This expensive, delicate, light-colored, unrefined, specialty oil is made from nuts that are dried and then cold-pressed. Walnut oil is best used uncooked or in cold sauces because when it is heated, it can become slightly bitter. This flavor, however, can be a pleasant taste when experienced in moderation. The health benefits of walnuts were first identified in 1937 when researchers discovered that they were a significant source of vitamin C. Over the last 70 years, numerous other studies that evaluated the effects of walnut and walnut oil consumption on mortality, disease prevalence, and disease risk factors have been performed. It has now been well established that eating walnuts on a regular basis has definite health benefit. The most significant of which being a reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease. Adding walnuts to the daily diet can certainly help one maintain a healthful body balance.
Origin and history
Historical evidence shows that Walnuts have been in existence for thousands of years. It is believed that the Greeks were the first to cultivate the Walnut, although the Persians were the first to have cultivated the larger superior walnut we still enjoy today. During ancient times, walnuts were used for food, but also as a medicine and a dye for hair, wool, and cloth. Walnuts were introduced to Europe through the Mediterranean. Walnuts became highly regarded in France, where they began cultivating them in the 14th century. By the late 1600s walnuts became a staple in France, and during World War II when food stores became depleted in the small villages of Perigord, France, many families relied upon walnuts from their groves for protein. Walnut Oil was used by Egyptians in embalming their mummies, used for fuel in oil lamps, and in parts of Europe, Walnut Oil was used as a holy oil. European artists even employed Walnut Oil for use in paintings. Chemical analysis confirms the use of Walnut Oil in the French impressionist paintings of Monet, Cezanne and Pissaro.
Nutrition & health benefits
- Walnut Oil is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which may help lower the risk of heart disease, and help reduce bad cholesterol and reduce inflammation.
- It contains a high amount of monounsaturated oils such as Omega-9 which helps improve blood circulation.
- It contains a high level of antioxidants which help fights against free radicals which cause cell damage and aging.
- It is especially dense in the antioxidant ellagic acid, which aids in controlling the replication of malignant tumors and has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antiseptic properties.
- Walnut oil has been shown to lower total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol) and the ratio of LDL to HDL (good cholesterol).
- Walnut oil provide hefty levels of vitamins B-1, B-2, and B-3, coupled with vitamin-E and niacin. Certain phytonutrients and fatty acids in walnut oil can contribute enhancing the texture and quality of the skin.
- Regular walnut oil consumption reduced triglyceride levels 19 to 33% in a 45-day study.
- Culinary uses
- Aromatherapy uses
- Medicinal uses
- Paint thinner
- Maintains hormone levels
- Fights wrinkles
- Hair conditioner