Walnuts were called Juglans regia, “Jupiter’s royal acorn” by the Romans. English walnuts seemed to have originated in Persia and is often known as Persian Walnut. With its unique nutritional profile and ability to reduce heart disease risk, walnuts have definitely gained center-stage as a quintessential therapeutic health food!
100 g of walnuts contain 15.2 g protein, 65.2 g fat, and 6.7 g dietary fiber. Although walnuts are rich in fats, the type of fats present is beneficial i.e. polyunsaturated fatty acids with a particularly high omega 3: omega 6 ratio which is highest among all the tree nuts
- Regular walnut consumption is known to cause no change or even slight decrease in weight but definitely no weight gain
- The polyphenols from nuts, especially walnuts, has the ability to inhibit the oxidation of the bad (LDL) cholesterol which in its oxidized form causes blockage of the arteries supplying blood to the heart also called as atherosclerosis leading to heart attacks
- Walnuts are rich in arginine, a precursor to nitric oxide, which causes dilation of the blood vessels thereby lowering risk of blockages
- Walnuts help in lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol thereby improving lipid profile
- The antioxidative properties of walnuts help in reducing inflammatory markers that increase risk of cancers, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
- Walnuts contain complex carbohydrates with high amounts of dietary fiber which provide greater satiety.
Walnuts ought to be a part of healthy meal plan since it has several benefits for heart health without causing weight gain. Walnuts should feature daily in the diet of individuals, especially with high cholesterol. Although due to its high price one may not be able to include a large quantity, even 2 whole walnuts in a day are beneficial and a worthwhile investment for health.