Walnuts are the seeds mostly found in genus Juglans that have numerous health benefits. The most commonly used Walnut for medicinal purposes is Persian Walnut, or English Walnut is scientifically known as Juglans regia. While the other species like Juglans nigra and Juglans cinerea are rarely used for its medicinal uses.
Walnuts are rich with certain phytochemicals, including fatty acids (such as alpha-linolenic acid), Ellagitannins, Proanthocyanidins, phenolic compounds (such as syringic acid and naphthoquinone juglone), flavanols, and dihydrochalcones. It also contains alpha tocopherols (vitamin E), phytosterols, non-sodium minerals, and melatonin.
In history, Walnut was used as an aphrodisiac agent by Romans to improve their sexual performance. The tree of Walnut is considered a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, and intelligence. Native Americans considered it a symbol of focus, attention, clarity, and high energy source for new projects.
Health Benefits of Walnut:
Following are some of the proven health benefits of Walnut:
Walnut shows an anti-inflammatory response by inhibiting the production of proinflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide and inflammatory cytokines. It also prevents the risk of chronic inflammatory diseases of the heart and joints by lowering C-reactive protein (CRP) that is linked to many inflammatory conditions. A medical study reported that walnut support nerves health by decreasing the risk of neuroinflammation.
Walnut possesses a potential antioxidant activity that relieves oxidative stress and prevents cellular damage. It has been reported that it increases antioxidant activity in the brain that improves dementia, increases cognitive performance, and decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and parkinsonism. It also improves the symptoms of depression, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Control level of Cholesterol:
Walnut is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that regulate the high concentration of cholesterol in the body. It decreases the level of bad low-density lipoproteins and increases good cholesterol level. Thus, prevent atherosclerosis and improve heart functions. It also supports gut health and metabolic processes by nourishing the gut microbiota.
Support vitality and longevity:
Walnut support longevity and delay aging by protecting and nourishing the vital organs such as the heart, brain, and gastrointestinal tract. It also boosts reproductive health by improving the motility, vitality, and morphology of sperms.
Other health benefits:
Walnut may help to control body mass index by controlling hunger and appetite. This effect can also help to maintain blood sugar levels and improve symptoms of diabetes. Some studies have also reported that regular use of walnuts prevents the risk of certain cancers, including colorectal, prostate, and breast cancer.
It is advised not to take Walnut concomitantly with oral drugs because it can affect their absorption and effectiveness. Walnut does not have any severe interaction with medications.
Walnut does not have side effects at regular doses, but it may cause diarrhea at higher than recommended doses. It is not recommended for individuals with known hypersensitivity to nuts.