The word ‘walnut’ is believed to be derived from the Old German and Old English words ‘wal’ and ‘wealhhnutu’, respectively. In Old English, the word ‘wealh’ simply means ‘foreign’ and ‘nutu’, means ‘nut’, literally translating to ‘foreign nut’.
The walnut is the seed of the walnut tree, which belongs to the genus juglans. There are two main types of walnuts, namely, the English walnut, which is the most common, and the black walnut. The English walnut is believed to be native to Persia, while the black walnut comes from the United States. The world largest producer, however, is China, with the United States being the world’s largest exporter of this nutrient-packed nut.
Regardless, Romania is believed to produce some of the best walnuts in the world.
With more awareness of the health benefits of walnuts, the production of walnuts has increased drastically over the last few years. This article hopes to provide you with all walnut benefits, medicinal uses, and side effects.
Walnut is rich in the essential fatty acids, the kind that will help reduce the bad cholesterol present in the body. It is also packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Walnuts contain vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K, that’s almost all the vitamins there are. It is also a rich source of minerals such as sodium, zinc, polyunsaturated fats, carbohydrates, proteins and sugar.
Listed below are a few walnut benefits and medicinal uses.
- Walnuts lower blood cholesterol levels.
- Walnuts reduce blood pressure levels in the body.
- Eating walnuts is said to lower the risk of sudden heart attack by 47%.
- Omega 3 fatty acids present in walnuts are believed to reduce the incidences of stroke.
- In men, walnuts are believed to enhance reproductive properties.
- Walnuts help reduce the chances of chronic degenerative diseases.
- While the exact role of walnuts in cancer prevention and cure is not known, recent research does suggest that there may be a significant connection between cancer prevention and walnut consumption.
- Walnuts being rich in omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants are believed to be a beneficial anti-aging and anti-inflammatory agent.
- They are also said to help prevent neurological diseases.
- Additionally, walnut oil is believed to be extremely good for the skin and hair, providing great moisturizing effect, resulting in a healthy glow in both skin and hair.
- Walnuts also increase blood insulin levels and are great for those with type II diabetes.
- While it is still under debate whether the walnut itself helps treat acne, the leaf of the walnut tree has been used as a home remedy in the treatment of acne, ulcers and other skin infections.
The side effects of eating too many walnuts are not very clear as of now as very few studies have been done to understand the same. However, based on few of the studies available, some of the side effects of eating walnuts are listed below.
- Allergies: With any kind of nut, the risk of allergies is high for some. Care needs to be taken, if you are allergic to walnuts as in such cases, the benefits do not out weight the allergic reactions it causes.
- Walnuts can cause stomach bloat and sometimes soften stools.
- Excessive intake can result in weight gain.
Walnuts can provide your body with a whole lot of benefits, provided you stick to the daily recommended value. Too little in your diet and you will not be able to benefit from this nut, too much and you may find yourself suffering from some of the minor side effects.
Walnuts are great for men, women and children and as long as you are not allergic to these nuts, they can provide your body with essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will help you lead a healthy life.