For thousands of years, walnuts have been a popular food. People in ancient Rome referred to them as Juglans regia, which means “Jupiter’s royal acorn.”
Walnuts were first cultivated in Persia and then spread across Asia and Europe. In the 1700s, they were brought to California by Spanish missionaries. The majority of walnuts grown in the United States are now grown in California, but some are also grown in the Midwest.
English walnuts, sometimes known as Persian walnuts, belong to the Juglandaceae family, which includes pecans and hickory. They have a tan shell the size of a golf ball with a seam down the middle. Split the shell along the seam to reveal the rough, golden-brown nut inside.
The surface of the walnut might be slightly bitter, while the nut interior is mild, earthy, and tangy.
One ounce of walnuts, or around 7 walnuts, equals one serving. A serving of walnuts contains the following nutrients:
There are 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat in each serving.
Saturated fat: 1.7 grams
Protein content: 4.3 grams
3.9 grams of carbs
There are 1.9 grams of fiber in this serving.
Sugar content: 7 grammes
The nutritional value of that little serving size is substantial. An ounce of walnuts contains the following vitamins and minerals:
Calcium intake of up to 3% of the daily required amount
Up to 10% of your daily iron intake
Up to 5% of your daily potassium intake
Up to 14% of your daily magnesium intake
7% of your daily folate intake
What Walnuts Have to Offer
Walnuts are high in polyunsaturated fats, which are less harmful to your health than saturated fats. They also have a lot of omega-3 fatty acids in them. Walnuts have been found in studies to help lower LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) (“bad”) cholesterol, as well as overall cholesterol. Cholesterol can cause plaque to build inside your arteries, but walnuts can help keep them healthy.
Walnuts have also been demonstrated to reduce the sort of inflammation that contributes to heart disease, as well as the risk of a blood clot leading to a heart attack. Eating five servings of nuts each week can cut your risk of heart disease by up to 50%.
Walnuts may also reduce the risk of certain cancers, according to preliminary research. They contain ellagic acid, a type of acid that is also found in pecans.
Bacteria in your stomach and intestines convert this acid into antioxidant-rich chemicals that may help prevent cancer. However, further research is required to be certain.
Nuts and sperm quality
Almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and antioxidants including vitamin E, zinc, and selenium, all of which have been associated to better sperm.
These nutrients have been shown to protect sperm from free radical damage and to keep sperm structurally intact. Oval heads and long tails are characteristics of healthy sperm, allowing them to reach and fertilize an egg. These sperm-friendly nutrients also help regulate hormones, which is necessary for the formation of strong, healthy sperm.
Do walnuts really improve sperm quality?
Eating 2.5 ounces of walnuts per day, or about half a cup, for 12 weeks enhanced sperm quality in healthy young men. Their findings add to a growing body of research suggesting that men’s dietary and lifestyle choices may have an impact on their fertility.
The California Walnut Commission helped fund the study, which involved 117 males aged 21 to 35 who ate a typical Western diet.
Half of the men were assigned to eat 2.5 ounces of walnuts each day in addition to their regular diet. The other males were ordered to stick to their normal diet but avoid eating any tree nuts. Walnuts are the only nuts with significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been related to improved sperm quality in several studies of male infertility, omega-3 fats and other polyunsaturated fatty acids play key roles in sperm maturation and membrane function in both animal and human research.
The study has indicated that males with low sperm counts benefit from omega-3 fat-rich fish oil supplementation. A high intake of omega-3 fats was linked to more typical sperm size and shape, while a high intake of saturated fats was linked to reduced sperm concentration.
The majority of walnut eaters in the latest study ate the shelled whole nuts right out of the container. Others blended them with applesauce and cinnamon, or cut them up and put them in meatloaf, hamburger, or spaghetti sauce.
The men’s sperm quality was tested before and after the trial by a researcher who had no idea which ones had eaten walnuts. Sperm concentration, vitality, capacity to migrate, form and size, and chromosomal abnormalities were all studied since they were assumed to be associated with fertility.
Sperm Quality and Walnuts
Only the walnut group’s sperm quality improved at the end of the 12-week study. According to researchers, the walnut eaters whose sperm were the weakest swimmers at the start of the trial improved the most by the end.
At least part of the problem in up to 50% of couples experiencing trouble getting pregnant is connected to male reproductive difficulties. It is unclear whether including walnuts in men’s diets will boost their odds of fathering children, but it cannot hurt, say, researchers, who hope to investigate walnuts’ influence on the sperm of men with reproductive issues next. It is believed to be high time for us to pay greater attention to what the guy consumes around the time of conception.
When Should Walnuts Be Avoided?
Walnuts may appear to be a superfood due to their high vitamin and nutrient content, but they should be avoided in the following situations:
If you have a nut allergy. Let us start with the obvious: walnuts are not suitable for people who are allergic to tree nuts. An allergic reaction can manifest itself in a variety of ways, ranging from a simple itchy mouth (oral allergy syndrome) to serious, life-threatening illnesses such as anaphylactic shock.
If you are on a calorie-restricted diet. Walnuts are heavy in calories and can contain up to 65 percent fat (most of which is healthy fat). A handful of nuts may contain 10% of the calories you require for the day.
Walnuts: How to Eat and Store Them
Walnuts can be eaten alone or used as a crunchy topping for yogurt, salad, stir-fries, vegetable dishes, or ice cream. Choose unsalted walnuts that are raw or dry-roasted rather than cooked in oil for the most heart health advantages.
It is critical to preserve walnuts correctly. They are high in oil, which can turn rancid if exposed to high temperatures for an extended length of time. The walnut becomes bitter because of this. Keep them in an airtight container in a cold, dry location (with or without their shells). You can keep them for up to 3 months in the refrigerator or up to a year in the freezer.
Walnuts absorb scents, so keep them away from meals that have a strong odour. If your walnuts have become rubbery or shrivelled, they are rotten and should be discarded.
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