nutritional value of walnut

Walnuts are not just a delicious snack; they are a nutritional powerhouse that can contribute to our overall health and well-being. The nutritional value of walnut cannot be overlooked. It is packed with essential nutrients, healthy fats, fibre, and antioxidants, walnuts offer a wide range of health benefits.

From promoting heart health and supporting brain function to aiding in weight management and improving gut health, walnuts have gained recognition for their impressive nutritional profile. In this article, we will explore the health and nutrition value of walnuts, highlighting their role in various aspects of our well-being.

Nutritional Profile of Walnut

Walnut has a vast and incredible nutritional composition. Below are the nutrients present in this nut and the approximate values of the percentage composition of daily recommended nutrients present in a 1-ounce (28-gram) or about 7 walnuts.

  • Calories: 185 (9% of daily calorie intake based on a 2,000-calorie diet)
  • Total Fat: 18.5 grams (28% of daily value)
    • Saturated Fat: 1.7 grams
    • Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5 grams
    • Polyunsaturated Fat: 13 grams (includes omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Cholesterol: 0 grams (0% of daily value)
  • Sodium: 0 grams (0% of daily value)
  • Total Carbohydrates: 3.9 grams (1% of daily value)
    • Dietary Fiber: 1.9 grams (7% of daily value)
    • Sugars: 0.7 grams
  • Protein: 4.3 grams (9% of daily value)
  • Vitamin E: 1.3 milligrams (7% of daily value)
  • Folate: 28.1 micrograms (7% of daily value)
  • Magnesium: 45.6 milligrams (11% of daily value)
  • Phosphorus: 98.3 milligrams (10% of daily value)
  • Copper: 0.4 milligrams (18% of daily value)
  • Vitamin B6: 0.2 milligrams (10% of daily value)
  • Manganese: 0.4 milligrams (18% of daily value)

Note that these values may vary slightly depending on the specific variety and quality of walnuts.

7 Significant Health and Nutritional Value of Walnuts

1. Improves Heart Health

Improves Heart Health

Walnuts help to keep your heart healthy in many ways. Firstly, they contain healthy fats called omega-3 fatty acids that can lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. They also have antioxidants that fight inflammation, keeping your blood vessels healthy. Similarly, the fibre in walnuts helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. However, while the nutritional value of walnut offers these heart-healthy benefits, you should eat them in moderation because they are also high in calories.

2. Contributes to Cancer Prevention

nutritional value of walnut in cancer prevention

Scientists suggest that walnuts can be a valuable ally in the fight against cancer due to their antioxidant properties, phenolic compounds, and omega-3 fatty acids. The antioxidants in walnuts help neutralize harmful free radicals that can damage cells and DNA, potentially lowering the risk of cancer.

Also, phenolic compounds found in walnuts provide additional protection by reducing inflammation and protecting cells from damage. Likewise, the omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts have shown the potential in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast and colorectal cancer. While walnuts alone cannot guarantee cancer prevention, incorporating them into a balanced and healthy diet along with other lifestyle factors can contribute to an overall cancer-preventive approach.

3. Improves Brain Health

Improves Brain Health

The rich content of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and beneficial nutrients makes walnut a powerful ally in supporting brain health. The omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts play a crucial role in brain cell structure and communication, supporting memory, learning, and cognitive function.

Also, the antioxidants in walnuts protect brain cells from damage and reduce oxidative stress, which can contribute to age-related cognitive decline. Additionally, walnuts provide nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium, and copper, which further support brain health.

However, the nutritional value of walnut does not guarantee optimal brain function. But combining walnuts with a well-balanced lifestyle, including a healthy diet and other brain-healthy habits, can contribute to overall brain health.

4. Maintains a Healthy Gut

nutritional value of walnut in gut health

Walnuts can be a valuable supporter of a healthy gut due to their fibre content, prebiotics, and polyphenols. The fibres in walnuts provide nourishment for the good bacteria in your gut, helping them thrive and maintain a healthy balance.

Additionally, walnuts contain prebiotics, which serves as fuel specifically for beneficial gut bacteria, promoting a diverse and thriving gut microbiota. The polyphenols found in walnuts have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can contribute to a healthier gut environment.

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5. Rich in Antioxidants

Rich in Antioxidants

Walnuts have high antioxidant activities compared to other nuts. These powerful antioxidants act as shields to protect your body from harmful molecules called free radicals. These antioxidants play a crucial role in preventing cell damage and reducing inflammation in your body.

By including walnuts in your diet, you’re giving your body a natural defence against chronic diseases like heart disease, certain cancers, and neurodegenerative disorders.

6. Helps with Weight Management

nutritional value of walnut in weight management

The combination of healthy fats, fibre, and protein makes walnuts a helpful addition to weight management. These nutrients work together to provide a feeling of fullness and satisfaction, helping to curb cravings and prevent overeating.

Despite being calorie-dense, research suggests that incorporating walnuts into a balanced diet does not necessarily lead to weight gain and may even support better weight management.

Another nutritional value of walnut is the healthy fats in them such as omega-3 fatty acids This nutrient can improve insulin sensitivity and help regulate blood sugar levels, which can contribute to stable energy levels and reduce cravings.

7. Improves Blood Fats

Cholesterol and triglycerides in walnut benefits health by improving blood fats. More so, they contain a unique combination of nutrients, including healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and plant sterols. These nutrients work together to improve your blood fat profile by lowering levels of bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and total cholesterol.

The healthy fats in walnuts help reduce the buildup of bad cholesterol in your arteries, while the fibre acts like a sponge, absorbing cholesterol and removing it from your body. Additionally, walnuts contain plant sterols, which further contribute to lowering cholesterol levels. By incorporating walnuts into your diet as part of a balanced lifestyle, you can improve your blood fats.

How Many Walnuts Should You Eat in a Day?

Recommended daily consumption of walnut

Experts recommend consuming about 1.5 ounces (or roughly 1/3 cup) of nuts, including walnuts, as part of a healthy diet. This amount is equivalent to approximately 20 walnut halves. It’s important to note that while nuts like walnuts provide health benefits, they are also calorie-dense, so portion control is key. Also, consider them as part of your overall daily calorie intake.

Additionally, individual dietary needs may vary. So, consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian can provide personalized guidance based on your specific needs.

Final Words

You can see so far that the nutritional value of walnut is incredible. However, it’s important to consume them in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet considering individual dietary needs and potential allergies. So, whether you enjoy them as a snack, in salads, or as an ingredient in your favourite recipes, incorporating walnuts into your daily routine can be a simple yet impactful step towards better health.

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