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Walnuts

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Walnuts Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 4.1 g
Calories: 654 kcal
Protein: 15.2 g
Carbohydrate: 13.7 g
Dietary fiber: 6.7 g
Sugars: 2.6 g
Fat: 65.2 g
Saturated fat: 6.1 g
Monounsaturated fat: 8.9 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 47.2 g
Vitamin C: 1.3 mg
Vitamin B1: 0.3 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.2 mg
Vitamin B3: 1.1 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.5 mg
Vitamin B9: 98 μg
Vitamin A: 1 μg
Vitamin E: 0.7 mg
Vitamin K: 2.7 μg
Calcium: 98 mg
Iron: 2.9 mg
Magnesium: 158 mg
Phosphorus: 346 mg
Potassium: 441 mg
Sodium: 2 mg
Zinc: 3.1 mg

Walnuts are a species of tree nut remarkable for their high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and excellent benefits for cardiovascular disease. Walnuts can be eaten raw, pickled, or even in nut butter form, and can be made into walnut oil. These different forms give it a whole range of application: walnut oil can be used as salad dressing, whole walnuts can be used in baking, and nut butter is useful as a spread. High in omega-3s, protein and essential nutrients, and with excellent benefits for cardiovascular disease, walnuts are fantastic for your health.

Nutritionally, walnut is somewhat typical for a nut, in that is high calorie, but also high in protein, healthy fats and essential nutrients. 100g of walnuts contain 654 calories, but that comes with 30% of your Daily Value (DV) of protein and 28% DV of fibre. On top of that, 100g of walnuts contains 39% DV of magnesium, 25% DV of B6, 16% DV of iron, 12% DV of potassium, and 9% DV of calcium. While the amounts of these minerals actually vary substantially between varieties of walnuts, what is significant is that these essential minerals some in high enough amounts to do some real good.

Beyond this, walnuts are also fantastic nutritionally because of their extremely high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. One list puts walnuts second in terms of amounts of omega 3 per serving (second only to flaxseed). Omega 3s lower blood pressure, help prevent breast cancer, delay the onset of age-related macular degeneration, prevent the shortening of telomeres, associated with age-related diseases and early mortality, and help preventneurodegenerative diseases. Diets with a high omega 6 to omega 3 ratio may even run the risk of depression and inflammatory disorders. In addition, the specific form of omega 3 present in walnuts (ALA), has been shown to reduce cholesterol.

Finally, walnuts are fantastic when it comes to fighting off cardiovascular disease (the developed world’s leading cause of mortality). Firstly, the walnut has been proven to reduce some of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including decreases in total cholesterol, LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol and triglycerides, in addition to improving the ratio of LDL TO HDL cholesterol. On top of that, walnuts have been shown to improve endothelial function (endothelial cells coat the inside of the entire cardiovascular system. Further, walnuts have been shown to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol which can lead to tissue damage because of the free radicals. Finally, it has been shown that walnuts improve the LDL to HDL cholesterol levels in those with Type 2 Diabetes.