Walnut is a vine that trails around trees and produces a pseudo fruit in which the edible nut is embedded. It is a perennial crop with evergreen leaves. In a sense, it can be likened to other nuts like cashew nut, produced by perennial trees, and almond nuts from almond trees. It has been grown by our forefathers from time immemorial for both its nutritional as well as its medicinal uses. It occupies a place of priority and pride in ethno-medicine of the African.
Nutritional Properties Of Walnut
It has all the essential fatty acids especially linolenic acid and omga 3 fat. Also, it is significantly rich in essential amino acids like animal proteins. The content is about 15-18% of protein of high biological value and about 60% fats mainly polyunsaturated essential fatty acids and linoleic acid
Arginine is one of the essential amino acids that are abundantly found in walnuts. The cholesterol in walnuts are good one. Recent research has shown that walnuts are also rich in antioxidants. The others include flavonoids, quinines, etc.
Walnuts are also very rich in important minerals that facilitate the proper physiological functioning of the body. They include, copper, Zinc, Selenium, Manganese, and Iron as trace elements as well as macro or major elements like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous. It also has vitamins A and B complex (B1, B2, B6)
Medicinal Uses Of Walnut
Consumption of walnut is very good for the health of the heart and the blood vessels. It is due to the omega 3 like substances and its bad cholesterol reducing ability. It promotes the flow of blood from the heart to the extremities. This makes the blood vessel very pliable and elastic.
Promotion of virility in men and women
Consumption of walnuts has been used as antidotes for impotence. The aginne present in walnuts facilitates the rapid flow of blood to male genital parts to promote libido. Regular consumption of 7-10 walnuts daily can reverse the effect of impotency.
The fact that it promotes good cardiovascular health also automatically makes it good for virility.
Anti Cancer food
More than any other food, walnuts appear to be one of the best food for cancer prevention when consumed regularly. It has high concentration of antioxidants in walnuts and omega 3 like substances. This cholesterol reducing properties make consumption of walnuts very effective in preventing cancers and tumors. There are research evidences in animals that walnuts consumption not only prevents cancer, it also helps to fight them. Walnut consumption also helps to reduce inflammation which is important in the management and control of cancers.
Women should deliberately eat walnuts. Daily consumption of walnuts (7-10) can cut the risk of breast cancer by 50%. It reduces the growth by same percentage. This is based on extrapotion from the recent research works in mice and rat by American Institute of Cancer Research. Prostate cancer can equally be prevented and managed by regular consumption of walnuts. This has to be sustained for at least 4-6 moths to achieve result.
Consumption of walnuts promotes youthfulness, with vitality and virility. This may be as a result of high concentration of anti-oxidants. It mop up the free radicals that are metabolically unleashed into the body physiology per second. Free radical cause untoward damage to the cells and tissue. This accelerate aging and age related metabolic diseases as well as cancers and tumors.
Anything that fight free radicals and mop them up will automatically promote good health. This is one reason why the consumption of walnuts is particularly effective in maintaining good health and youthfulness
The high content of omega 3 like plant substance in walnut as well as the balanced diet assortment of essential amino acids, especially arginine also contribute to overall good health as a result of consuming walnuts regularly.
Calmness and memory
Consumption of walnuts promotes calmness of the nervous system and equally promotes good memory. In allolopathic medicine, walnuts was used to treat some form of madness and nervous breakdown. Bioactive agents like some minerals, antioxidants or some amino acids or a combination of these may be responsible for this calming nature and restoration of good memory with the consumption of walnuts. Selenium which is found in walnuts is suspected to play this role
Reduces Blood Sugar and Good for Diabetics
The consumption of walnuts seed has been proved to have hypoglycemic effect on the blood of diabetics. 7-8 seeds of walnuts should be chewed thoroughly every evening after dinner or supper. Consumption of walnuts seed alone may not guarantee cure of diabetes, its combination with other dietary requirement like low calorie whole grain, use of mistletoe tea, consumption of garlic and onions as well as including food with high crude fibre in the menu; give a far reaching result.
Detoxification of liver
Liver is the organ that detoxifies all impurity that enters the body of man. The liver itself lends itself to abuse by alcohol, drugs, hepatitis and other diseases. Research evidences indicate that consumption of walnut on a regular basis has a way of detoxifying the liver and making it more healthy and ready for its key function of detoxifying the blood for good health.