Walnut | Health Benefits, Uses & Nutrition Facts

Walnut | walnut health benefits

Walnut | Description, Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts & Uses

Walnut Fruit

A walnut is the edible seed of a drupe of the genus Juglans (family Juglandaceae) trees, particularly the Persian or English walnut, Juglans regia.

Although it is referred to as a "nut" and used in cooking, it is not a true botanical nut. Once the fruit is fully mature, the shell is removed, and the kernel is eaten. Less often consumed nuts are those of the butternut (Juglans cinerea) and eastern black walnut (Juglans nigra).

Walnut Description

When fully ripe between September and November, walnuts are spherical, single-seeded stone fruits of the walnut tree that are typically consumed as food. When the husk is removed at this point, a browning, wrinkled walnut shell is revealed, which is typically sold in two halves (three or four-segment shells can also form). The husk will crack and the shell will harden as the fruit ripens. The Walnut fruit shell encloses the kernel or meat, which is usually made up of two halves separated by a membranous partition. The brown seed coat that surrounds the seed kernels—which are often sold as shelled walnuts—contains antioxidants. Antioxidants shield the oil-rich seed from oxygen in the air, stopping rancidity.

Walnut trees often don't start to leaf out until well into the second half of the spring. To stop weeds and other competing vegetation from growing, they release toxins into the soil. As a result, it is not advisable to put vulnerable plants nearby.

History and Agriculture

The Byzantine period also referred to the walnut as the "royal nut." The 12th-century Book on Agriculture by Ibn al-'Awwam contains a chapter on walnut tree farming in Spain. The walnut was originally known as the Welsh nut because it arrived in Germany via France and/or Italy (German Walnuss, Dutch okkernoot or walnoot, Danish valnd, Swedish valnöt).In Polish, orzechy woskie translates to "Italian nuts".

Types of Walnut

The two most common major species of walnut are grown for their seeds – the Persian or English walnut and the black walnut. The black walnut (J. nigra) is a native of eastern North America, while the English walnut (J. regia) is from Iran (Persia). Although the black walnut has a strong flavour, its hard shell and poor hulling qualities prevent it from being commercially grown in orchards.

There are many commercially available walnut varieties that are almost all English walnut hybrids.

Other species include J. cinerea (butternuts), J. major, the Arizona walnut, and J. californica, the California black walnut (frequently used as a rootstock for commercial growth of J. regia). Juglans californica hindsii, or simply J. hindsii, is listed as a native of northern California and Juglans californica californica, or J. californica, is listed as a native of southern California in other sources; in at least one instance, these are listed as "geographic variants" rather than subspecies (Botanica).

Walnut Production

In 2020, China produced 3.3 million tonnes of walnuts (in shell), accounting for 33% of the global production. Other significant producers included Turkey, Iran, and the United States (in decreasing order of harvest).

Walnuts Uses

There are two types of walnut meats: those that have been removed from their shells. Due to processing, the flesh may be entire, half, or in smaller chunks. All types of walnuts can be consumed on their own, whether they are raw, roasted, or pickled. They can also be included in a mix, like muesli, or used as an ingredient in other foods, including walnut soup, walnut pie, walnut coffee cake, banana cake, brownies, or fudge. Frequently, walnuts are candied or pickled. Whole pickled walnuts come in both savoury and sweet varieties.

Walnuts may be used as an ingredient in other many foodstuffs also. Walnuts are an important ingredient in baklava, Circassian chicken, chicken in walnut sauce, and poultry or meatball stew from Iranian cuisine.

Walnuts are also popular as an ice cream topping, and some meals employ walnut pieces as a garnish.

Walnut fruits hd image
Walnut Kernels 

Nutritional Facts of Walnut

Walnuts without shells are 4% water, 15% protein, 65% fat, and 14% carbohydrates, including 7% dietary fibre (table). In a 100-gram reference serving, walnuts provide 2,740 kilojoules (654 kcal) and a rich content (20% or more of the Daily Value or DV) of several dietary minerals, particularly manganese at 163% DV, and B vitamins.

Even though English walnuts are the most popular variety, black walnuts and English walnuts both have a similar nutrient density and profile.

Unlike most nuts, which are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, walnut oil is composed largely of polyunsaturated fatty acids (72% of total fats), particularly alpha-linolenic acid (14%) and linoleic acid (58%), although it does contain oleic acid as 13% of total fats.

Nocino is a liqueur made from unripe green walnuts fruits steeped in alcohol with syrup added.

Commercially accessible walnut oil is mostly utilised as a food ingredient, especially in salad dressings. Its application for frying is constrained by its low smoke point.

Walnut Health Benefits

Walnuts were among the foods that made the strongest contributions to a healthy diet.

The vital vitamins, minerals, fibre, lipids, and plant components included in walnuts may maintain healthy physical performance as you age even if they are heavy in calories.

All forms of plant-based food consumption have long been linked to a lower risk of numerous lifestyle-related illnesses.

Walnuts may improve cardiovascular and bone health, lower the risk of gallbladder disease, and treat epilepsy, among other potential health advantages.

Heart Health

Walnuts are significantly higher in omega-3 fat than any other nut, providing 2.5 grammes per 1-ounce (28-gram).

The omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid is present in plants like walnuts (ALA). Since it is an important fat, you must consume it in your diet.

According to observational studies, each gramme of ALA you consume daily reduces your risk of dying from heart disease by 10%.

According to several research, eating walnuts may help lower blood pressure, both in healthy persons and in people with high blood pressure who are under stress.

Rich in Antioxidants

More than any other common nut, walnuts have the highest antioxidant activity.

Vitamin E, melatonin, and plant chemicals called polyphenols—which are abundant in the papery skin of walnuts—are the sources of this activity.

An early, small study in healthy people found that having a dinner high in walnuts inhibited the oxidation of "bad" LDL cholesterol after eating, whereas eating a meal high in refined fats did not.

This is advantageous since oxidised LDL can accumulate in your arteries and lead to atherosclerosis.

It may Decrease Inflammation

Oxidative stress can produce inflammation, which is the basis of many diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and heart disease.

Walnuts' polyphenols can aid in the battle against inflammation and oxidative damage. Ellagitannins, a subclass of polyphenols, may be particularly important.

Ellagitannins are transformed by helpful bacteria in your gut into substances known as urolithins, which have been shown to inhibit inflammation.

Walnuts' arginine amino acid, magnesium, and the ALA omega-3 fat all have anti-inflammatory properties.

It Promotes a Healthy Gut

According to studies, having a healthy gut and general health are more likely if your gut is home to a variety of bacteria and other microbes that support good health (your gut microbiota).

Your chance of developing obesity, heart disease, and cancer can be raised by having an unbalanced microbiota, which can also contribute to inflammation and disease outside of the gut and in other parts of the body.

Your microbiota's composition can be dramatically influenced by what you eat. One method to support the health of your microbiota and intestines is by eating walnuts.

194 healthy people who consumed 1.5 ounces (43 grammes) of walnuts daily for eight weeks had more good bacteria than those who did not consume walnuts at that time.

An increase in microorganisms that make butyrate was among these..

Reduces Risk of Cancer

Walnut consumption may lower the chance of developing some cancers, such as breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer, according to test-tube, animal, and human observational studies.

Walnuts are high in the polyphenol ellagitannins, as was already mentioned. These can be transformed into substances known as urolithins by specific gut microorganisms.

Eating walnuts may help prevent colorectal cancer in part because urolithins have anti-inflammatory qualities in your stomach. The anti-inflammatory properties of urolithins may potentially aid in preventing other malignancies.

Additionally, because urolithins resemble hormones, they might block hormone receptors in your body. Your risk of hormone-related malignancies, notably breast and prostate cancer, may be lowered as a result.

More human studies are needed to confirm the effects of walnut consumption on decreasing the risk of these and other cancers, as well as to clarify all the ways or mechanisms by which they may help.

Aids in Weight Management

Despite the high caloric content of walnuts, studies indicate that the amount of energy that is actually absorbed from them is 21% lower than would be predicted given their nutritional makeup.

Additionally, eating walnuts may even aid in appetite control.

In a rigorously controlled experiment involving 10 obese participants, consuming a smoothie containing roughly 1.75 ounces (48 grammes) of walnuts once day for five days reduced appetite and hunger compared to drinking a placebo beverage with identical calories and nutrients.

Brain scans also revealed that after five days of ingesting the walnut smoothies, the individuals' activation in a section of the brain that aids in resisting highly alluring food cues, such as cake and French fries, had increased.

Walnut Price (Akhrot Price)

Walnut prices vary depending on the quality and size of the kernels. Walnuts can be purchased for as little as Rs 400 per kilogram, with prices rising to Rs 1650–1800 per kilogram depending on quality and available packaging options.

The Bottom Line

Walnuts are a very nutrient-dense nut. Compared to other common nuts, they have stronger antioxidant activity and much healthier omega-3 fatty acids.

This robust nutrient profile helps explain why walnuts provide so many health advantages, including less inflammation and better risk factors for heart disease.

The numerous ways that the fibre and plant compounds in walnuts, such as polyphenols, may interact with your gut flora and benefit your health are currently being discovered by scientists.

In the years to come, it's probable that you'll continue to hear more about walnuts as more research is done on their advantageous health impacts.

Nevertheless, there are many good reasons to start include them in your diet now.

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