13 Incredible Health Benefits of Walnuts, Akhrot
Walnuts are a delicious way to add nutrition to your daily meals!
Most people think that nuts are high in calories and fat, and they are right! Nuts are quite dense in terms of calories - 15 cashews, for instance, deliver 180 kcal! However nuts are so tasty it is very tough not to eat too many of them. The good news is that if you can restrain yourself from overeating nuts, you can definitely add them to a healthy diet.
Walnuts are a delicious way to add extra nutrition, flavour and crunch to a meal. It is no surprise that the regal and delicious walnut comes from an ornamental tree that is highly prized for its beauty. The walnut kernel consists of two bumpy lobes that look like abstract butterflies. The lobes are off white in colour and covered by a thin, light brown skin. They are partially attached to each other. The kernels are enclosed in round or oblong shells that are brown in colour and very hard.
These nuts are one of the best plant sources of protein. They are rich in fibre, B vitamins, magnesium and antioxidants such as vitamin E. Nuts in general are also high in plant sterols and fat, mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 fatty acids- the good fats).
1. Good source of Protein for Vegetarians
A handful of Walnuts will give you 4 grams of Protein which is about 7.9% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for a 2000 kcal diet.
2. Good for Heart
Eating a handful of Walnuts a day is said to increase the good cholesterol (HDL) in your body (1). HDL helps remove bad fats from the blood. In general, walnuts, cashew nuts, peanuts, almonds, pistachios and pine nuts are a healthy snack to carry keep with you as they are rich in monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Walnuts in particular are a rich source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are healthy. Perfect to eat a mix of them or try different nuts each day for your Heart. Include omega 3 fatty acid rich recipes in your diet like Apricot Stew with Vanilla Custard, Apple Crumble and Date and Walnut Balls which are low in cholesterol and heart healthy.
3. Healthy Bone Structure
Walnuts are rich in Manganese and assists the body in maintaining healthy bone structure by helping in making enzymes needed to build strong bones (2). Walnuts are also rich in Phosphorus which helps build bones. These nutrients prevent against osteoporosis.
4. Controls Blood Pressure
Walnuts also contains Arginine, an essential amino acid, which is converted into nitric oxide, a chemical that helps keep the inner walls of blood vessels smooth and allows blood vessels to relax thus helping relieve hypertension issues.
5. Powerful Antioxidant
Walnuts are a powerful Antioxidant which fight free radicals and slow down inflammation in the body due to the eating of processed foods (3). Try our antioxidant rich recipe Walnut and Cherry Tomato Salad
6. Boost for Brain
Walnuts are rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids which contain high amounts of DHA which improve thinking power in adults and excellent for brain health for newborn kids (4). There is a common saying to have your walnuts to increase your brain power. They decrease the oxidative and inflammatory load on the brain cells (5).
7. Makes you sleep better
Walnuts can increase blood levels of Melatonin, a hormone which helps in making you sleep better (6). So pop a handful or less of walnuts before you sleep at night.
8. Pregnancy friendly
Being a good source of Folate, Vitamin B9, it’s good for pregnant women to top up their folic acid with eating a bit of walnuts daily as the requirement for folate increases during pregnancy. Folate is important for rapid growth and multiplication of RBC’s and WBC’s in the bone marrow. Walnut sheera is a good option to boost energy during pregnancy.
9. Makes you fitter
Walnuts are rich in Arginine, an essential amino acid which helps to relax your blood vessels and enable smooth flow of blood resulting in more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. More oxygen, more energy for Athletes to enhance performance and also for day to day activities.
10. Reduces Inflammation
The polyphenolic compounds and phytochemical substances found in walnuts reduce the effects of inflammation in the body therefore has beneficial effect on cardiovascular system and bone loss (7).
11. Diabetic Friendly
Walnuts has a Glycemic Index of 14 to 20 which is low. Glycemic Index are for foods you eat, ranks carbohydrate-containing foods by how quickly they digest and raise your blood sugar or glucose levels. Foods rank from 0 to 50 are low GI, 51 to 69 are medium and 70 to 100 are high. Foods that are high in GI are not suitable for weight loss and diabetics. Foods like Walnuts have a low GI and hence don't spike your glucose level as they are absorbed slowly. As its low in the Glycemic Index, and loaded with Fibre, it’s a good choice for Diabetics. Fibre keeps you fuller longer. Walnuts are rich in Magnesium which improves insulin response by lowering insulin resistance. Having very low magnesium will result in the pancreas not secrete enough insulin to control our blood sugar (8). So Walnuts are a Diabetic’s friend.
12. Improves male fertility
Findings of a study demonstrated that walnuts added to diet improved sperm vitality, motility and morphology (9).
Walnuts contain several phenolic compounds which are thought to contribute to their biological properties and may have beneficial effects against oxidative stress mediated diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer (10). A research conducted on walnuts stated that walnuts and its bioactive constituents help in preventing breast cancer (11).
Nutritional Information of Walnuts
28 grams of Walnuts.
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
Nutritional Information for 28 grams (1 ounce) of Walnuts.
4.36 grams of Protein
3.08 grams of Carbs
18.06 grams of Fat
1.0 mg of Manganese = 50% of RDA (about 2 to 5 mg)
84.5 mg of Magnesium (Mg) = 24.1% of RDA (about 350 mg )
106 mg of Phosphorus = 17.7% of RDA (about 600 mg for adult)
27.4 mcg of Folate, Vitamin B9 = 13.7% of RDA (about 200 mcg)
0.13 mg Vitamin B1, Thiamine =13% of RDA (about 1 mg)
0.11 mg of Riboflavin, Vitamin B2 = 11.2% of RDA (about 1.1 mg)
4.36 g of Protein = 7.9% of RDA (about 55 g)
0.64 mg of Zinc = 6.4% of RDA (about 10 to 12 mg)
0.8 mg of Vitamin E = 5.3% of RDA (about 15 mg)
28 g of Calcium = 4.6% of RDA (about 600 mg)
0.73 mg of Iron = 3.5% of RDA (about 21 mg)
0.72g of Fibre = 2.88% of RDA (about 25 g)
123 mg of Potassium = 2.6% of RDA (about 4700 mg)
0.3 mg of Vitamin B3, Niacin = 2.5% of RDA (about 12 mg)