Walnuts

Walnuts are nutritious kernels obtained from the tree belonging to the Juglandaceae family, in the genus, Juglans. The nuts have been revered since ancient times as the symbol of intellectuality. Their bi-lobed kernels feature convoluted surface resembling as that of a human brain! They enriched with many health-benefiting nutrients, especially omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for optimum health.

Juglans species are medium sized, semi-tropical, deciduous trees believed to be originating in the mountain ranges of Central Asian or Southern Europe region.

There at least 30 different cultivars types of walnut grown world-over. However, only three traditional varieties grown for their commercial purposes are English or Persian walnut (Juglans regia), Black walnut (Juglans nigra), and the White or butternut walnut (Juglans cinerea). They are being cultivated at the commercial scale in the United States of America, Romania, France, Turkey, and China. After plantation, the tree takes approximately four years until it produces its first major crop.

During each season, walnuts can be ready for harvest by August when their thick green hull (thin-cover) begins to crack open to expose light-brown, hard-shelled “walnut” inside. It features roughly spherical shape, about the size of a small lemon, weighing about 10-15 g, and enclosing single (bi-lobed) edible kernel inside.

Structurally, the walnut kernel consists of two uneven, off-white color corrugated lobes; covered by a papery thin, light brown skin. The flaps loosely attached to each other at center.

Oil extracted from the walnut kernels employed, apart from cooking, as a base or carrier oil in medicine, and in aromatherapy.

Walnuts, or commonly referred as ‘Akhrot‘ in Hindi, ‘Akroot Kaya‘ in Telugu, ‘Akrottu‘ in Tamil, ‘Akrothandi‘ in Malayalam, ‘Acrota‘ in Kannada, ‘Akrod‘ in Marathi and ‘Akrot‘ in (Gujarati & Bengali). Walnut is one of the very common ingredients in our daily life. We consume walnuts in chocolates, cakes, cookies, etc. Even though they have a slightly bitter taste, people love them. There are two types of walnuts-black and normal brownish one that you all must be aware of. Both the types are really beneficial for our body, let’s see how.

Walnuts are really great for the skin and the body. Many makeup and skin care brands include walnuts in their ingredients as they are rich in nutrients that benefit our beauty routines. They are also sought after for hair care. Many shampoos contain walnut extracts and walnut oil as they keep the hair healthy and make them shiny.

Nutrition Facts of Walnut

20 Amazing Benefits

  1. For The Heart

Due to the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the walnuts, they are very beneficial to the cardiovascular system. It has been found that eating just a few walnuts per day can help reduce the blood pressure, so those with high blood pressure take note! The omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce the bad cholesterol in the body and encourage the production of the good cholesterol. This is again beneficial for the heart.

  1. For Immunity

Walnuts have high amounts of antioxidants in them that keep your immune system healthy and prevent the onset of diseases. Add some walnuts to your diet every day to keep yourself fit as a fiddle.

  1. For Brain Health

The omega-3 fatty acids present in the walnuts are also good for the brain. Having food rich in omega-3 fatty acids keeps the nervous system working smoothly and improves your memory.

  1. For Breast Cancer

The American Association For Cancer Research has published in its 2009 research volume that consuming a few walnuts each day can help reduce the risk of breast cancer.

  1. For Inflammatory Diseases

Those with inflammatory diseases like asthma, arthritis and eczema can benefit from walnuts as they have high amounts of fatty acid in them.

  1. For Bone Health

Walnuts contain an essential fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid. This alpha-linolenic acid and its compounds have been associated with stronger and healthier bones. Also, as you intake omega-3 fatty acids through walnuts, inflammation decreases, and this is related to keeping the bones stronger for a longer duration.

  1. For Better Sleep And Stress

Walnuts have melatonin, and this compound is said to be associated with better sleep patterns. Also, the omega-3 fatty acids keep the blood pressure low and help relieve stress.

  1. For Pregnancy

Having a walnut daily can greatly benefit those who are expecting. Walnuts contain healthy vitamin B-Complex groups like folates, riboflavin, thiamin, etc. These are necessary for a pregnant woman and the fetus.

  1. For Constipation And Digestive System

Walnuts are rich in fiber, and they are a great way to keep your digestive system functioning properly. All humans require fiber on a daily basis to keep their bowels functioning correctly. Usually, the common sources of protein, such as meat and dairy products, lack fiber. Having walnuts daily can help you with digestive problems and keep your bowels functioning properly.

  1. For Internal Cleaning

Walnuts are your internal vacuum cleaners as they literally cleanse the digestive system of uncountable parasites. As a designated superfood on account of its nutrient content, the snack food is beneficial to heart health and weight loss as well.

I call it strictly snack food because walnuts should be taken in minimal quantities each day. Moderation truly is the key for this nutrient powerhouse, if you want to avoid allergies or unforeseen health conditions.

  1. For Curing Fungal Infections

There is no better way to cleanse yourself of fungus inside-out than with black walnut. Candida growth in the digestive system and fungal infections occurring on the skin are both highly aggravating.

These infections create a range of uncomfortable symptoms, from releasing toxins to itching. Black walnuts are effective against fungal outgrowths, on par with other treatments available.

  1. Delays Skin Aging

Walnuts are good for the skin as they are packed with B-vitamins. Vitamin B is an excellent stress and mood manager. Lower stress levels result in a better skin. Increased stress levels can result in the earlier onset of wrinkles, thus inducing faster aging. The presence of the B-vitamins, together with Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant, helps in fighting the free radicals induced due to stress. This further delays the aging process.

  1. Walnuts For A Moisturized Skin

Those with dry skin should try applying warm walnut oil regularly. Walnut oil helps keep the skin moisturized. It nourishes the skin from within, enhancing the growth of healthier and radiant cells.

  1. Bid Adieu To Your Dark Circles

The regular application of warm walnut oil is known to lighten the dark circles. It is a wonderful soothing agent. The oil extracted from the walnuts is known to ease puffiness and relax your eyes, retaining its glow and color.

  1. For Glowing Skin

Reap the benefits of walnuts by preparing an easy face pack at home.

  1. Add 4 walnuts, 2 teaspoons oats, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon cream, and 4 drops of olive oil in a blender.
  2. Blend well to make a smooth paste.
  3. Apply it on your face and let it dry completely.
  4. Wash with warm water, while massaging in a circular motion.

This face mask is a great way to keep the facial skin moisturized and delay the onset of wrinkles.

  1. Longer, Stronger Hair

Walnuts are good sources of potassium, omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids. All these ingredients strengthen the hair follicles. Thus, the regular application of walnut oil on the hair leaves you with longer, stronger, healthier, and glowing hair.

  1. Prevents Balding

Studies show that the regular use of walnut oil can keep balding issues at bay.

  1. Natural Anti-Dandruff Agent

Walnut oil is widely used in producing hair oils due to its rich moisturizing properties. Hence, it is widely suggested as a natural anti-dandruff agent.

  1. Healthier Scalp

The regular application of walnut oil keeps the scalp moisturized and hydrated, thus keeping medical conditions such as dermatitis at bay. The antifungal properties of walnut oil are beneficial in preventing the infections triggered by ringworm. This further ensures a healthier and cleaner scalp. A healthy scalp will lead to healthy hair.

  1. Highlight Your Hair Color Naturally With Walnuts

The husk of walnuts is a natural coloring agent that could accentuate the natural highlights of your hair. Walnut oil contains a rich amount of assorted proteins. These help in improving the color of the hair, while giving it a healthier glow.

It is advisable to apply walnuts, in the form of oil, at least thrice a week for reaping the benefits. For better results, it can be used alone or along with coconut or olive oils. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor before you start using the oil to rule out the chances of allergies, if any.