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Enjoy your nutritious walnuts

Doris Obinna

Walnuts contain a number of neuroprotective compounds, including Vitamin E, folate, melatonin, omega-3 fats, and antioxidants. Research shows walnut consumption may support brain health, including increasing inferential reasoning in young adults.

Walnuts are 65 per cent fat by weight and 15 per cent protein. They are richer than most nuts in polyunsaturated fats and particularly rich in an omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid.

Walnuts also have a relatively high amount of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). They are a rich source of vitamins, like Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.
However, there are major health benefits of walnuts and they include:

Boost bone health: Essential fatty acids, in walnuts, secure the bone health of the body. They increase calcium absorption and deposition while reducing urinary calcium excretion.

Improve heart function: Walnuts are rich in amino acid l-arginine, omega-3, and monounsaturated fatty acids (72 per cent) like oleic acid. It also contains EFAs like linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and arachidonic acids. The inclusion of walnuts in any diet helps prevent coronary heart diseases by favouring a healthy lipid supply. Their consumption lowers the LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases the level of HDL (good) cholesterol. Consuming walnuts daily also helps lower the risk of high blood pressure.

Antioxidant power: Walnuts rank second in the list of ‘antioxidant-rich’ foods, after blackberries.  The rare powerful antioxidants, such as quinone juglone, the tannin tellimagrandin, and the flavonol morin present in walnuts have remarkable free-radical scavenging power. These antioxidants also help prevent liver damage due to chemicals.

Weight management: Walnuts are one of those nuts that help you feel full, which means that it increases satiety. The rich source of protein and fiber makes it a healthy snacking option, especially for vegetarians.

Improve male fertility: Walnut has a positive impact on male fertility by improving sperm quality, quantity, vitality, and motility.

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