Black Walnut Overview:
The black walnut is an edible nut that is commonly used as a food ingredient. Studies conducted by the FDA have stated that eating 1.5 ounces per day of walnuts as part of a diet low in fat may reduce the risk of heart disease. The effects of black walnut are due to the tannins which are found naturally in the nut. Traditionally black walnut has been used to relieve constipation and diarrhea (Black Walnut)
Black walnuts contain a high amount of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which can help keep the heart healthy and strong. Omega 3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation in the body which helps to decrease LDL cholesterol levels. The combination of the prevention of atherosclerosis and the decrease in cholesterol helps to keep the heart healthy. Research has shown that black walnuts can also help to play a crucial role in the control of damage post heart attack (J). Because the omega 3’s help to reduce inflammation, black walnuts are very beneficial for the circulatory system. Reducing inflammation in the arteries helps to decrease the levels of substances that block the arteries. This helps to enhance blood flow insuring that it is distributed throughout the body.
A recent study has shown that black walnuts have the ability to kill candida which is a yeast-like fungus. Black walnuts are able to do this because they are alkaline in nature and fungi and other parasites cannot survive in an alkaline environment (Busch). In this sense, black walnut acts as an antifungal drug.
Because black walnuts contain omega 3 fatty acids, conditions like asthma, high blood pressure and even cancer can be prevented and treated. Black walnuts additionally have laxative properties which can help to relieve painful bowel movements resulting from constipation (J). These effects are due to the tannins which are found naturally in black walnut.
Additionally, black walnut is a very good source of iodine. The iodine from black walnuts is often found in capsule form and it can help to alleviate imbalances with the thyroid gland (Basch).
People who have a known allergy to walnut tree pollen or plants from the Juglandacae family or who are sensitive to black walnut should not consume it. Black walnut has been found to irritate the skin as well and cause stomach upset when taken in large amounts. Because black walnut can affect the arteries, people who are on blood pressure medication or natural supplements need to be closely monitored
Black walnut is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women due to lack of sufficient data.
- Black Walnut.” WebMd, 2009. Web. 25 Jun 2012.
- Busch, Sandy. “Black walnus and its health benefits.” . Livestrong, 05/07/2011. Web. 25 Jun 2012.
- J, Nick. “Black Walnut Benefits.” Buzzle, 20/10/2011. Web. 25 Jun 2012.