Walnut Oil

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Walnut Oil

Walnut oil is a nut oil obtained from walnuts. Depending on the varieties of walnuts, there are some types of walnut oils. It is a good source of omega – 3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids. So the body needs to get them from the diet. Walnut oil has a nutty flavour and a light aroma. Walnut oil makes a nice base oil ( carrier oil ) for massage and aromatherapy uses. It is used as a cosmetic ingredient in many skincare products. This oil has immense nutritional value and is safe to be taken in diet.

Source

Almond oil comes from the most common walnut species, Juglans regia, known as the common walnut or the English walnut. The oil can be obtained via solvent extraction or cold pressing. The cold-pressed organic walnut oil is best for health. The demand for walnut oil has decreased in recent time, which has led to lower production. Most of the production today comes from France.

Another kind of walnut oil is black walnut oil which is obtained from black walnuts, Juglans nigra. Black walnut oil has its unique combination of health benefits, which are quite different from the common walnut oil. Black walnut is more of a medicinal herb, and its oil possesses many medicinal properties.

Walnut trees are probably native to the Himalayas. Presently in Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan, there are complete forests of walnuts. This leads to the tremendous production of walnuts.

Properties

Common walnut oil has the following therapeutic properties, making it useful for personal use and as an ingredient in medicinal products, even home remedies.

  • Antiseptic – reduces the risk of catching an infection on an open wound.
  • Anti-inflammatory – Because of omega – 3 fatty acids in walnut oil, it is strongly anti-inflammatory.
  • Anti-bacterial – kills many strains of bacteria.
  • Anti-fungal – Walnut oil is a strong anti-fungal, especially against Candida fungus.
  • Laxative – promotes regular emptying of bowels.
  • Analgesic – natural pain reliever.
  • Antihypertriglyceridemic – reduces the risk of developing high triglycerides in the blood.
  • Anti-ageing – can slow down ageing from within.
  • Skin regenerative – It promotes the regeneration of skin cells to replace dead, shedding cells.
  • Skin toner – helps one achieve toned skin, which fights to sag in the skin.
  • Emollient – fine moisturizer of skin.
  • Anti-cancer – Walnut oil may have potential anti-cancer properties against a wide range of cancers. These are being evaluated. This can be attributed to the omega-3 fatty acids and other phytonutrients in walnut oil like ellagitannins. [2]
  • Antioxidant – mops up free radicals before they cause damage to the DNA and the mitochondria of our cells.
  • Weight Loss – Walnut oil may have weight loss, similar to green tea.
  • Wood finishing agent – Walnut oil polishes wood and makes it look better. It keeps the wood protected.
  • Paint thinner – removes colour from paintbrushes like nothing else.

Uses and Health Benefits

Walnut oil for Wood Finish

Add 1/3 walnut oil to 2/3 beeswax. Use this combination to polish your wooden products, like wooden handles, furniture, cutting boards. It lends a nice glossy finish to the wood. If walnut oil seems costly, one can substitute like mink oil or even the relatively inexpensive mineral oil. The results may not be so appreciable with mineral oil as with walnut oil.

Walnut oil for Paint Thinners and Medium

Many artists prefer walnut oil as a natural “non toxic” and “no harmful fumes” oil painting medium. It is a nice solvent for paints. Secondly, it is a suitable paint thinner. It dissolves away the colour from the brush completely so that there is absolutely no trace of the previous colours on that brush. Walnut oil substitute for this application is linseed oil, which is a relatively cheaper oil.

Walnut oil for Healthier skin

Walnut oil can be applied Neat ( undiluted ) on the skin. Regular application of a small amount of walnut oil can provide the following health benefits for the skin.

  • Reduces the signs of ageing, predominantly wrinkles. Apply it on wrinkle-prone skin and massage the skin in various circular motions. It is very good for eye wrinkles where the skin is very thin and easily prone to fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Protects the skin from free radical damage – If you regularly apply walnut oil to the skin, many antioxidant compounds get stored in the fat layer under the skin. There they provide antioxidant power as and when needed.
  • Relieves fungal infections of skin – Apply walnut oil to fungal infections like ringworm, athlete’s foot and candidiasis. One can mix it with coconut oil or oil of oregano which is a powerful anti-fungal.

Walnut oil for Hair

Walnut oil can be applied directly to HairHair to make it smooth and glossy. However, one can get greater health benefits by taking walnut oil in a diet. Why? Well, that’s because walnut oil is also very high in omega – 6 fatty acids ( linoleic acid ). Omega – 6 acts as a factor in hair growth[3]. A deficiency of omega-6 may lead to stunted hair growth.

How much walnut oil to take for improved hair growth? A dosage of about 1 – 3 gm per day can yield positive results.

Walnut oil can be added to egg yolk to create a protein enriching hair treatment. Add few drops of walnut oil to egg yolks. The nutrients in egg yolks are better absorbed in the scalp skin in healthy fatty acids from walnut oil. This penetrates deep into the hair follicles and boosts the protein content of hair shafts. Our HairHair is primarily made up of protein and water, so this treatment helps a lot.

Walnut oil in recipes

Walnut oil is used in many recipes when you need a nutty flavour. So, one can use it in confectionery items to don’t taste too sweet to mellow the sugar a bit. One can add walnut oil as salad dressings. Adding a few drops of this oil to bread dough makes the bread carry a walnut smell. One can make a vinaigrette with walnut oil as an ingredient.

Walnut oil improves liver health.

Walnut oil helps in fatty liver condition [5]. Walnut oil stops the accumulation of lipids ( fats ) in liver cells, thus relieving the fatty liver condition. However, people with serious liver disease, like hepatitis, should avoid taking oils internally as a general rule. When the liver is weak, it has difficulty processing the nutrients from food.

Walnut oil massage

A simple massage with walnut oil relieves arthritic pain, muscular pain ( like muscle knots ), and general pain sensation relief. This oil is a natural analgesic, and when applied topically, it reduces pain sensation.

Walnut Oil Lowers Triglycerides and Cholesterol

Walnut oil has been identified in a study [1] to lower blood triglyceride levels substantially. Such an effect is not commonly seen as even the most healthy oils have a strong lowering effect on cholesterol but the only mild effect on triglycerides. In the study, walnut oil, given in capsule form 3 gm per day for 45 days. The blood triglycerides (TG) decreased by as much as 33%, which is a tremendous improvement.

One can make use of this fact and use walnut oil in dishes without heating it. When walnut oil is heated, it loses much of its nutritional value and antioxidant power when heated.

Walnut oil also helps the body release excess cholesterol. [4] So, it is effective in reducing cholesterol.

Other health benefits of walnut oil

  • Consumption of walnut oil can help in reducing inflammation all over the body.
  • Since walnut oil has both omega – 6 and omega – fatty acids, it is a slightly balanced oil in omega – 6 /omega – 3 ratio. This ratio is important. High omega-6 for omega-3 may lead to a pro-inflammatory environment in the body. But, walnut oil has omega-3 s to balance out the potential negative effects of omega – 6. [6]
  • Walnut oil intake in the diet helps one to deal with stress better. It may also improve mental faculties and lower stress naturally.

Nutritional and Medicinal Information

Walnut oil contains very few vitamins and minerals besides its fatty acids. However, it contains many micro-nutrients in small concentrations, which have potent health benefits. Of the total fats, this is the breakdown of saturated fats and unsaturated fats.

100 gm walnut oil contains –

  • Saturated fat – 9.1 gm
  • Monounsaturated fat – 22.8 gm
  • Polyunsaturated fat – 63.3 gm

Added up, this makes only 95 % of the oil. This shows that the oil contains many more nutrients and healthy natural compounds.

The fatty acid nutrition profile of Walnut Oil

NutrientPercentageProperty
Palmitoleic Acid0.1 %MUFA
Stearic Acid2 %Saturated fat
Palmitic Acid7 %Saturated fat
Oleic Acid22.1 %MUFA
Linoleic Acid52.9 %PUFA
Alpha Linolenic Acid10.4 %PUFA
Gadoleic Acid0.4 %MUFA
Eicosenoic Acidtraces %PUFA
Behenic Acidtraces %PUFA
Erucic Acidtraces %PUFA

 Complete Nutritional Profile of Walnut Oil ( per 100 gm )

NutrientValuePercentage
Energy (Calories)884 
Carbohydrates00
Proteins00
Fats100100 %
Dietary fiber00
Cholesterol00
Sugars00

 

Vitamins Value Percentage
Vitamin A00
Thiamine (B1)00
Riboflavin (B2)00
Niacin (B3)00
Pantothenic Acid (B5)00
Pyridoxine (B6)00
Biotin (B7)00
Folic Acid (B9)00
Vitamin B1200
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin E0.4 mg2.6 %
Vitamin K15 μg18.75%
ElectrolytesValuePercentage
Potassium00
Sodium0 0
MineralsValuePercentage
Iron00
Calcium00
Magnesium00
Phosphorus00
Zinc00
Manganese
Copper
Selenium
Micro-Nutrients Value Percentage
Phytosterols176 mg

Besides these macronutrients and phytonutrients, many more chemical properties are of significance.

NutrientPercentageProperty
Density 0.921  g/ml great for massage oil
Storage temperature – No specific requirements
Comedogenicity – Rated from 0 to 5
ORAC – Antioxidant power
Acid Value0.4 Measure of acidity
Saponification Value188 Average mol. wt of fatty acids
Iodine Value132 Measure of unsaturation of fat

 

References

1. Antihypertriglyceridemic effect of walnut oil. Zibaeenezhad MJ, Rezaiezadeh M, Mowla A, Ayatollahi SM, Panjehshahin MR. NCBI.

2. Ellagic Acid and Natural Sources of Ellagitannins as Possible Chemopreventive Agents Against Intestinal Tumorigenesis in the Min Mouse. Essi Päivärinta, Anne-Maria Pajari, Riitta Törrönen & Marja Mutanen. Nutrition and Cancer.

3. Omega-6 fatty acids. University of Maryland Medical Center.

4. Walnut oil increases cholesterol efflux by inhibiting stearoyl CoA desaturase 1 in THP-1 macrophage-derived foam cells. Zhang J, Grieger JA, Kris-Etherton PM, Thompson JT, Gillies PJ, Fleming JA, Vanden Heuvel JP. NCBI.

5. Dietary walnut oil modulates liver steatosis in the obese Zucker rat. Fink A, Rüfer CE, Le Grandois J, Roth A, Aoude-Werner D, Marchioni E, Bub A, Barth SW.

6. The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. Simopoulos AP.

7. Walnuts, walnut oil improve stress reaction. Penn State University.

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