The delicious walnut is rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, a special type of protective fat that imparts walnuts with its many potential health benefits: overall cardiovascular protection, improved cognitive function, and anti-inflammatory benefits that are helpful for asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory skin diseases like Eczema and psoriasis. Additionally, walnuts contain the antioxidant compound ellagic acid, which supports the immune system and is thought to have many anti-cancer properties. Walnuts are also a rich source of Vitamin B, C and E and minerals such as iron, zinc, manganese and copper. A handful of these nuts can boost vitamin B levels that are responsible for boosting our skin health by keeping age related fine lines and wrinkles at bay.
In Traditional Chinese medicine, walnuts are associated with the Lung, Large Intestine and Kidney meridians, and have sweet and warm properties. Its functions are to tonify the kidneys, nourish the blood, warm the lungs and moisten the intestines.
Walnuts are commonly used to treat impotence, sexual dysfunctions, infertility, frequent urination, back and leg pain, stones in the urinary tract, constipation, and relieve asthma and coughs.
Walnuts tonify the Kidney and replenish the Kidney essence. Kidney essence controls the growth of teeth and bones and is manifested on the hair. Essence is essential for normal brain development, sexual energy and fertility. Walnuts are known to enrich the sperm. Walnuts are usually combined with other Kidney tonifying herbs to treat soreness and weakness of the lower back and knees. Walnuts are also combined with herbs like He Shou Wu and Dang Gui to treat premature graying hair. Walnuts moisten the Intestines to treat constipation that is caused by lack of essence or blood or both. This often occurs in the elderly or following a chronic illness.
Walnuts are said to warm the Lung and stop wheezing especially for cold-type asthma, because walnuts are warm and tonify both the Lung and the Kidney. To treat chronic cough, walnuts are commonly served with honey which also nourishes the Lung. The Lungs are connected with our skin and body hair. Our skin and hair get their nourishment through the Lungs’ regulation of fluids and Qi. Foods that enter the Lung meridians are also generally good for our skin, hence we see a lot of skin benefits with the walnut.
Pic 1. One of my favorite desserts- Double boiled milk with walnut
Walnuts For Beautiful Skin & Hair
1. Delays skin aging
Walnuts are packed with B-vitamins. These vitamins help lower stress. As we know, increased stress levels may lead to an earlier onset of wrinkles and other signs of aging. The vitamin E (a natural antioxidant) in walnuts may help fight the free radicals caused due to stress. This can further help delay the aging process. Due to the high fatty acids content, walnuts offer anti-inflammatory benefits which help people with inflammatory skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.
2. Helps moisturize skin from inside and out
Walnuts contain healthy Omega-3 fats and other fatty acids that strengthen the membranes of your skin cells, locking in moisture and nutrients that keep it plump and glowing and keeping out toxins that can damage skin cells. Applying walnut oil also helps ease dry skin.
3. Strengthens hair
Walnuts are good sources of fatty acids. These provide essential nutrition to help strengthen our hair follicles. Animal studies show that walnut oil improves hair colour and texture and reduces hair loss.
4. Promotes scalp health
Walnut oil is widely used for its moisturizing properties. It may help stimulate natural hair oils and help treat dandruff and keep our scalp moisturised.
You may apply walnut oil to your scalp and hair at least thrice a week. You may also use it along with coconut or olive oils. However, if the oil causes any allergies, stop use and consult a doctor.
Like many tree nuts, walnuts may cause an allergic reaction in some individuals.
As walnuts are warm in nature, those with heaty body constitution must consume them in moderation.
Ways to eat Walnuts
Walnuts are very versatile and easy to incorporate into your diet. They can be eaten raw or cooked, sweet or savoury depending on your preference.
1. Eat it toasted plain or with honey as a snack
2. Toss it with your salad or cereals.
Pic 2. This is my favorite way to eat my walnuts as it's easy and fuss free
3. Grind it up into a paste and use it as a spread like peanut butter.
4. Grind it into a fine powder, or buy the walnut paste that’s available in supermarkets to cook into a dessert.
5.Stir fry it with your meat or vegetables.
6. Buy the powdered form and add it into your milk as a drink.
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