7 Health Benefits of Walnut Oil
Last updated on August 29, 2012
Walnut oil, just like walnuts, has many health benefits. It loses much of its flavor and nutritional value when heated, so it is best used in salad dressings and other cold food preparation. Here are 8 health benefits of walnut oil.
Walnut oil contains high levels of the essential omega-3 fatty acid ALA (alpha-linoleic acid), which supports cardiovascular health in a variety of ways. They raise good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL), inhibit blood clots, and prevent irregular heart rhythms. A tablespoon of walnut oil contains 1.4 grams ALA.
The monounsaturated fats in walnut oil may help reduce dangerous inflammation in the cardiovascular system. Walnut oil may also be effective against chronic inflammation and may therefore reduce the painful symptoms associated with conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
High in Ellagic Acid
Walnut oil is high in ellagic acid, a phytochemical that has been found in animal studies to work against cancer by causing cancer cell death. Some studies suggest it may help the liver break down carcinogens. It may also possess antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Human studies are needed to see whether ellagic acid works in humans as it does in animals but the initial results are exciting.
High In Antioxidants
Walnut oil is a good source of vitamins E and C, two essential antioxidants that help fight free radical damage to the cells and DNA.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential component of brain cell function. They contribute directly to the proper transmission of signals by the brain and directly aid memory, thought and learning functions. Studies show that the brain needs a constant supply of fresh omega-3 fatty acids.
Walnut oil contains monounsaturated fats, which help control blood sugar levels and help the body respond to insulin.
In addition to possessing zinc, iron, potassium and calcium, all essential minerals for maintaining good bone health, the anti-inflammatory properties of walnut oil may have specific effects on the bones. One recent study found that daily intake of large amounts of walnuts led to better bone stability and a reduction in essential mineral loss.
If you want to try walnut oil, check out our list of the 3 Best Walnut Oils before you buy.