Today walnut oil is highly recommended for consumption as it is considered to have a lot of benefits for our health. It promotes the work of our cardiovascular system and nervous system, helps control cholesterol level and even prevent cancer. But what walnut oil is better for using? Why is walnut oil so beneficial for us? Is there any difference between consuming walnuts or walnut oil, walnut oil or black walnut oil?
What is walnut oil?
Walnut oil is pressed from the dried nuts of walnut trees, or English walnuts, or Juglans regia. It means “Nut of the Gods” from the Latin. Thus, ancient people valued walnuts because of their healthy nutrients as drugs.com notes. Cold-pressed organic walnut oil retains most of these nutrients important for our health. How to make walnut oil? For this nuts are harvested, washed and dried in the sun for a few days. After that nuts are ground and roasted if necessary. There is roasted walnut oil available as well. The aroma and taste of roasted walnut oil is a bit stronger. Then walnut kernels are mechanically pressed, the oil is filtered and it is ready. This method of oil extraction preserves all important nutrients in the oil.
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Walnut oil nutrition facts
Fatty acids composition
According to Wikipedia walnut oil has 63.3 % of polyunsaturated fats, 23% of monounsaturated fatty acids omega-9 and 9.1% of saturated fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fats are:
- Omega-6 linoleic acid – 60%;
- Omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid -1.5% (read more about walnut oil omega-3 fats)
Walnut oil also has stearic, palmitic and palmitoleic acids.
Walnut oil is highly caloric. There are 14 g of fat in 1 tablespoon of it. According to nutritiondata it has no proteins or carbohydrates. Walnuts are rich in such minerals as calcium, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, magnesium, potassium and copper. They contain vitamins of group B, vitamin C, gamma-tocopherol, or vitamin E, and niacin. The ellagic acid also found in walnuts is a polyphenol with strong antioxidant properties.
SEE ALSO: Walnut Oil Recipes for Healthy Lunch
Types of walnut oil
Unrefined walnut oil vs refined walnut oil
If you want to buy walnut oil you should be attentive as you may find unrefined walnut oil and refined walnut oil. Unrefined oil is cold-pressed walnut oil and is preferable for culinary use. Refined walnut oil is short of essential nutrients and of little nutritional interest. It is mainly used in art.
Virgin walnut oil, 100% pure walnut oil
Virgin oil is cold-pressed from the best nuts. All health-boosting qualities are preserved in it. It is the most expensive. 100% pure walnut oil means that it has no additives in it. Search for virgin walnut oil to feel the benefits of walnut oil.
Black walnut oil
You may find another variety of oil – black walnut oil. It is derived from nuts of another tree – Black Walnut, or Juglans nigra. Black walnuts grow in America. These nuts contain the same fatty acid profile and are also high in Vitamin C, B, tannins and beta-carotene. Tannins (juglone, gallovglucose and ellagitannins) may reduce pain, inflammation and kill parasites, but they are toxic. Black walnut oil is considerably lower in tannins.