Eating Walnuts May Improve Your Reproductive Hormone: Here’s How?

Last updated on June 29th, 2023 at 11:55 am

10 minutes.  

English walnuts

   

In this article:

Overview

Walnuts are sometimes referred to as the King of all nuts due to their unique nutrient content when compared to other plant nuts.

There are about twenty species in the world. Some are edible while some are not. Among the edible ones are English walnuts or Persian or Chinese and African walnuts, etc

The African walnuts scientifically known as Tetracarpidium conophorum are cultivated and consumed in many parts of Africa such as Nigeria, Togo, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Sierra-Leone and Democratic Republic of Congo.

In Nigeria, walnuts are known by different names such as Awusa, Asala, or Ukpa, Oke okpokirinya,  Gawudi bairi, Okhue, or Okwe.

Walnuts are seasonal food, not actually found all year round, especially in Africa where they are not processed into food storage but cooked and eaten straight.

This King of Nuts is packed with vital nutrients that are worth giving daily attention to, unfortunately, most people who consume them are ignorant of their amazing health benefits.

Few people consume them because they were said to promote reproductive hormones in men and in women as well, others just eat walnuts as snacks. 

In Some Asian countries like China and Hong Kong, walnuts can be fried and packaged into snacks.

These nuts are rich in omega-3 fats and contain higher amounts of antioxidants than most other plant nuts. Eating walnuts may improve brain health and prevent heart disease and cancer.

Walnuts are most often eaten on their own as a snack but can also be added to salads, pasta, breakfast cereals, soups, and baked goods.

This article tells you all the scientifically proven health benefits and nutrition facts of walnuts including how to incorporate them into different of your choice.

Feel free to skip ahead.

Nutrition Fact about Walnuts

Walnuts contain a number of potentially neuroprotective compounds like vitamin E, folate, melatonin, several antioxidative polyphenols, and significant amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids.

For example, for every 28 grams of walnuts serving size contain:

  • 185 kcal. of Calories
  • 4 percent of water
  • 4.3 grams of protein
  • 3.9 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0.7 grams of sugar
  • 19 grams of fiber
  • 28 mg of Calcium
  • 45 mg of Magnesium
  • 125 mg of Potassium
  • 0.097 gram of Thiamine
  • 0.152 grams of Vitamin B6
  • 0.028 grams of Folate
  • 0.003 of Lutein
  • All types of tocopherol in Abundance (Vitamin E)
  • 2.6 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids
  • 10.8 grams of Omega-6 fatty acids.

Some Vital Compounds Found In Walnut

  • Fatty acids

Like other nuts, most of the calories in walnuts come from fat. This makes them energy-dense, high-calorie food.

However, though walnuts are rich in fat and calories, studies indicate that they don’t increase obesity risk if you use them to replace calories in your diet.

Walnuts are also richer than most other nuts in polyunsaturated fats. The most abundant one is an omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid.

They also contain a relatively high percentage of the healthy omega-3 fat -alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This makes up around 8–14% of the total fat content

In fact, walnuts are the only nuts that contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fat is considered especially beneficial for heart health. It also helps reduce inflammation and improve the composition of blood fats.

They’re precursors for the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), which have been linked to numerous health benefits.

Related: Best Healthy Fat for a healthy Living

  • Vitamins And Minerals

Walnuts are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals, including:

Folic acid: Also known as folate or vitamin B9, folic acid has many important biological functions. Folic acid deficiency during pregnancy may cause birth defects.

Vitamin B6: This vitamin may strengthen your immune system and support nerve health. Vitamin B6 deficiency may cause anemia.

Manganese: This trace mineral is found in the highest amounts in nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Vitamin E: Compared to other nuts, walnuts contain high levels of a special form of vitamin E called gamma-tocopherol.

Other Plant Compounds

Walnuts contain a complex mixture of bioactive plant compounds.

They’re exceptionally rich in antioxidants, which are concentrated in the brown skin.

In fact, walnuts ranked second in a study investigating the antioxidant content of 1,113 foods commonly eaten in the United States.

Some Notable Plant Compounds In Walnuts Include:

Ellagic acid: This antioxidant is found in high amounts in walnuts, along with other related compounds like ellagitannins. Ellagic acid may reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

Catechin: Catechin is a flavonoid antioxidant that may have various health benefits, including promoting heart health.

Melatonin: This neurohormone helps regulate your body clock. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that may reduce your risk of heart disease.

Phytic acid. Phytic acid, or phytate, is a beneficial antioxidant, though it can reduce the absorption of iron and zinc from the same meal — an effect that’s only of concern for those following imbalanced diets.

African walnuts

Health benefits of walnuts

  • Heart health

Heart disease — or cardiovascular disease — is a broad term used for chronic conditions related to the heart and blood vessels.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an essential omega-3 fatty acid found in nuts such as walnuts. It is necessary for normal human growth and development.

Alpha-linolenic acid is thought to decrease the risk of heart disease by helping to maintain normal heart rhythm and blood pumping. It might also reduce blood clots.

In many cases, your risk of heart disease can be reduced with healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nuts.

And walnut is one of them. In fact, many studies show that eating walnuts may combat risk factors for heart disease by:

  • improving blood vessel function, thus cutting the risk of plaque buildup in your arteries.

These effects are likely caused by the beneficial fat composition of walnuts, as well as their rich antioxidant content.

A randomized control study investigated the micronutrients important for s perm development and function and found that 75 g of walnuts per day improved sperm vitality, motility, and morphology (normal forms) in a group of healthy young men.

This proves that eating at least 2 to 4 pieces of walnut daily may improve your sperm health.

Oxidative stress promotes the development of inflammation. In addition to reducing free radical levels, walnuts enhanced antioxidant defenses and thus reduced systemic inflammation and neuroinflammation

Oxidative stress and inflammation play important roles in the aging process, mind-cognitive impairment (MCI), dementia, and many age-related diseases.

Walnuts have multiple components with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may have additive or synergistic effects in suppressing inflammation and oxidative damage.

These studies have demonstrated that walnuts reduce oxidative stress not only by decreasing free radical levels but also by boosting antioxidant defense, thus reducing oxidative damage to lipids and proteins.

Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by abnormal cell growth.

Your risk of developing certain types of cancer can be reduced by eating healthy food, exercising, and avoiding unhealthy lifestyle habits.

Since walnuts are a rich source of beneficial plant compounds, they could be an effective part of a cancer-preventive diet.

Walnuts contain several bioactive components that may have anticancer properties, including:

  • Phytosterols.
  • gamma-tocopherol
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • ellagic acid and related compounds
  • various antioxidant polyphenols

Observational studies have linked the regular consumption of nuts to a lower risk of colon and prostate cancer.

Learn How Eating Onions and Garlic May Prevent Prostate Cancer

Related: Six Top Benefits of Eating Tiger Nuts.

This is supported by animal studies indicating that eating walnuts may suppress cancer growth in breast, prostate, colon, and kidney tissue.

However, before any solid conclusions can be reached, these effects need to be confirmed by clinical studies in humans.

Chines Fried Walnuts
  • Brain Health

Several studies indicate that eating nuts may improve brain function. They also show that walnuts can help with depression and age-related decline in brain function.

A study in older adults linked regular consumption of walnuts with significant memory improvement.

Still, these studies were observational and cannot prove that walnuts were the cause of improvements in brain function.

Stronger evidence is provided by studies that investigate the effect of eating walnuts directly.

For an instant, one 8-week study in 64 young, healthy adults, found that eating walnuts improved comprehension. However, significant improvements in non-verbal reasoning, memory, and mood were not detected.

Walnuts have also been shown to improve brain function in animals. When mice with Alzheimer’s disease were fed walnuts every day for 10 months, their memory and learning skills improved significantly.

Similarly, studies in older rats found that eating walnuts for eight weeks reversed age-related impairments in brain function.

These effects are likely due to the high antioxidant content of walnuts, and probably the presence of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Walnuts tree

Side Effects

In general, walnuts are considered very healthy and safe, but some people need to avoid them due to allergies.

  • Walnuts Allergy

Walnuts are among the eight most allergenic foods.

Symptoms of a walnut allergy are typically severe and can include allergic shock (anaphylaxis), which can be fatal without treatment.

Individuals with a walnut allergy need to avoid these nuts completely.

Learn More: What’s Anaphylaxis? Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

  • Reduced Mineral Absorption

Like all seeds, walnuts are high in phytic acid.

Phytic acid, or phytate, is a plant substance that impairs the absorption of minerals — such as iron and zinc — from your digestive tract. This only applies to meals that contain high-phytate foods.

Individuals who follow imbalanced diets rich in phytic acid are at a higher risk of developing mineral deficiencies, but most people shouldn’t need to worry.

Food that contains iron includes plantain, oatmeal, red meat, breadfruits, beans, cashew nuts, etc.

Food that contains zinc includes tiger nuts, meat, Poultry-meat and eggs, seafood, etc.

Conclusion

Walnuts are rich in heart-healthy fats and are high in antioxidants.

Studies have shown that regularly eating walnuts may improve brain health, boost sperm health, reduce oxidative stress, and reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

These nuts are easily incorporated into your diet as you can dehydrate them and grind them into powder for storage. They can be eaten on their own either cooked or fried or added to many different foods.

Simply put, walnuts may be one of the best choices of nuts you can eat to improve your health. However other plant nuts should always be incorporated when available.

I hope you get the value worth your time, I appreciate the time you spend with me. Leave a comment below if you find this article helpful and don’t forget to drop your question, opinion, or criticism if any. Cheers!

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

The content provided in Living Good is for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not intended to provide medical advice or take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal doctor. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Living Good Blog takes no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person(s) reading or following the information in this educational content. Viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medication, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

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