What are walnuts?

Walnuts are the seeds of plants belonging to the genus Juglans. The three main species are Juglans regia, Juglans nigra and Juglans cinerea, of which there are dozens of different varieties. The plant is native to India and the Caspian Sea, and today the major producers are China, the US, Ukraine and Romania.


What are the nutritional properties of walnuts?

100 g of walnuts (Junglans directed, edible portion) provide 582 calories broken down as follows:

  • 89% lipids
  • 7% protein
  • 4% carbohydrates

In particular, 100 grams of walnuts (Juglans regia) provide:

  • 19.2 g of water
  • 10.5 g of protein
  • 57.7 g of lipids (including omega 3 fatty acids)
  • 1.9 g of starch
  • 3.4 g of soluble sugars
  • 3.5 g of fiber

Among vitamins and minerals , 100 g walnuts provide:

  • 0.8 mg of niacin
  • 0.58 mg of thiamine
  • 0.17 mg of riboflavin
  • 6 micrograms of vitamin A (retinol equivalent)
  • biotin
  • 375-500 g of potassium
  • 238 mg of phosphorus
  • 131 mg of calcium
  • 3 mg of sodium
  • 2.6 mg of iron
  • magnesium
  • copper
  • manganese
  • molybdenum


Walnuts are also a source of vitamin E in the form of gamma-tocopherol. They also contain phytonutrients such as juglone, tellimagrandin and morina which are rare in other foods.


When should you NOT eat walnuts?

The consumption of walnuts can interfere with the action of the drugs taken against hypothyroidism, such as levothyroxine.


Seasonality of walnuts

Walnuts are harvested in December, but are commercially available throughout the year.


Possible benefits and drawbacks of walnuts

Walnuts are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Among the benefits reaped from their consumption there are the reduction of the total and the bad cholesterol, improved blood vessel tone, reduction in the aggregation of platelets and that of inflammation markers, all positive effects in terms of cardiovascular health. Walnuts would also be useful allies against the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes management, the prevention of some cancers and in promoting bone health, a good memory, good cognitive skills and healthy sleep.

Allergy to walnuts is not uncommon. It is important to also pay attention in case of hypersensitivity to other nuts.