Walnuts, the wellness food: why you should eat them

It is very important to eat walnuts, because they are rich in beneficial properties. Let’s see their nutritional values and how many of them we should eat.

Everyone of us should eat walnuts, because they have many beneficial properties. The right amount is the perfect snack for people on a diet, because they help keeping the weight under control.

As you might know, these fruits are contained in a hard and wooden shell. You can eat them fresh or toasted, on their own or together with other dried fruit, whole wheat cereals or yogurt. Let’s see what their properties and nutritional values are, and how many of them you should eat them per day.

Walnut properties

As we have mentioned, these fruits have thousands of properties. First of all, they are rich in mineral salts (magnesium, potassium, iron and calcium), vitamins (most of all vitamin E, folic acid and group B vitamin) and proteins.

Moreover, they contain “good” fats, that is omega 3 fatty acids. They help lowering LDL cholesterol levels and prevent inflammations. Thanks to its content of ellagic acid, a powerful natural antioxidant, walnuts are perfect to strengthen the immune system.

Finally, they contain melatonin, a substance that regulates the sleep patterns, and arginine, an amino acid which gives energy to our body.

Photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/noce-dado-noci-frutta-a-guscio-2816934/

Walnut benefits

This food has huge benefits. First of all, they have a high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6), which help lowering the LDL cholesterol levels. Moreover, they also have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer powers.

Vitamin B1 regulates the energy metabolism, the nervous and muscle system functioning. Instead, vitamin B6, regulates the serotonin synthesis, strengthen the immune system and prevent neurological disease.

Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid, and iron are fundamental for the right production of hemoglobin and to fight anemia. Walnuts also contain zinc, a very useful substance to fight prostate diseases.

If eaten for dinner, thanks to their content of melatonin, they help fighting insomnia. Moreover, their high energetic power and vitamins make them the perfect food for pregnant women, children, athletes and recovering people.

Walnuts are also rich in vegetable proteins, iron and calcium, therefore they are very useful in vegan and vegetarian diets to replace meat and its derivatives. Finally, the vitamin E they contain has anti-oxidant properties, while magnesium promotes the right functioning of the muscle system.

Walnuts: nutritional values

The nutritional values of 100 grams of walnuts are:

  • kcal 654;
  • water 4,07 g;
  • proteins 15,23g;
  • fats 65,21g (saturated 6,126g, monounsaturated 8,933g; polyunsatured 47,174);
  • carbohydrates 13,71g (sugar: 2,61g);
  • glycemic index 15;
  • cholesterol 0g;
  • fibers 6,7g;
  • phosphorus 346mg;
  • potassium 441mg;
  • zinc 3,09mg;
  • vitamin B1 0,341mg;
  • calcium 98mg;
  • iron 2,91mg;
  • vitamin B9 98µg;
  • magnesium 158mg;
  • vitamin B6 0,537mg;
  • vitamin E 0,7mg;

How many calories do walnuts contain?

Do walnuts make you gain weight? They are a very caloric food: they contain almost 654kcal every 100 grams. The same quantity of toasted walnuts seasoned with oil and salt have 607 calories. Instead, 100 grams of Pecan walnuts contain 690 calories, while macadamia ones 718.

The Brazilian variety has 656 calories for 100 grams, while the English one has 654. In any case, it is better not to eat too many of these fruits.

Photo source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-nuts-on-table-45211/

Walnut side effects

Even though they have thousands of benefits, they also have side effects. First of all, they are rich in fats and calories, therefore you should not eat too many of them, especially if you are on a diet. The most serious side effects, though, is the risk of allergies, which can cause face swelling, tongue tingling, rash and a severe shock reaction.

How many nuts per day you should eat?

According to scientific studies, the ideal quantity is 40-80 grams. This amount keeps constant the LDL cholesterol levels, while it lowers the HDL ones. You should eat 30 grams of walnuts per day (about 8 of them). In this way, you will benefit from all their properties without risking gain weights.

ultimo aggiornamento: 15-05-2019