Just as the name implies, walnut oil is natural oil extracted from walnuts. It is considered to be extremely healthy, due to the large amount of essential fatty acids such as omega- 3. These compounds are needed for several functions and have to be sourced from the food we consume. Walnut oil has a delicate fragrance and a nutty taste, depending on the actual variety used in production. Walnut oil is a great carrier oil in aromatherapy and massage and widely used for this purpose, as well as a great cosmetic ingredient found in many products. It is also edible and supplies valuable nutrients in a balanced diet.
Juglans regia is the scientific name of walnuts, used to produce this natural oil. It is one of the most expensive oils on the market because it is difficult to manufacture, the methods are cold pressing or refining. Walnut oil used to be very rare but walnut tree is now cultivated all around the world, including in the USA, and has become very popular. Linoleic, gamma-linolenic and oleic acids are the main components of the oil, as well as various other polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These are considered to be good fats because they can be quickly burned as energy and provide many benefits, especially due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Black walnut oil is a special type that is produced from Juglans nigra, or the black walnut. This special oil is quite different from the normal one and has unique health benefits, considered to be very special. Due to its widespread medicinal properties, black walnut oil is classified more as a healing product than as food.
Walnut used to grow in Europe until the Iron Age, when they were found in deposits. They later disappeared from Europe but continued to grow in their native range in Persia and North America. They were believed to prevent evil during the Middle Age, as well as a treatment for hemorrhoids, diarrhea and intestinal issues. Other diseases cured by walnuts were rickets, glandular troubles and frostbites. The bark was also used in oral hygiene, to maintain teeth clean. Due to its anti-inflammatory effects, the bark can also treat rheumatoid arthritis and several skin conditions.
Walnut oil is a prized ingredient in recipes such as steaks, fish, pastas, salad dressings and even some desserts, due to its very rich nutty flavour. It becomes slightly bitter when heated, so it is best used raw or in cold sauces and dishes. However, some people really enjoy moderate amounts of the bitter oil if paired with the proper ingredients.
Due to its nutty taste, cold-pressed walnut oil is a great choice for salads; add actual walnut pieces for an even greater effect. A popular salad mixes chicken or turkey meat with grapes, pieces of walnut and walnut oil. Steaks and fish dishes can be covered before serving with a very thin layer of walnut oil. It is also a great addition in pasta, combined with other spices.
Walnut oil has many health benefits and can be applied directly on the skin. There are several cosmetic improvements that can be achieved simply by applying it regularly.
This natural oil can greatly reduce wrinkles and other signs of skin aging. Just apply it on the skin where the wrinkles are located and massage it gently, in circular moves. The skin around the eyes tends to develop wrinkles because it is very thin, use walnut oil to remove them.
Walnut oil is full of antioxidant compounds that can protect the skin from the destructive action of free radicals. These compounds accumulate under the skin if you apply the oil constantly, so they can become active whenever they are needed.
Like most natural essential oils, walnut oil has a strong anti-fungal effect. Athlete's foot, ringworm and candidiasis are just some of the skin fungal infections that can be cured using it. It works best when combined with other products that also have anti-fungal properties, such as oregano oil or coconut oil.
The same benefits are also valuable when the oil is applied on the hair. It becomes glossy, with a strong structure and a smooth touch. Including walnut oil in your diet can improve your hair even faster, due to the very high content of fatty acids from the omega 6 group. This compound, also known as linoleic acid, is critical for hair growth, which can become damaged if the supply is not enough.
Even minor amounts of walnut oil in your diet can have spectacular results, as low as 1 to 3 grams daily will boost the rate of hair growth. In order to prepare a powerful mix of proteins, combine walnut oil and egg yolk. Just a few drops of oil are enough in this combination. The fatty acids provided by walnut oil allow the scalp to quickly absorb the nutrients of egg yolk. These quality proteins penetrate the skin and reach hair follicles, being used to strengthen the shafts. It is a very effective treatment, since human hair is mainly made of water and proteins.
Many recipes require a nutty taste and walnut oil is perfect for this purpose. It is especially useful to make confectionery products less sweet, by compensating the sugar content. Vinaigrette is another product that can benefit from adding walnut oil. Just a few drops of oil are enough to flavour bread, when added in the dough. However, it is most commonly used as a salad dressing.
The condition known as fatty liver can be successfully treated with walnut oil. It fights the disease by breaking lipids inside liver cells and preventing their build-up. Oils should not be used by people who suffer from hepatitis and other very serious liver diseases. This is because a weakened liver is unable to extract food nutrients.
Many types of pain, such as muscle knots, arthritic pain or muscular pain, can be quickly relieved by a walnut oil massage. Walnut oil is a strong natural analgesic and can treat pain when applied externally and allowed to penetrate the skin.
The level of triglycerides in the blood can be significantly reduced by walnut oil, according to the results of a study. Most natural oils are known to reduce cholesterol but the effect on triglycerides is usually small. Researchers tested the effect of capsules with 3 grams of walnut oil, administered three times per day for one month and a half. At the end, the level of blood triglycerides was reduced by an amazing 33%.
It is very easy to decrease your triglycerides if you add walnut oil in dishes and don't heat them. High temperatures break down walnut oil and it loses much of its antioxidants and nutrients. Just like other natural oils, walnut oil is also able to reduce blood cholesterol, which is an added bonus.
The very high amount of omega 9 and other monounsaturated essential fatty acids in walnut oil keep your arteries flexible, allowing blood to flow freely. The walls of arteries can become stiff with age, which prevents the normal circulation of blood and leads to severe heart diseases and hypertension.
The polyunsaturated fats that reduce blood pressure allow the body to fight the symptoms of stress. These compounds are found both in the oil and in raw walnuts. Alpha linolenic acid and other fatty acids from the omega 3 group reduce the amount of bad cholesterol, scientifically known as low density lipoproteins. Walnut oil is also a strong anti-inflammatory agent and lowers C - reactive proteins, which fights stress by reducing blood pressure.
By lowering the overall cholesterol level, walnut oil greatly reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems in general. The excess bad cholesterol is eliminated from the body, an effect similar to the one of good cholesterol. In addition, this natural oil maintains blood vessels in good condition. It has the ability to protect endothelial cell functions, a key element of the body's cardiovascular system.
Several studies have revealed that walnuts prevent the appearance of Alzheimer's disease and greatly reduce the rate of progression of this condition. Consuming walnuts or their oil lowers anxiety, assists motor development and boosts memory and learning ability. This is because walnuts are packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. The alpha-linoleic acid in its composition is great for vascular and mental health, and it also supplies a good mix of vitamins and minerals.
Clinical trials have shown that pregnant women can take walnut oil supplements to reduce the risk of their babies developing allergies. Besides the anti-allergic effect, walnut oil can speed up the maturity of the immune system, which ensures a strong immunity for the rest of the infant's life. According to scientists, n-3 PUFAs taken during pregnancy make gestation longer and boost mental functions during childhood by stimulating the central nervous system to mature faster. A strong immune system can effectively prevent the onset of allergies to food.
Other studies have focused on the oil's effect on elders. The risk of developing dementia is reduced by 60% if people include foods rich in omega-3 in their daily diet. The exact action mechanism is not fully understood yet but important ongoing research programmes are trying to find more answers.
Due to their effect on the blood stream, walnuts reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Scientists have discovered that overweight people who consume them have more effective endothelial functions. Walnut oil was also found to balance systolic blood pressure.
People who suffer from diabetes or simply have a high blood sugar level can use walnut oil as a simple and natural method to increase the amount of insulin produced in the pancreas and keep blood glucose at a normal level. This is very beneficial for overweight people and reduces the chance they will develop diabetes. Patients who already suffer from the disease can enjoy a normal lifestyle.
Walnut oil is great carrier oil, which makes it perfect for scalp massages. Combine it with other essential oils and massage scalp skin gently, in order to get rid of most types of infection and keep the skin moist. The massage will also improve your looks by eliminating the dandruff that clogs your hair.
The walnut oil can reduce inflammation both internally and externally. It is often applied on the skin in order to provide relief for painful muscles and sore joints, or any other type of inflammation in general. Consuming the walnut oil not only reduces inflammation but also improves heart health and blood vessel functions.
The metabolism of human cells produces dangerous compounds known as free radicals. These extremely reactive molecules can disrupt tissues in many ways by triggering cell mutation, scientifically known as apoptosis. This is one of the main causes of cancer, a potentially lethal disease. Oxidative pressure can be countered by consuming walnut oil and other foods rich in antioxidant compounds.
Potassium is an essential mineral found in very high amounts in walnut oil. It plays many roles, such as stimulating cell production, protecting follicle health and improving hair growth. Early hair loss can be effectively prevented due to the moisturizing and antiseptic effects of the walnut oil.
Because it is a very strong antioxidant and antiseptic product, walnut oil provides a significant boost to the body's immune function. It allows organs to operate more effectively and refocuses the immune reaction to external threats, by relieving some of the strain on it. The main areas where the immune system is active are the skin, digestive tract and respiratory system.