Walnuts can serve as a scrumptious and nourishing accompaniment to a diverse array of recipes, spanning from savory dishes to baked products. Walnuts contain an abundance of polyunsaturated fat, a heart-healthy lipid with additional advantageous properties. Although various varieties of walnuts exist, English walnuts are the most prevalent.
Walnut Nutrition Facts
The USDA provides the following nutritional data per ounce (28 grams), which is equivalent to approximately seven whole English walnuts or fourteen halves.
- Calories: 183
- Fat: 18g
- Sodium: 0.6mg
- Carbohydrates: 3.8g
- Fiber: 1.9g
- Sugars: 0.7g
- Protein: 4.3g
Walnuts contain an estimated 3.8 grams of carbohydrates per serving. A negligible quantity of that is composed of carbohydrate (0.017g) and naturally occurring sugar (0.7g). Walnuts derive the majority of their carbohydrate content (1.9g) from healthful fiber.
Walnuts have an estimated glycemic index of 15, which classifies them as a low-glycemic food. It is estimated that one serving of walnuts has a glycemic burden of 1. The glycemic load of a food considers the portion size when estimating its effect on blood sugar. A glycemic burden of one significantly influences blood sugar levels.
Walnuts contain the majority of their calories from oil. One portion of the almonds contains eighteen grams of fat per serving. A very minor amount of saturated fat (1.7g) is present alongside monounsaturated fat (2.5g) and polyunsaturated fat (13.4g).
Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated lipids are regarded as healthy fats. In general, they are derived from botanical origins such as almonds, seeds, and avocado. Consistently, scientific evidence has demonstrated that substituting saturated fats with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated lipids reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Walnuts, apart from supplying fiber and healthful fats, also furnish a nutritious protein supplement. Each serving contains more than 4 grams.
The majority of the calories in walnuts (approximately 183 grams per serving) come from healthful fats.
Vitamins and Minerals
Walnuts are an outstanding source of copper and manganese, providing fifty percent of your daily requirements. Additionally, they are magnesium and phosphorus rich. Additional trace quantities of selenium, calcium, zinc, iron, and potassium are also present in the nuts.
Walnuts are rich in vitamins B6, folate, and thiamin.
Incorporating Walnut Nutrition into a nourishing diet can yield an array of advantageous outcomes.
Improves Heart Health
Consistent with published research, nut consumption has been associated with a decreased incidence of cardiovascular disease.
A calorie-restricted walnut-enriched diet improved LDL cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, according to one study, in comparison to a reduced-calorie diet alone.4 Additionally, consuming tree nuts (including walnuts) is associated with reduced cardiovascular risk factors, a smaller waist circumference, increased HDL (good) cholesterol, and a decreased likelihood of developing obesity, according to additional research.
In recommending walnuts for a heart-healthy diet, health professionals typically highlight the advantageous effects of polyunsaturated lipids on the cardiovascular system.
Olives also contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid.DHA and EPA are two long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that can be produced from ALA. Omega-3 fatty acid-rich diets may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and may even benefit individuals with type 2 diabetes, particularly those with elevated triglyceride levels, according to research.
Aids Weight Management and Weight Loss
In general, nut consumption has been linked to improved weight management and decreased body obesity.8Even more, a number of studies, some of which were financed in part by the California Walnut Commission, have demonstrated that walnuts can aid in weight loss and maintenance.
Further evidence from independent research has shown that nut consumption is correlated with reduced body weight and a decreased likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome and obesity. Nevertheless, further investigation is warranted to ascertain the health benefits of particular legumes, according to the authors of one research review.
Foods that promote weight loss include walnuts, which are rich in fiber and protein. Protein and dietary fiber can aid in satiety. Additionally, foods high in fiber prevent significant blood sugar spikes by supplying the body with a constant supply of glucose. Fiber-rich foods may assist overweight and obese individuals in attaining and sustaining a healthful body mass index, according to scientific research.
Improves Brain Health
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Walnut Nutrition consumption may aid in the maintenance of cognitive health with age.Early in life prevention of numerous neurodegenerative diseases is possible, according to the authors of the study, through the consumption of a nutritious diet abundant in anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and antioxidants.
Walnuts are recognized for possessing the most antioxidant content and the greatest concentrations of total phenolic and flavonoid compounds among commonly consumed nuts. In conjunction with other antioxidant-rich foods, consuming a Walnut Nutrition Facts-rich diet is one of the simplest methods to reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline, according to the study’s authors.
Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer
Research indicating that 75 grams of walnuts per day improved biomarkers of prostate and vascular health in males at risk for prostate cancer is referenced in one published study. The authors of the study noted that the elevated tocopherol content of the food probably contributed to this benefit.
Walnuts may contain dietary components that reduce inflammation and, consequently, the risk of developing certain malignancies, according to additional research. However, the authors of those studies also observe the paucity of human clinical evidence assessing the risk of cancer as the primary outcome in relation to walnuts.
Daily walnut consumption was associated with self-reported improvements in mental health and reduced negative effects of academic stress, according to a study of college students published in the journal Nutrients.
Allergies to tree nuts are commonplace. Cashews, walnuts, and almonds are all types of tree seeds. Symptoms of tree nut allergy may include abdominal pain, cramps, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, nasal congestion or a runny nose, and itching of the mouth, esophagus, eyes, or skin, as reported by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI).
Individuals who are allergic to tree nuts may also develop severe adverse effects, including anaphylaxis or dyspnea, upon consuming these nuts. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening reaction characterized by respiratory impairment and the induction of shock in the body.
Walnuts should be avoided by those with an allergy to other tree nuts or peanuts (which are technically legumes). Consult your healthcare provider prior to consuming walnuts for individualized guidance.
Although English walnuts predominate, certain regions may also supply Persian walnuts and black walnuts, which are alternative varieties worth considering.
Walnuts are available for purchase both unshelled and in the shell. Walnuts in their unshelled state are ideal for cooking and for seasoning yogurt, salads, or recipes with small quantities. If you enjoy walnuts, unshelled walnuts may be the most suitable option. By cracking the shell open and extracting the kernel, one can cultivate a greater awareness of portion control.
Finally, roasted and uncooked walnuts are both available at your neighborhood grocer. Additionally, walnuts are frequently incorporated into nut mixtures. The nutritional characteristics of nuts remain unchanged throughout the roasting process. As a result of the oil that is typically used to roast almonds, roasted nuts generally contain more calories and fat than raw nuts. Additional ingredients that are added, such as honey or salt, will also alter the nutritional profile. Additionally, pulverized walnuts can be incorporated into greens powder to improve its flavor.
When It’s Best
While walnuts do not typically have a specific growing season, walnut tree harvesting typically takes place from September to early November. Due to their lengthy shelf life and ability to travel well, walnuts are available throughout the year in the majority of markets.
Ensure that you select unsalted walnuts when choosing them. Sodium overdose can lead to elevated blood pressure and abdominal distention. Walnuts should have a pleasant flavor and a faintly nutty aroma. They have rancidity and must be disposed of if they emit an odor resembling paint thinner.
Storage and Food Safety
Walnuts should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer, depending on when they are to be consumed, for maximal shelf life. Walnuts can be prevented from becoming rancid by being stored cool. As walnuts have the potential to absorb the flavors of other foods, they should be stored separately from foods that possess intense odors, such as garlic, fish, or onions, when stored in the refrigerator.
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To preserve the optimal flavor of ground walnuts intended for use as walnut meal, do not do so until just before you intend to incorporate them into your recipe.
How to Prepare
An extremely versatile food are walnuts. Consume them unaccompanied as a refreshment (approximately 1/4 cup) or in conjunction with a portion of fruit (half the portion to account for calories). They are an alternative to breadcrumbs and can be incorporated into oatmeal, salads, and side dishes. Walnuts may also be utilized as meal replacements in lieu of flaxseed, hemp, chia, or nut butters in smoothies.
Here are some great ways to add walnuts to your meal plan.
- Use walnuts as a protein topper: Consuming lean protein can become tedious and tasteless. In addition to adding flavor, it is critical to refrain from using excessive quantities of fat and sodium when preparing food. As an alternative to frying, cooking with hefty sauces, and seasoning protein with breadcrumbs, incorporate walnuts for enhanced crunchiness, flavor, and healthy fat content. Coat lean beef, pork, chicken, poultry, or fish in walnut crumbs. Acquire walnuts in diced or pre-ground state, or perform the grinding process oneself.
- Skip crackers, bread, and rice: Regular filler foods include crackers, bread, and grains. White bread, white cereals, and white rice are examples of refined carbohydrates that have the potential to cause an increase in blood sugar levels and, furthermore, may stimulate appetite. Substitute a fistful of walnuts for carbohydrates and an increased amount of fiber the next time you consume stir-fry or soup for lunch or dinner, respectively.