African walnut is excellent source of essential minerals, vitamins – Experts

African Walnut
African Walnut

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By Benprince Ezeh

WALNUT is now in season and belongs to the tree nut family along with Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts. Each has its own unique nutritional profile. Eating just one ounce of walnuts a day (that’s about seven shelled walnuts) may be all it takes to take advantage of their beneficial properties. Oftentimes, the simplest foods are best for your health and this is certainly the case for nuts.

It has been described as a good remedy for infertility, dreadful cholesterol, poor brain or mental function, and cardiovascular diseases, among others.

“People do not take advantage of the nut known as Ukpa in Igbo, Asala (Yoruba), Okhue or Okwe among the Edo people,” said Osita Egbu, a natural medicine practitioner.

According to him, walnut has a spermatogenic property, which promotes the formation of sperm cells in the testicles. “It improves the quality and count of sperm produced. We often prescribe it as a form of treatment for infertility. Its leaf extract has been found to boost female fertility and also can help to reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood.

“African walnut is different from other walnuts from other parts of the world, but all walnuts can boost cognitive functions when taken regularly. This is due to the presence of a high level of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B6, which help to support brain functions,” he said.

Jennifer Ani, a nutritionist said that walnuts are eaten across the world, but people really do not know their huge benefits. “For example, it helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Heart attack and coronary heart diseases are greatly minimised with moderate consumption of walnut. The harm to the heart resulting from excessive consumption of fatty foods is preventable. People should eat walnuts regularly and it also possesses a heart-friendly antioxidant,” Ani said.

According to her, walnut is a perfect fruit a pregnant woman needs during and after childbirth. “These fruits are good for pregnant women because they are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients that prevent unborn babies from developing food allergies.

“An omega-3 fatty acid is an important fatty acid in the African walnuts and it helps to improve baby’s cognitive development and vision, and also lowers some allergy risks,” she said.

Judith Nnaji, another nutritionist said that walnuts are good for weight loss and management when added to the daily diet. “It has been proven that an ounce of walnut contains quality fiber, protein, and fat that helps make the stomach to feel full, the presence of vitamin B-7 works in hand with fiber to improve the metabolism process of the body and appropriate checking of body weight.

“Eating walnuts on a daily basis helps to reduce the risk of hyperglycemia, high blood sugar, which is the major cause of type-1 and type-2 diabetes mellitus. Experiments have shown that walnut is one of the best fruit for people that want to maintain a healthy blood sugar level and prevent the risk of obesity,” she said.

According to Nnaji, walnut leaf extract is another natural antioxidant that plays a good role in regulating menstrual flow.

Nov 2  2020 @ 10:52 GMT

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