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10 health benefits of African walnuts

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10 health benefits of African walnuts

African walnut, also called ‘king of nuts’ is mostly found in Nigeria and some parts of Africa. In the western part of Nigeria, it is known as ‘ausa’ or ‘asala’, while in the southern part, it’s called ‘ukpa’. In Cameroon, it is also known as ‘ngak’ or ‘kaso’.

They are round nuts with dark brown shells covering the cream-coloured nuts inside the shell.

Currently, African walnuts are in season, and one can’t help but spot them being sold on the highways, along the road, and in the markets.

African walnut is consumed by many who enjoy the nutty taste, oblivious of the numerous benefits it has to offer. For some, they have not tasted it before and only wonder what it is and why people eat it.

Keep reading to find out some impressive health benefits of African walnut, and why you should take advantage of them this season.

1. Improves brain function

This is one of the popular benefits of the African walnut, which has earned it the name ‘brain food’. Walnuts contain some important neuroprotective compounds like omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, folates, and vitamin E which can improve memory in old and young. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine which helps the human brain function properly and improves cognitive ability.

The alpha-linoleic acid contained in it makes it great in preventing memory loss or decline associated with thinking, especially in Alzheimer‘s disease.

2. Walnuts help to boost sperm production and fertility

Eating walnuts on a regular basis has been found to boost sperm production and quality in men. This is due to the presence of healthy fatty acids in these nuts, which play a great role in sperm development and fertility boosting in women as well as men. Researchers reveal that men who include more African walnuts in their diet stand higher chances of improving their sperm health, sperm development, and spermatozoa count.

3. It strengthens the immune system

Being an excellent source of essential minerals and vitamins such as manganese, iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, and zinc, the African walnut helps to improve the body’s ability to fight diseases and infections and prevent anemia.

4. Good for insomnia and sleep disorders

If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, consuming some walnuts before bed would help. This is because walnuts contain melatonin, the sleep hormone, which sends signals to the brain for good and sound sleep.

5. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases

Studies show that the African walnut is very effective in minimising the risks of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and coronary artery disease. Consuming walnuts as an after-meal dessert has been proven effective for keeping the arteries flexible and for reducing the damage caused by fatty food to the arteries.

6. Can prevent cancer

African walnuts have been shown to be effective in minimizing the risk of cancerous growths such as breast cancer and prostate cancer. This is due to its high constituent of ascorbic acid, omega 3 fatty acids, phytosterols, and antioxidants which help to slow down the onset of cancer.

7. Ideal for pregnant women

In folk medicines, the leaves extracts are usually taken by pregnant women to prevent the risk of miscarriages.

8. Useful in weight management

When added to a daily diet, walnuts are good for weight loss and management. It has been proven that an ounce of walnut contains quality fiber, protein, and fat that helps make the stomach feel full. The presence of vitamin B-7 works in hand with fiber to improve the body’s metabolism process, which checks the body weight.

9. Helps to regulate menstrual flow and reduce cramps

The high levels of omega 3 Fatty acids in African walnuts aid to regulate hormone levels and manage pains from menstrual cramps.

10. Helps to improve hair health

Due to the presence of vitamin B7 (biotin) in walnuts, walnuts are a useful addition to your diet. Biotin strengthens the hair which reduces hair breakage and fall, and in the long run, helps to retain growth.

Conclusion

African walnuts are not called the ‘king of nuts’ for nothing. The above list of health benefits should give you reasons to fill up on this wonder nut that doubles as a superfood. Take advantage of it whenever it’s in season.

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