Health Benefits Of Walnuts – Why Scientists Say “Walnuts Are The Healthiest Nuts?”
It is rare to find a powerful pack of proteins, healthy fats, good carbs and dietary fibre, all in a simple food source! Walnuts are simple, yet they provide good amounts of almost every nutrient that we require for healthy functioning. Here is to 11 Unbelievable health benefits of walnuts that will convince you to savour an ounce of them every day!
Walnuts (Persian or English walnuts) are grown on trees which belong to the genus Juglans. The nutmeats (the edible part of walnuts) are either consumed raw or in their roasted form.
You can also choose to consume walnuts in the form of pickled walnuts, walnut soups and walnut cakes so as to make your snacking time appetising and healthy.
You can also dress your salads with walnut oil (that is commercially sold) to enjoy the best walnut benefits. (1)
What Are Walnuts Good For?
Walnuts are a great source of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, good bacteria which might even prevent the chances of the most common types of cancer.
Interestingly, walnuts have been included in the list of 38 flower materials that are utilized to prepare folk medicine, which is popularly known by the name ‘Bach flower remedies’
Walnuts improve our brain functioning, protect our heart health, enhance our reproductive health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Walnuts Nutrition Facts
Here is the complete picture of walnuts nutrition facts and the exact quantity of every nutrient that is present in one cup of chopped walnuts (which weighs around 117 grams).
|Walnuts (Quantity)||Proteins(%DV)||Calories (%DV)||Carbohydrates(%DV)||Total Fats (%DV)|
|1 ounce (28 grams)||9%||9%||1%||28%|
|1 cup (117 grams)||36%||38%||5%||117%|
Apart from natural plant components (antioxidants), proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats and gut microbes, walnuts are the best source of manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorous and vitamin B6.
They contain Thiamine, folate, zinc and Iron in good amounts and vitamin K, vitamin C, Vitamin E niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, potassium and selenium in little amounts! (2)
How Many Calories In Walnuts?
One cup of chopped walnuts (117 grams) contains around 765 calories which fulfil 38% of your daily calorie requirement whereas an ounce of walnuts (28 grams) contains around 183 calories which help you meet 9% of your daily calorie requirement.
Proteins In Walnuts
There are 17.8 grams of proteins in walnuts (117 grams) and this helps you meet 36% of your daily protein requirement.
An ounce of walnuts (28 grams) contains around 4.3 grams of proteins which helps you meet 9% of your daily protein requirement.
|Vitamins||Grams||%DV (Percentage of daily requirement that it meets)|
|Vitamin C||1.5 mg||3%|
|Vitamin E||0.8 mg||4%|
|Vitamin K||3.2 mcg||4%|
|Vitamin B6||0.6 mg||31%|
|Minerals||Grams||%DV (Percentage of daily requirement that it meets)|
Health Benefits Of Walnuts – How Are Walnuts Good For You?
1. How Do Walnuts Benefit Your Heart Health?
Walnuts reduce blood pressure and reduce the chances of atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is a condition which occurs due to the blockage of arteries because of plaque (that is formed by the accumulation of fat, cholesterol and other components of the blood).
This, in turn, reduces the free flow of blood to the heart and other organs of the body, resulting in some serious heart complications.
Walnuts contain an important amino acid called L-arginine which can synthesize nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide can expand the blood vessels enabling a free flow of blood. It can also reduce the growth of plaque, thereby reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. (3)
Walnuts can reduce bad cholesterol
Walnuts contain polyunsaturated fatty acids which play a major role in decreasing cardiovascular diseases.
13 Studies which were conducted among a group of 365 people proved that a diet included with walnuts reduced the total cholesterol and also bad cholesterol (LDL). (4)
2. Does Walnut Consumption Help In Weight Loss?
The best and healthy trick one can adopt when looking for a healthy weight loss is to consume nuts very often so as to keep the appetite in control.
Studies conducted on walnut consumption in relation to the satiation have proved that the study group could experience the feeling of fullness when compared to the placebo group. (5)
Not just this, walnut consumption is also associated with a direct weight loss. Studies conducted on men and women who were obese and overweight have proved that the diet enriched with walnuts can promote a healthy weight loss and also reduce the levels of LDL and total cholesterol. (6)
3. Walnut Consumption Reduces The Risk Of Diabetes
The number of people suffering from diabetes is rising through every passing year. It is much essential for us to keep a check on our diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent the risk of the most common chronic disorder which can sometimes result in weight gain and obesity.
Interestingly, nut consumption, especially the consumption of walnuts is associated with a decreased risk of diabetes.
Studies conducted by national health and nutrition examination survey in relation to nuts consumption and its association with diabetes risk proved that diabetes risk decreased among the people who consumed walnuts. (Especially in more women than men).(7)
4. Benefits Of Eating Walnuts For Brain Health
Without cognition, life can become chaotic! Cognition is to perceive the information, understand and analyse it so as to bring the best outcome with a proper solution.
Cognition also includes imagining, remembering and planning things accordingly. Interestingly, we can choose the best dietary habits to enhance our cognitive abilities.
Nuts are the best source of brain healthy components and walnuts stand the first among all the nut varieties that can improve our brain functioning.
This is because walnuts contain good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for optimum functioning of the brain.
Studies conducted on nuts intake in relation to cognitive function in older women showed an improvement in the cognitive abilities at an old age.(8)
5. Walnuts Improve Your Longevity
All the credit of health-boosting properties goes to bioactive compounds present in walnuts. Bioactive compounds are the substances which have a major impact on physiological and cellular activities in our body.
Nuts contain micro and macronutrients which can reduce the chances of most of the age-related disorders like type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases like strokes, a few common types of cancer and some common neurodegenerative diseases.
Moreover, phytochemicals present in nuts can reduce inflammation and improve the function of mitochondria which plays a major role in increasing the lifespan.
This is because mitochondria are responsible for producing energy and enabling a healthy functioning of each and every cell – which is the basic unit of life.
Since there is scientific evidence that proves that nut consumption increases the lifespan, walnuts should be a major inclusion in our daily diet. (9)
6. Benefits Of Eating Walnuts For Men’s Health
Studies conducted on the intake of walnuts have proved that daily consumption of walnuts can reduce the chances of infertility.
Studies were conducted among two different groups of people in which one group was suggested to consume 2.5 ounces of walnuts each day along with their regular diet, whereas another group was just asked to consume the regular diet devoid of walnuts.
After examining the semen of both the groups, researches have concluded that men who consumed walnuts could experience an improvement in the sperm quality, sperm motility, shape and size and the chromosomal structure of sperms, all of which play a vital role in determining the fertility. (10)
What more? All you need is an intake of 75 grams of walnuts on a daily basis to reduce the chances of infertility!
7. Walnuts Can Reduce The Risk Of Most Common Types Of Cancer
Walnuts contain certain polyphenols (naturally occurring plant components) called ellagitannins which get converted to ellagic acid and urolithins when absorbed by the body.
These compounds can reduce the multiplication of various types of cancer cells, thereby reducing the risk of cancer attack. (11)
Also, studies conducted on consumption of different types of nuts such as peanuts, almonds and walnuts and its relation to breast cancer proved that the nuts have anti-carcinogenic components which can reduce the breast cancer risk. (12)
8. Walnuts Contain Good Bacteria Which Can Enhance Gut Health
Our intestine is also a habitat of something called probiotics which are the good bacteria our body requires!
We need good bacteria to stabilize our immunity and improve our digestive health so as to enhance overall gut health.
Walnuts contain good amounts of dietary fibre which play a major role in producing a wide variety of good bacteria. Just one cup of chopped walnuts (117 grams) contains 7.8 grams of dietary fibre which helps you meet 31% of your daily requirement of dietary fibre.
Researches have proved that a regular intake of walnuts resulted in the growth of three different types of bacteria, namely Faecalibacterium, Roseburia and Clostridium. (13)
Faecalibacterium is known to decrease inflammation. Roseburia can also combat inflammation and strengthen your overall immunity.
Butyrate is the important fatty acid that your gut can produce with the help of food supplements like dietary fibres.
9. Can Walnuts Improve Your Mood?
Chocolates are instant mood boosters! But, there are other foods also that can enhance your mood and make you happy!
Studies that were conducted on walnuts consumption to determine their effect on mood have proved that there was a significant improvement in the mood on those young and healthy adults who consumed walnuts.(14)
Not only are walnuts a good source to boost your mood, but they also enhance your brain functioning, helping you to react spontaneously and take much quicker decisions.
They improve your cognitive abilities like learning, reasoning, memorising analysing and planning!
If you often encounter lazy and lethargic mornings, you can choose to consume an ounce of walnuts for your breakfast to improve your mood and your brain function!
10. Health Benefits Of Walnuts For Pregnant Women
Pregnant women require good amounts of folic acid along with other micro and macronutrients to stay away from pregnancy-related risks.
Folic acid plays a vital role in the development of a proper nervous system of the child and prevents the chances of certain birth defects which are commonly known as NTDs (Neural Tube defects). (15)
One cup of chopped walnuts (117 grams) contains 115 micrograms of folate which helps you meet 29% of your daily folic acid requirement.
Also, walnuts contain good amounts of other important minerals like calcium, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E, zinc and Iron that are required to be consumed by pregnant women.
11. Walnut Benefits Your Sleep Cycle!
If sleepless nights have become your routine, you can control the sleep irregularities by choosing some best foods that can control your sleep cycles.
Melatonin which is also known as sleep hormone is produced by our pineal gland. Interestingly, the production of this hormone is associated with time (Day or Night).
The production of this important hormone is less during the day (when there is light) and increases during the night (when it is dark).
Walnuts contain melatonin (2.5 -4.5 Nanograms per one gram) which can increase the levels of this hormone in the blood, thereby helping you have a better sleep! (16)
In fact, you can choose other best foods like dairy foods, soy products, whole grains, beans and pulses, and some seeds like sesame seeds and sunflower seeds to increase the levels of serotonin which is essential for the production of melatonin!
Walnuts are a powerful pack of most of the nutrients that are vital for stabilizing our overall health.
They contain phytochemicals, antioxidants, proteins, carbohydrates, 9 important vitamins and 9 major minerals which all together help in improving your health.
The presence of essential fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids) is of significant importance since they play a major role in improving your brain function, heart health and help in the reduction of body fat.
You can refer to the above-mentioned chart of walnuts nutrition facts to know the exact quantity of each nutrient present in them.
You can choose to consume 50-70 grams of these healthy nuts in a day to enjoy the above-mentioned health benefits of walnuts!
Sai Sudha is a certified health blogger, who has an experience of above 2 years with an authorized certificate in the area of Introduction to food and health from Stanford University.
She has a special interest in life sciences, human psychology and fitness which drove her to make blogging turn passion to profession. Being an introvert, writer, empath and a nature lover, she loves Yoga and believes it to be one of the best pathways to self discovery! She loves travelling, exploring new places and wants to spread help through words. She finds happiness in little things which makes her live life to the fullest.