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Walnut seeds (Juglans regia) have many health benefits. They are known to show detoxifying, laxative and anti-diabetic effects. Even though walnuts are widely used, their origin is still unknown. There are some records suggesting that they came from the Mediterranean, but it is also suggested they came from the Far East. In the 18th century, when Charles the Great ordered planting of healthy herbs, walnuts rapidly spread from Southern Europe to northern parts.
Walnut contains 7-10% of carbohydrates, 63% of fat, 17.8% of proteins, low percentage of water and 7.8% of dietary fiber. It also contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C and PP. Walnut has minerals as well: Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sodium and Iron. Due to the high level of fat, energy value of 100 g of walnuts is 350-680 kcal.
The most significant elements walnuts contain are Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. The consumption of only a few walnuts per day (30 to 50 g, depending on body weight), significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. These nuts can help reduce the level of cholesterol in an easy and tasty manner. But how is this possible? Aren’t they rich in fat? Even though they are, walnuts mainly contain monounsaturated fats, known for their ability to reduce levels of blood cholesterol and prevent oxidation of LDL (also known as bad) cholesterol, thereby preventing its deposition in the artery walls, and the formation of plaque.
Dr. Joan Sabaté from the Loma Linda University was giving a group of patients 60 g of walnuts every day during the whole month. During the next month they didn’t take any walnuts, but they consumed food low in fat. In the first month, their level of cholesterol decreased for 18%, while in the second month, when they were on a low-fat diet, but didn’t consume walnuts, the decrease of cholesterol was only 6%. Due to the fact that walnuts are very rich in dietary fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids, they are recommended for diabetics, because they can help decrease the level of cholesterol, and prevent angiopathy, a disease caused by diabetes. However, walnuts are high in calories, so it is recommended that diabetics count those in their total calorie intake.





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