Walnut is an edible seed of tree of genus: Juglans. The brain like structure of the seeds makes it the symbol of intellectualism. They are middle-sized, semi tropical trees. After plantation, it takes four years for the tree to bear fruits. The nuts are spherical in shape about the size of a key lime weighing almost 10-15 g each. The fruit is enclosed in green leathery fleshy husk, the husk is not edible.

The two major types of walnuts are: Persian or English walnuts and Black walnut. The English walnut is from Persia and Black walnut is from North America. But the black walnut is not used for commercial production of nuts as its shells are too hard and hulling is poor. All the commercially available walnuts are hybrids of English Walnuts.

Health benefits of Walnuts

  • Walnuts are the powerhouse of energy due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acid.
  • They help in keeping the bad cholesterol level in check and also increase the good cholesterol in the body, thus preventing heart diseases, stroke and coronary heart diseases.
  • Walnuts are capable of handling inflammatory diseases like asthma, psoriasis, eczema and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The antioxidant properties in walnuts help to increase the immune system of the body.
  • Walnuts are good for maintaining a healthy skin.
  • Good during pregnancy due to the presence of B-Complex vitamins.
  • They provide relief to people with constipation.
  • Walnuts contain biotin which makes it a hair food; hence it improves hair growth, reduces hair loss and strengthens the hair.
  • Good to include in your diet plans; it helps to reduce weight if eaten in proper proportion.
  • It is good for men to improve the health of sperms.

Nutrition facts of walnuts

Walnuts are a rich source of energy which contains nutrients like vitamins, antioxidants and minerals that are good for health.

  • Having 25g of walnuts satisfies the 90% of recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acid. This lowers the danger of stroke, coronary heart disease and cancer.
  • They are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acid which lowers the level of LDL and increases the level of HDL in the human body.
  • They are also rich in phytochemicals, which contributes to the overall antioxidant activities including melatonin, vitamin E, polyphenolic, carotenoids and ellagic acids. These compounds help to fight against inflammation, cancer, aging and neurological diseases. As per research walnuts are high in polyphenolic antioxidants which help to combat diseases causing free radicals in the body.
  • Walnuts are an excellent source of Vitamin E which helps to maintain the wholeness of the cell membrane, of mucus membrane and skin, thus protecting it from noxious oxygen free radicals.
  • They contain B-Complex vitamins like niacin, panthothenic acid, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, folates and thiamine.
  • They are rich in minerals like manganese, copper, potassium, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium and selenium.

Tips and Warning

  • While buying walnuts, make sure it is brittle and can snap easily.
  • To keep walnuts fresh, keep them in refrigerator for 2-3 weeks and then you can even freeze them for longer storage.
  • Walnut oil is good for salads and dressings.
  • Person who are anemic should consult doctor before taking walnuts.
  • Walnuts can be allergic to some individuals.
  • Overeating of walnuts can lead to diarrhea.