Walnuts are a tree nut belonging to the walnut family. They originated in the Mediterranean region and Central Asia and have been part of the human diet for thousands of years. These nuts are rich in omega-3 fats and contain higher amounts of antioxidants than most other foods. Eating walnuts may improve brain health and prevent heart disease and cancer. They’re also used to make walnut oil expensive culinary oil frequently used in salad dressings.
Nutrition facts-Walnuts are made up of 65% fat and about 15% of protein. They’re low in carbs most of which consist of fibers. A 1-ounce (30-gram) serving of walnuts about 14 halves provides the following nutrients.
• Calories: 185
• Water: 4%
• Protein: 4.3 grams
• Sugar: 0.7 grams
• Fiber: 1.9 grams
• Fat: 18.5 grams
Fats-Walnuts contain about 65% fat by weight .Like other nuts, most of the calories in walnuts come from fat. This makes them an energy-dense, high-calorie food. The most abundant one is an omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid.
Vitamins and minerals-Walnuts are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals, including:
• Copper. This mineral promotes heart health. It also helps maintain bone, nerve, and immune system function
• Folic acid. Also known as folate or vitamin B9, folic acid has many important biological functions. Folic acid deficiency during pregnancy may cause birth defects.
• Phosphorus. About 1% of your body is made up of phosphorus, a mineral that is mainly present in bones.
• Vitamin B6. This vitamin may strengthen our immune system and support nerve health. Vitamin B6 deficiency may cause anaemia.
• Manganese. This trace mineral is found in the highest amounts in nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
• Vitamin E. Compared to other nuts, walnuts contain high levels of a special form of vitamin E called gamma-tocopherol.
Health benefits of walnuts– Walnuts are linked to a number of health benefits. They have been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, as well as improved brain function.
Heart health– Heart disease or cardiovascular disease — is a broad term used for chronic conditions related to the heart and blood vessels. In fact, many studies show that eating walnuts may combat risk factors for heart disease by:
• lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol
• reducing inflammation
• Improving blood vessel function, thus cutting the risk of plaque build-up in the arteries.
Cancer prevention– Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by abnormal cell growth. Walnuts contain several bioactive components that may have anticancer properties, including:
• omega-3 fatty acids
• ellagic acid and related compounds
Brain health– Several studies indicate that eating nuts may improve brain function. They also show that walnuts can help with depression and age-related decline in brain function. A study in older adults linked regular consumption of walnuts with significant memory improvement. These effects are likely due to the high antioxidant content of walnuts, though their omega-3 fatty acids may play a role as well.