Walnut oil benefits

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.

What properties does walnut oil have?

walnuts
Walnut oil is extracted from the “meat” of the walnut that is enclosed within the shell.This fleshy part is actually the cotyledons of the seeds, from which the new tree will feed when it germinates until it develops leaves and roots.

Walnut oil has a high content of omega 3 fatty acids, that is, linolenic acid or specifically in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (18: 3).

This essential fatty acid of the omega 3 family, once absorbed and metabolized by the liver,  can be transformed through a series of enzymatic reactions, into other fatty acids with a longer chain and with more saturations:

They are the so-called EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid (20: 5) and DHA or docosahexaenoic acid (22: 6), well known for their benefits, which are those mentioned below.

Walnut oil for circulation

These resulting fatty acids are very beneficial for cardiovascular health. They protect us against related diseases like arteriosclerosis, caused by a cumulative blockage of plaques in the arteries. Its role is very important in the prevention of possible strokes, angina pectoris, heart attacks, or other related pathologies.

They are also very important for their reducing effect on triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, since this type of cholesterol  competes with HDL, which our  body prefers to  absorb if we raise its level by ingesting this essential fatty acid.

Walnut oil for nerves

Walnut oil is very important to maintain the proper functioning of the central nervous system and its functions. Above all, in the fetal and growth stage of the baby, to ensure its correct development, but also for a good maintenance  in adulthood.

The ingestion of walnut oil thus minimizes the possible appearance of pathologies related to nervous problems such as, for example, a possible attention deficit with hyperactivity or even character disorders, among others.

If there is a nutritional deficit of this essential fatty acid, either due to insufficient intake or for other reasons, we will not provide either EPA or DHA that the brain needs for its development and proper functioning, since it resides and composes a high percentage of our brain mass.

Walnut oil for inflammatory diseases

Omega 3 fatty acids also have an anti-inflammatory effect, with which, their intake will be indicated in inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, being able to counteract this effect and its symptoms and, for example, the pain caused by inflammation will be decreased.

But it should also be mentioned that it has an anticoagulant effect, that is, if there is an excess of consumption, an excess of this effect will be produced, which could lead to blood clotting problems in the form of hemorrhages.

Disadvantages of walnut oil

  • Due to its polyunsaturated composition, it is more susceptible than other oils to become rancid due to premature oxidation.
  • Very high temperatures easily spoil its properties. Therefore, it is not a suitable oil for culinary preparations such as frying.
  • An excessive intake of omega 3 can cause an increased risk of bleeding, since it affects blood clotting.

punto rojo More information on walnut oil.

Editorial
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

1 April, 2020

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