Amazing benefits of Walnuts
Dr. Sneha Ganatra
January 28, 2021
Either consumed raw or added in some sinful desserts, walnuts are loved since years! There was a time when few people used to avoid walnuts considering it unhealthy as it is high in calories and fats. If you still believe this and refraining yourself from this delicious nut, you must read this article till the end to find out the wonderful benefits it provides us.
Walnuts are available either with shell or without, can be consumed in raw form or roasted. Let us look at the nutritional value of walnuts before moving ahead with the benefits:
According to USDA, 1 cup or 7 walnuts (28g) contains:
|Nutrient||Amount||% of Daily recommendation|
So now we see, walnuts along with being high in calories and fats are also dense in nutrients and provide healthy fats for your heart. It is a very good option as a snack in-between the meals which is healthier in compared to wafers, cookies or any other simple carbohydrate foods.
Health Benefits of Walnuts:
Walnuts are packed with lots of antioxidants, protein, fiber and healthy fats. They are high in omega-3 fats compared to other nuts. They are beneficial for your health in numerous ways, from helping your heart to reducing inflammation. Let’s check few important benefits of walnuts:
- Benefits to your Cardiovascular system:
The healthy fats in the walnuts helps reducing the bad (LDL) cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It also helps in lowering the blood pressure and inflammation which in turn is very beneficial for the cardiovascular system.
- Benefits to your brain:
Walnuts can help improving the brain function due to presence of antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids. Few studies suggest it helps in improving memory, slowing down the age-related decline of brain function and also helps in depression.
- Benefits in inflammation:
The Polyphenols in walnuts help reduce inflammation which can be helpful in conditions like asthma, arthritis, heart diseases etc.
- Benefits in weight management:
This energy and nutrition packed nut can help in weight loss when taken in proper proportions. These are calorie dense, hence gives you the feeling of fullness and can reduce the appetite helping in weight management.
- Benefits in prevention of cancer:
Studies have linked not just the prevention but also suppression of growth of cancer on eating walnuts every day. Credit goes to the polyphenol and Omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-cancer properties.
- Benefits to immunity:
It goes without saying that any food which is so nutrient dense like walnuts is considered as a ‘superfood’ as it helps boosting your immunity.
- Benefits in pregnancy:
The vitamins and folic acid in walnuts is beneficial in pregnancy and essential for baby’s growth. Folic acid in particular helps preventing birth complications like spina bifida in babies. It can also help in nausea which women often suffer during pregnancy.
- Benefits to your gut:
The fiber in walnuts helps your bowels function properly and improve the health of the digestive system.
- Benefits to the skin:
The antioxidants and other vitamins help delaying skin ageing and keeping the skin moisturized. Walnuts are also used in powder form in various skin scrubs as they exfoliate the skin well without drying it.
- Benefits to your hair:
Just like skin, walnuts provide benefits to the hair as well. This is due to the presence of biotin in them which prevent hair fall and also strengthens them. Walnut oil is considered to be helpful in reducing dandruff and promote scalp health.
Going through so many benefits you might have made up your mind to eat walnuts every day or thinking about various recipes where you can incorporate them. In either case, you should remember that anything good also if overconsumed can lead to side-effects. Some of the side-effects includes:
- Digestive issues like bloating and diarrhea
- Allergic reaction if you are allergic to tree nuts
- Aggravation of ulcers
So how many walnuts should one have? Well, if you are proven allergic to walnuts then the answer is zero! Otherwise, one can have about 7 whole nuts or an ounce in a day.
Many believe soaking the walnuts overnight is more beneficial than eating them as it is. This is because of the fact that walnuts contain phytates, which makes it difficult to digest. By soaking them, the phytates content is reduced making them easy for your gut and help absorption of essential nutrients.
Making walnuts a part of your daily diet is essential to reap the benefits of them, but the quantity should be kept in mind. Have them in any form you like, raw or roasted, salted or unsalted!