Walnuts, or commonly referred as ‘Akhrot‘ in Hindi, ‘Akroot Kaya‘ in Telugu, ‘Akrottu‘ in Tamil, ‘Akrothandi‘ in Malayalam, ‘Acrota‘ in Kannada, ‘Akrod‘ in Marathi and ‘Akrot‘ in (Gujarati & Bengali). Walnut is one of the very common ingredients in our daily life. We consume walnuts in chocolates, cakes, cookies, etc. Even though they have a slightly bitter taste, people love them.
Let us now discuss some benefits of walnuts and why you should include them in your diet:
Walnuts are really great for the skin and the body. Many makeup and skin care brands include walnuts in their ingredients as they are rich in nutrients that benefit our beauty routines. They are also sought after for hair care. Many shampoos contain walnut extracts and walnut oil as they keep the hair healthy and make them shiny.
[ Read: Benefits Of Neem For Skin And Hair ]
Health Benefits Of Walnuts:
1. For The Heart:
Due to the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the walnuts, they are very beneficial to the cardiovascular system. It has been found that eating just a few walnuts per day can help reduce the blood pressure, so those with high blood pressure take note! The omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce the bad cholesterol in the body and encourage the production of the good cholesterol. This is again beneficial for the heart (1).
2. For Immunity:
Walnuts have high amounts of antioxidants in them that keep your immune system healthy and prevent the onset of diseases. Add some walnuts to your diet every day to keep yourself fit as a fiddle (2).
3. For Brain Health:
The omega-3 fatty acids present in the walnuts are also good for the brain. Having food rich in omega-3 fatty acids keeps the nervous system working smoothly and improves your memory (3).
4. For Breast Cancer:
The American Association For Cancer Research has published in its 2009 research volume that consuming a few walnuts each day can help reduce the risk of breast cancer (4).
5. For Inflammatory Diseases:
Those with inflammatory diseases like asthma, arthritis and eczema can benefit from walnuts as they have high amounts of fatty acid in them (5).
6. For Bone Health:
Walnuts contain an essential fatty acid called alpha linolenic acid. This alpha linolenic acid and its compounds have been associated with stronger and healthier bones. Also, as you intake omega-3 fatty acids through walnuts, inflammation decreases, and this is related to keeping the bones stronger for a longer duration (6).
7. For Better Sleep And Stress:
Walnuts have melatonin and this compound is said to be associated with better sleep patterns (7). Also, the omega-3 fatty acids keep the blood pressure low and help relieve stress.
8. For Pregnancy:
Having a walnut daily can greatly benefit those who are expecting. Walnuts contain healthy vitamin B-Complex groups like folates, riboflavin, thiamin, etc. These are necessary for a pregnant woman and the fetus.
[ Read: Pregnancy Personal Care Tips ]
9. For Constipation And Digestive System:
Walnuts are rich in fiber and they are a great way to keep your digestive system functioning properly. All humans require fiber on a daily basis to keep their bowels functioning correctly. Usually the common sources of protein, such as meat and dairy products, lack fiber. Having walnuts daily can help you with digestive problems and keep your bowels functioning properly (8).
[ Read: Health Benefits of Dates ]
Walnuts For Healthy And Beautiful Skin:
10. Delays Skin Ageing:
Walnuts are good for the skin as they are packed with B-vitamins. Vitamin B is an excellent stress and mood manager. Lower stress levels result in a better skin. Increased stress levels can result in the earlier onset of wrinkles, thus inducing faster aging. The presence of the B-vitamins, together with Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant, helps in fighting the free radicals induced due to stress. This further delays the ageing process (9).
11. Walnuts For A Moisturized Skin:
Those with dry skin should try applying warm walnut oil regularly. Walnut oil helps keep the skin moisturized. It nourishes the skin from within, enhancing the growth of healthier and radiant cells (10).
12. Bid Adieu To Your Dark Circles:
The regular application of warm walnut oil is known to lighten the dark circles. It is a wonderful soothing agent (11). The oil extracted from the walnuts is known to ease puffiness and relax your eyes, retaining its glow and color.
How To Use Walnuts For Glowing Skin?
- Reap the benefits of walnuts by preparing an easy face pack at home.
- Add 4 walnuts, 2 teaspoons oats, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon cream, and 4 drops of olive oil in a blender.
- Blend well to make a smooth paste.
- Apply it on your face and let it dry completely.
- Wash with warm water, while massaging in a circular motion.
This face mask is a great way to keep the facial skin moisturized and delay the onset of wrinkles.
Eat Walnuts For Healthier Hair:
These days, with factors like pollution, hectic lifestyles and poor eating habits, our hair is more dull and damaged than ever before. You can now get healthy, glowing hair by incorporating walnuts in your daily hair care regimen. Walnuts, whether consumed or applied externally as oil, are known to keep your hair healthy and glowing.
13. Longer, Stronger Hair:
Walnuts are good sources of potassium, omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids. All these ingredients strengthen the hair follicles. Thus, the regular application of walnut oil on the hair leaves you with longer, stronger, healthier, and glowing hair (12).
14. Prevents Balding:
Studies show that the regular use of walnut oil can keep balding issues at bay.
15. Natural Anti-Dandruff Agent:
Walnut oil is widely used in producing hair oils due to its rich moisturizing properties. Hence, it is widely suggested as a natural anti-dandruff agent (13).
16. Healthier Scalp:
The regular application of walnut oil keeps the scalp moisturized and hydrated, thus keeping medical conditions such as dermatitis at bay. The antifungal properties of walnut oil are beneficial in preventing the infections triggered by ringworm. This further ensures a healthier and cleaner scalp. A healthy scalp will lead to healthy hair (14).
17. Highlight Your Hair Color Naturally With Walnuts:
The husk of walnuts is a natural coloring agent that could accentuate the natural highlights of your hair. Walnut oil contains a rich amount of assorted proteins. These help in improving the color of the hair, while giving it a healthier glow (15).
How To Use Walnuts For Improving Hair Health?
It is advisable to apply walnuts, in the form of oil, at least thrice a week for reaping the benefits. For better results, it can be used alone or along with coconut or olive oils. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor before you start using the oil to rule out the chances of allergies, if any.
How To Choose The Right Walnuts
Walnuts come in three different sizes – small, medium, and large. Check the shells thoroughly. Avoid shells that come with holes and/or cracks. If you are picking up the shelled ones, then make sure that the meat within is plump and crisp.
How To Store Walnuts
You can store walnuts in an airtight container in a dry, cool area, away from direct sunlight. This gives a shelf life of 3 months, provided the walnuts are in the shell.
Once you remove the shell, you can store it in your refrigerator for a maximum of six months. You can freeze the walnuts in an airtight package and use them for one year, without any damage. Walnuts generally absorb food flavors quite easily. While refrigerating or freezing, make sure they are kept at a safe distance from foods such as onions, cabbage or fish.
You can relish 1ounce of walnuts daily.
1 oz = ¼ cup = 12 to 14 halves, depending on the size.
How to use walnuts?
You can enjoy the benefits of walnuts by snacking on them directly or incorporating them as part of your diet. Here are a few tasty ideas for using these nuts:
- Add 2 to 3 walnuts along with banana and yogurt for a healthy smoothie.
- Transform it into a delicious spread by toasting and then grinding into a powder. Blend it along with garlic, salt, lemon juice, olive oil, and a dash of pepper.
- Prepare a delicious salad by mixing walnuts, diced apple, red and yellow bell peppers, and spring onions. Toss in a low fat garlic vinaigrette dressing.
- For a protein-packed meal, prepare a delicious meal with canned tuna, avocado, celery, and apples. Toss in toasted walnuts and flavor the meal with fresh lime juice.
- Toss in a handful of crushed, toasted walnuts in your butter-free, sugar-free, whole grain, almond-oats cookie.
- Walnuts can be paired with caramel, blue cheese, mushrooms, port, assorted salads, penne pasta, zucchini, raisins, and sherry.
- Always shell the walnuts or chop them only when you plan to eat. This will help retain the freshness.
Walnuts come packed with nutrients. So start using these nuts today and reap their benefits to lead a healthier life.
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