HEALTH BENEFIT OF WALNUT (ASALA IN YORUBA LANGUAGE)

Nigeria is one country that is blessed with agricultural produce, amongst is Walnut (asala), Walnut botanically called Tetracarpidium conophorum or plukeneia conophora, belong to the family Euphorbiaceae. African walnut is also called Asala or awusa in Yoruba language, okwe or okhue in Edo language, ekporo in the Efik dialect, ukpa in igbo. It originated from the tropical west African countries, Sierra leone to Angola, and then to Nigeria and other countries in West Africa. They are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a good source of protein.

Walnuts are also a good source of: Manganese, Copper, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin B6, iron,Omega 3, Calcium, Fat.

Nuts have a reputation for being a high-calorie and high-fat food. However, they are dense in nutrients and provide heart-healthy fats.

According to the USDA Nutrition Data, walnuts are a rich source of vitamin C, B vitamins (vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and folate), vitamin E, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

Walnuts are 65 percent fat by weight and 15 percent protein. They are richer than most nuts in polyunsaturated fats (often considered the “good” fats) and have a relatively high amount of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid(ALA). Walnuts are also particularly rich in an omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid.

Drinking water immediately after eating the nut usually gives a bitter taste, this has been attributed to the presence of alkaloids in walnut seeds

Walnut improves Male Fertility

Study has it that consumption of walnuts have a positive impact on male fertility by improving and boosting sperm quality ,  vitality, and motility, according to webmd.com, eating 2.5 ounces of walnut a day—a little more than half a cup—for 12 weeks improve sperm quality in healthy young men, in a study funded in part by the California walnut Commision, enrolled 117 men aged 21 to 35 who ate a typical western diet, half of the men randomly assigned to eat 2.5 ounces of walnut a day, along with their usual diet, and the other men to continue their regular diet but not to eat an tree nuts. Walnut are the only nuts with appreciable level of omega-3, According to a study by UCLA researchers, eating 75 grams of walnuts a day improves the vitality, motility, and morphology of sperm in healthy men.

In 2013, scientists published findings of a small study which indicated that walnut oil can benefit endothelial function and whole walnuts can enhance the process of eliminating “bad” LDL cholesterol. African walnut is one of the organic fruits that has proven its effectiveness in boosting the rate of sperm production in men and as well prevent infertility.

Walnut good for bone health

Walnuts are good source mineral copper and phosphorus both of which are essential in maintaining optimal bone health, according to medicalnewtoday, Copper  is an essential nutrient for the body. Together with iron, it enables the body to form red blood cells, it helps maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves and immune function and it contributes to iron absorption.   Essential fatty acids found in walnuts secure the bone health of the body. They may increase calcium absorption and deposition while reducing urinary calcium excretion. Severe copper deficiency is associated with lower bone mineral density and an increased risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become thinner and less dense, making them easier to fracture and break.

Walnut Prevent diabetes

 According to diabetesselfmanagement , new research out of  Yale University, walnut may help at risk adult their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. In evaluating walnut consumption on overall calorie intake and dietary quality, researchers randomly assigned 81 women and 31 men at high risk of Type 2 diabetes to eat a reduced-calories diet, either with or without nutrition counseling. The subject were from 25 to 75 years old and all have several risk factor for type 2 diabetes, including have blood sugar, blood pressure, or cholesterol; being overweight; or having excess fat around the middle. Half of the participant in each group were additionally assigned to add 56 grams(roughly 2 ounces) of walnut to their daily diets for six months. After a three month break, the group were then switched, such that all participant consumed walnut for six months during the study period.taking into accounts various factors such as age and physical activity, the researchers found that, in addition to improving dietary quality, eating walnuts lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and improve blood vessels function

Walnut helps lower the risk of heart disease:

Walnut are  good source of the plant form of omega-3 fat, which may help reduce heart disease risk. Walnut helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels and decrease blood pressure ,among all the dietary plants and nuts, walnuts contain the highest amount of antioxidants.walnut is a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, it was discovered that omega-3 fatty acids may decrease the inflammatory marker Creative protein (CRP) in those with high cholesterol, Around 100 g of walnuts will give more than 20 mmol antioxidants, which makes them extremely effective in combating heart disease by their ability to destroy free radicals. 

In 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the claim for food labels on a variety of nuts, including walnuts, that: “Eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart diseases.” However, they note that while scientific evidence suggests that this is true, it does not prove it. The statement also refers to whole or chopped nuts, and not products that contain nuts

A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that the risk of coronary heart disease is 37 percent lower for those consuming nuts more than four times per week, compared to those who never or rarely consumed nuts.

Walnut good for the Skin

The nourishing fats in walnut attract moisture from the air, soothing dry skin, the healthy fats may also reduce skin inflammation. Walnuts are rich in B-vitamins and antioxidants that prevents your skin from free radical damage. According to self.com walnut offer up healthy omega-3 fats that strengthen the membranes of your skin cells, locking in moisture and nutrients that keep it plump and glowing and keeping out toxins that can damage  skin cells says Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh, Registered Dieticians and co-owners of C&J

Walnut is good for Brain health:

The presence of omega-3 fatty acids in walnut is good for the brain. Having food rich in omega-3 fatty acid keeps the nervous system working smoothly and improve the memory

Walnut Regulate Sleep

According to businessinsider,Walnut are a good source of tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin,( the body clock) hormone that sets your sleep-wake cycles. In a research report published in the 2005 journal Nutrition, laboratory rats who were fed walnuts showed an increase in blood melatonin concentrations as compared to rats who were fed a controlled diet without the nuts. So, it’s best to add walnuts to your dinner dishes to ensure a good, restful sleep.

Walnut good for the hair

The presence of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and antioxidants in the Walnut strengthen hair follicles and make scalp dandruff free. According to lifealth.com, walnut contains omega 3, omega 6, omega 9, fatty acids, and adequate amount of potassium which helps to strengthen the hair, consumption of walnut also helps to reduce hair fall and prevent scalp infections, initiate hair growth, reduces dandruff, strengthens hair.

Walnut supports healthy aging

Walnut are the perfect snack for anti-aging, due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acid are the real longevity tools, they prevent dementia and keep the brain young

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