The word walnut comes from Old English walhhnutu,
from Proto-Germanic walhaz (“Celt, Roman, foreigner”) (whence Walloon,
Welsh) + hnuts (whence nut). Cognate with
Dutch walnoot, German Walnuss, Swedish
valnöt. It’s comparable with more recent
term Welsh onion, which also uses Welsh
to mean “foreign”.
Here in this chart you can see the word
WALNUT in the project languages.
The point of origin for the Persian walnut (Juglans
regia) lies in central Asia, where the tree grows in a
wild and semi-cultivated state. In pre-historic times, it
spread to western China, the Caucasus, Persia, and
Europe. Walnuts were likely an important food
gathered by early humans. The last glacial epoch
greatly restricted the extent of Persian walnuts in
western Europe, but archaeologists have found their
remains in southern France dating to 17,000
thousand years ago.
What it contains
Walnuts are a nutrient-dense food: 100 grams of
walnuts contain 15.2 grams of protein, 65.2 grams
of fat, and 6.7 grams of dietary fiber (table).
In a 100 gram serving, walnuts provide 654 calories and rich content (more than
19% of the Daily Value or DV) of several dietary minerals, particularly manganese
at 163% DV, and B vitamins (table).
While English walnuts are the most commonly consumed, their nutrient density
and profile are generally similar to those of black walnuts.
Unlike most nuts that are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, walnut oil is
composed largely of polyunsaturated fatty acids (72% of total fats), particularly
alpha-linolenic acid (14%) and linoleic acid (58%), although it does contain oleic
acid as 13% of total fats.
Research on the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
benefits of walnuts has moved this food further and
further up the ladder of foods that are protective
against metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular problems,
and type 2 diabetes. Some phytonutrients found in walnuts—for example, the
quinone juglone—are found in virtually no other commonly-eaten foods. Other
phytonutrients—like the tannin tellimagrandin or the flavonol morin—are also
rare and valuable as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. These anti-
inflammatory and antioxidant phytonutrients also help explain the decreased risk
of certain cancers—including prostate cancer and breast cancer—in relationship
to walnut consumption.
Other health benefits
- Helps weight loss
- Induces sleep
- Great for your hair
- Prevents heart disease
- Prevents diabetes
- Makes your skin glow
- Can keep dementia at bay
- Prevents pancreatic cancer
- Helps you live longer
- Reduces breast cancer
- Can fight stress
It is recommended for an average
adult to eat approximately 35,4
grams of walnuts per day to get all
the health benefits that come from
consuming the food.
Incorporation into diet
- Just a quarter cup serving of walnuts daily provides almost 100 percent of the
total recommended omega-3 fatty acid intake and contains just 163 calories. Just
a one-ounce serving has more omega-3s than a 4 oz piece of salmon.
- In fact, 30 grams of walnuts contains 2.5 grams of omega 3 fats, 4 grams of
protein and 2 grams of fibre that help provide satiety.
Other interesting facts
- Walnuts are the oldest known tree food.
- The Greeks called walnuts karyon,
meaning “HEAD”, because the shell
resembles a human skull and the walnut
kernel itself looks like a brain.
- Walnuts are harvested only once a year.
- The consumption of walnuts may reduce
the risk of prostate and breast cancer.