air and impurities in food have stripped human health of many vital nutrients. To overcome these health problems and prevent any undesirable surprises, health experts are coming up with various health foods that fight against the ill-effects of lifestyle changes and pollution on health.

While many foods and supplements are developed in a laboratory, there are some health foods available naturally. Amongst several health rich foods available in nature, nuts have the special significance. Nuts are loaded with oils, anti-oxidants, and phytonutrients that play vital role in human health.

walnutsThere are many forms of nuts available in nature and you can have all these nuts for better health and body, but if you are looking for the solution to complete health then there is no match to walnuts. This hard shelled nut has lot of health benefits preserved in its nut shell.

More about Walnuts

Walnut is the nut that was originally found in India on tree Juglans Regia. Initially this tree was found in India and many areas around Caspian Sea. Later in 4th Century AD, this super nut was introduced to European countries by ancient Romans. It is the part of tree nut family. Other distant cousins of this healthy nut are pecans, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, pistachios, and pine nuts.

The widespread popularity of the walnut is due to it versatile use in global cuisines. The taste and texture of the walnut makes it suitable raw and cooked. It has remained the best snacking option too due to several health benefits and pleasant taste that would meet up your untimely food cravings.

This humble nut is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids and that makes it the best food for in-between food cravings. Studies have found that consuming one-quarter cup of walnut kernels would amount to your daily recommended dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Other important components of walnut that would enhance your health are manganese, biotin, molybdenum, and copper.

Composition of Walnuts

The outer shell of walnut is very hard and mostly difficult to crack by hand. You will require a mortar and pestle or a nutcracker to break the outer shell of this tough nut. Some are able to crack it with their teeth but not everybody can do it!

The next layer that protects the soft walnut kernel is white and flaky. This layer has the bitter taste that would tempt you to remove it before consuming the inner nut but if you are doing so then it is totally wrong! This layer is very rich in anti-oxidants and contains about 90% of the total anti-oxidant present in the walnut. It is therefore important to eat the walnut fully without removing the outer layer even if you are not fond of its taste.

There are many other reasons to have these tasty nuts. Here are some of the key health benefits of these health packed nuts, which may encourage you to consume them more.

Health Benefits of Walnuts

1. Healthy Heart

The role of walnuts to keep your heart healthy is quite known. They increase the good cholesterol levels and reduce the bad cholesterol levels, but the health benefits of walnut are even beyond that. It contains amino acid I-arginine known for offering vascular benefits to the people already suffering from heart disease.

Another vital component of the walnut is Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) that prevents the formation of blood clots because of its anti-inflammatory properties. More consumption of ALA may reduce the chances of contracting fatal cardiac arrest or sudden heart attack. Studies have also shown one can get substantial amount of ALA on consuming just 4 walnuts per day.

2. Fights Cancer

Cracking cancer is difficult but walnuts have shown promising results in cancer prevention too. The regular consumption of walnuts has shown reduced tumor growth in breast cancer and prostate cancer. This is also supported by the studies carried out on mice where there was visible slowdown in prostate tumor growth when the mice were given 2.4 ounces of walnut for about 18 weeks. The risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer can be reduced to half by consuming about two handfuls of walnuts daily.

3. Crucial and Effective Anti-Oxidants

Anti-oxidants fight aging as they combat the free radicals in body which cause aging. Walnuts are rich in anti-oxidants and some of the key anti-oxidants found in walnut are found only in few food options. This makes this nut even more important to fight ageing. Some of the rarely found anti-oxidants present in walnut are –

  • Flavonol Morin
  • Tannin Tellimagrandin
  • Quinone Juglone

These three rare and many other anti-oxidants make it the perfect food to fight ageing. Researchers have found this nut capable of preventing some types of liver damage as well.

4. Healthy Brain

Walnuts resemble brain in appearance and this is why many people believe that it is good for brain health. Though it is a mere co-incidence, the brain health enhancing properties of walnuts are proven with valid studies. The neuroprotective compounds present in walnuts are melatonin, vitamin E, omega-3, folate, and anti-oxidants. These compounds together ensure the brain health of the person. It also alerts your brain while sharpening memory.

5. Weight Loss

There is no direct effect on your weight when you consume walnuts, but including more walnuts in your diet would prevent extra calories being added to your diet. You will get the vital nutrients from this humble nut and at the same time you won’t add to your calories. It will work as the perfect snacking option for those looking for quicker weight loss.

Other benefits of walnut include fighting diabetes, improving the reproductive health in men, glowing skin, and healthy hair. The list of health benefits offered by this hard shelled nut are many but if you want to have all of them then start munching on these tasty nuts today!

About the Author

Karishma Pandey is a freelance writer. She loves to share articles about healthy living lifestyle. Currently she is working for IshaPur, a brand that offers natural and organic healthy products.

Are you convinced to add more walnuts to your diet?

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