Walnut Oil is an oil obtained from Juglans regia or Persian walnuts, which produces nearly all of the walnuts sold as food. This oil is edible and contains no cholesterol. Compared to other culinary oils, it is generally used less because of its high price. Above 99% of Walnut Oil being sold in the U.S. originated and is produced in California. Some of the top producers of this costly oil are China, Mexico, Romania, Ukraine, Australia, New Zealand and Turkey. Aside from cooking, Walnut Oil is also used for various purposes such as improving skin and hair health.
Each 100 g of Walnut Oil gives approximately 63.3 g of polyunsaturated acids, 22.8 g of monounsaturated fats and 9.1 g saturated fats. Most nuts are high in monounsaturated fatty acids but Walnut Oil is different. 72% of its total fats are largely composed of polyunsaturated fatty acids of which 14% is specifically alpha-linolenic acid, 58% is linoleic acid and 13% is oleic acid. Polyunsaturated fat is one of the healthy fats. It includes omega-3 and omega-6 fats which are good for the body.
Walnut Oil is available in the form of cold-pressed and refined. Cold-pressed Walnut Oil is organic and more expensive but will always be better because it contains substantial nutrients important for our health. The refined oil is commonly used in art and beauty and has low essential nutrients.
Walnut Oil Benefits
Below are some of the benefits of using Walnut Oil:
- Helps prevent breast cancer
- Good for brain health
- Improves heart health
- Helps you get better sleep and stop feeling the effects of stress
- Helps maintain bone health.
- Essential during pregnancy
- Boosts immunity
- Helps maintain the health of digestive system
- Cures inflammatory ailments
- Improves hair health
- Reduces signs of ageing
Walnut Oil Uses
- Walnut Oil as an Anti-Cancer. Studies show that both Walnut Oil and walnuts could cut in half the risk of tumor growth and breast cancer. Scientific research at UC Davis has discovered that diets rich in walnut and Walnut Oil can slow down prostate cancer growth in mice.
- Walnut Oil for Brain Health. Walnut Oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that can improve learning, thinking and memory. The brain cells need a fresh and consistent supply of these important fats for excellent functionality, and Walnut Oil is definitely a good source.
- Walnut Oil for Healthy Heart. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for the heart ny lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol in the body. Walnut Oil also boosts the production of good cholesterol that is important for the heart.
- Walnut Oil as a Stress Reliever. Aside from omega-3 fatty acids that keeps check on the blood pressure and reduce stress, Walnut Oil also contains melatonin which may help in sleeping faster. It is good for people with insomnia and irregular sleeping patterns.
- Walnut Oil for Healthy Bones. It is a good source of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) that helps our bones to grow healthier and stronger.
- Walnut Oil for Pregnancy. It has lots of benefits for expecting mothers. It has Vitamin B complex like riboflavin, thiamin and folate that are essential for the health and development of the fetus. It can reduce the risk of central nervous system defects.
- Walnut Oil as Immunity Booster. It contains antioxidants that keeps immune system healthy and protect the body from many ailments or diseases.
- Walnut Oil for Healthy Bowel Movement. It is rich in fiber that is essential to maintain the health of the digestive system. It aids in proper bowel movement. We need protein in our diet but many sources like meat, dairy products and eggs do not contain fiber so including Walnut Oil in your daily diet can avoid digestive problems.
- Walnut Oil as Anti-Inflammatory. The high level of polyunsaturated fatty acids and alpha-linoleic acid present in Walnut Oil can also lower levels of a body-wide inflammation known as C-reactive protein (CRP). Asthma, eczema and arthritis are some of the inflammatory diseases that can be cured by consuming Walnut Oil.
- Walnut Oil for Healthy Hair. It is high in potassium which is essential for cell regeneration. It promotes hair growth, fights dandruff and hair loss.
- Walnut Oil for Healthy Skin. B-Vitamins are good for the skin and Walnut Oil is a good source. It also has antioxidant that help delay skin ageing. It can also be used to lighten under eye dark circles, skin moisturizer and remedy for Psoriasis.
Walnut Oil Side Effects
For most people, Walnut Oil is safe in usual amounts. The following are some of the Walnut Oil side effects.
- Allergy. It is better to consult your doctor first before consuming Walnut Oil. In case you get allergic reactions after taking or using Walnut Oil, discontinue use and see your doctor immediately. Reactions are generally linked with over consumption.
- Swellings and Rashes. Excessive use of Walnut Oil can cause rashes and sometimes swelling all over the body. If you are sensitive to other forms of nuts, then you are likely to suffer from these symptoms.
- Nausea, Stomach Pain and Diarrhea. Walnut Oil contains antibodies that stimulate the white blood cells. It produces histamine that promotes allergic reactions such as dizziness and loose bowels.
- Pregnancy. It is true that Walnut Oil has lots of benefits for expecting mothers and lactating women but it is best to consult your obstetrician before using it to avoid complications.
- Asthma Attacks. Not to be used for people who suffer from asthma and walnut sensitivity.
- Skin Infections. When applied topically on the skin, it can cause eczema, acne and other skin infections. It can also lead to too much sweating of hands and feet. It is wise to do a patch test before using it to prevent any allergic reactions.
- Lip Cancer. When applied daily, it may cause lip or tongue cancer.
How to Use Walnut Oil
Here are some of the ways on how to use Walnut Oil.
- Recipes. You can use Walnut Oil if you need or want a nutty flavor. Use it in confectionery items to balance the taste and mellow the sugar a bit. It can also be added to salad dressings. A few drops of Walnut Oil to bread dough will make it carry a walnut smell. It can also be used as an ingredient in making a vinaigrette.
- Hair Care or Treatment. Apply it directly to your hair to make it glossy and smooth. For positive results and improved hair growth, you can take a dosage of 1-3 gm per day of Walnut Oil. For a protein enriching hair treatment, just add a few drops to egg yolk.
- Skin Care and Treatment. Mix undiluted Walnut Oil to coconut oil or oregano oil to cure fungal infections such as candidiasis, ringworm and athletes foot. For anti-aging, simply apply on the wrinkle prone skin then massage in circular motions. Apply regularly to protect skin from free radical damage.
- Artistic Use. It is non-toxic and has no harmful fumes that is why many artists preferred to use it as oil painting medium and paint thinner.
How to Make Walnut Oil
Here are the three methods of extracting oil from walnut.
- Cold Pressing. Cold pressed oils preserve their nutritional value, taste and aroma. It is done by grinding the nuts to make a paste and forcing it through a hydraulic process. It will then produce the lowest yield but topmost quality oil.
- Expeller Pressing. It uses some heat to force the nut paste using a screw through an expeller. This procedure can only yield 65-70% of the oil.
- Solvent Extraction. This method uses high heat and a little amount of petroleum based solvent to draw out the oil. It produces the highest output of oil but of the lowest quality. It is most commonly used in an industrial process.
Walnut Oil Recipe
A homemade Walnut Oil would take a few more steps but is absolutely achievable.
- Prepare 6 lbs of English walnuts and make sure they are dry and fresh.
- To open the shells, use a nutcracker. Extract the meat into a clean container or large bowl.
- Grind small portions of walnuts until they are fine.
- Put the ground walnuts into a pot with less water. Heat for 30 minutes and stir constantly.
- Squeeze the oil from the hot walnut meat using an oil press.
- Filter the oil through a cheesecloth into a clean container.
For storage, it is advisable to keep the extracted oil into dark bottles and keep them in the refrigerator no longer than two months for the oil may thicken. For quick application, bring the Walnut Oil to room temperature then wait an hour or two before using it.
Where to Buy Walnut Oil
Most supermarkets and pharmacies sell Walnut Oil. You can also buy one online through eBay and Amazon. The highest rated Walnut Oil is La Tourangelle Roasted Walnut Oil which you can purchase on Amazon. Other recommended brands are Le Moulin de Marie Walnut Oil and Jean LeBlanc French Walnut Oil.
Some Facts About Walnut Oil…
- Walnuts have been known to mankind since 7000 B.C. It is the oldest tree food known.
- It can only be harvested once a year and that is between September and November.
- It can cure bad breath and heal wounds.
- California is where two-thirds of the world’s walnut production occurs.