There are two common types of walnuts: the Persian or English walnut, and the black walnut, which is native to North America. While the walnut you’re probably most familiar with is the English walnut, we’re here to talk about the black walnut. Compared to the English walnut, the black walnut has a thicker shell and a bolder, more intense flavor. Black walnut shells will also probably stain your hands.
Maybe that hasn’t sold you on black walnuts, but stay with us – black walnut benefits are plentiful.
Black Walnuts Many Potential Benefits
Black walnuts may be a little harder to crack into, but their flavor is versatile. Like the English walnut, the black walnut is frequently used in ice creams and baked goods like cakes and cookies, and (especially in the fall and winter) in festive pies and fudges. But unlike the English walnut, the black walnut’s deep and earthy flavor means that it lends itself well to main dishes: everything from chicken and fish to salad and pasta.
Potential Anti-Parasitic Properties
Black walnut, in combination with other herbs, may support a healthy immune system when dealing with a roundworm infection. Roundworms are parasites who can live in the small and large intestines, and their presence can mean infection. Signs and symptoms of a roundworm infection vary, but they can range from shortness of breath and coughing to nausea and diarrhea to itchy rashes and vision trouble.
While there are no scientific studies proving that herbal remedies can treat these parasitic infections, black walnut is usually on the list of potential herbs to take when dealing with a parasite. Specifically, when taken in conjunction with wormwood and clove, is sometimes indicated as an herbal way to support overall health.
Idea Magnesium Content
Magnesium is a mineral that every organ in the human body requires to function. And one black walnut benefits is that black walnuts are rich in magnesium. Magnesium is especially essential to the heart, the muscles, and the kidneys. And while magnesium deficiencies are rare, some symptoms of magnesium deficiency may present themselves in symptoms such as:
- Agitation and anxiety
- Restless leg syndrome
- Sleep disorders
- -Nausea and vomiting
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle spasms and weakness
- Poor nail growth
In addition, scientific studies have suggestedd that “higher intakes of dietary magnesium are associated with a lower risk of colorectal tumors.” And one of the best places to find dietary magnesium? Black walnuts.
Supporting Cardiovascular Health
Given what we know about magnesium, it makes sense that one of the many black walnut benefits would be in supporting cardiovascular health. In fact, a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that a diet high in walnuts “reduced total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and did not appear to adversely affect body weight.”
Studies on Anti-Carcinogenic Effects
A study put forth by Pharmacognosy Research looked at whether black walnut could protect rats who had been “implicated in metalloid-induced carcinogenesis.” Since, the authors of the study stated, “dietary intake of certain plant products with chemoprotective properties may protect against the onset of diseases and promote maintenance of health,” they wanted to look specifically at any potential anti-carcinogenic properties in the black walnut. The study concluded that while black walnut “showed no protection against arsenite effect on sperm quality. Hepatoprotective and anticlastogenic effects were apparent suggesting a chemopreventive potential active against arsenite genotoxicity and chromosomal instability which have implication for metalloid-induced carcinogenesis.”
Black walnuts pack a mean nutritional punch. They are high in B vitamins (especially B5 and B6), and also provide vitamins like riboflavin, folate, and Vitamin E, and are an incredible source Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Zinc, and Manganese (100 grams of black walnut provides you with 186% of your manganese needs!)
What’s the next dish you’re going to incorporate black walnuts into? Tell us in the comments!