Walnut milk benefits are vast since it is a nutritious, low-calorie drink that’s become very popular. Walnut milk is made by grinding walnuts, mixing them with water, and then filtering the mixture to create a product that looks a lot like milk and has a nutty flavor. Many commercial varieties are available, and some people make their own at home. It’s great for those who cannot or choose not to drink cow’s milk, as well as people who just like the taste.
Walnuts are tree nuts of the genus Juglans. Technically, they are stone fruit, not true nuts.
Once picked, walnuts need to be stored properly or they are susceptible to insect or mold infestation, producing aflatoxin (a potent carcinogen). They are best stored at low humidity, below 25°C.
The nutmeat is used as a high-protein food and walnut oil as a salad dressing but its low smoke point limits its use for frying.
Walnut milk benefits contains micronutrients like lutein, zeaxanthin, a range of B vitamins (with high levels of B6), and minerals, particularly manganese (163 percent RDA), magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. The fat profile shows high polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids with alpha-linolenic acid (14 percent), linoleic acid (58 percent), and 13 percent oleic acid (omega-9).
Polyphenols are the main active ingredients, with seven phenolic compounds including ferulic acid, vanillic acid, coumaric acid, myricetin, and juglone.
Walnut milk also contains ellagitannins, betulinic acid, and beta-sitosterol. Phytosterols, tocopherols, and squalene are present as well. Based on serving size, Walnut milk is the seventh-largest source of total polyphenols of all common foods.
6 Surprising Walnut Milk Benefits
In traditional medicine, walnuts were used for a wide variety of ailments: to treat worms and helminths, for diarrhea, sinusitis, stomach aches, arthritis, asthma, eczema, scrofula, skin disorders, diabetes mellitus, anorexia, thyroid dysfunction, cancer, and infectious disease.
There have been many studies conducted on the therapeutic activity of walnut milk benefits (and other nuts) on the cardiovascular system. They have been shown to lower total cholesterol and the LDL fraction, triglycerides, and the ApoB marker, while increasing the protective HDL and antioxidant defense systems. Higher doses give better results. They also lowered blood pressure in people without diabetes.
The anti-inflammatory effect reduces the risk of atherosclerosis development in human aortic endothelial cells. Walnut derivatives have also been shown to reduce the oxidation of LDLs, thus lowering the risk of atherosclerosis.
Walnuts have protective properties in cardiovascular disease in overweight humans with visceral adiposity (weight collecting around the abdomen) — a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.
Comparing walnuts with fatty fish, research has shown each regulates different components of cholesterol metabolism. The polyunsaturated fats of walnuts lowered LDL and total cholesterol levels in people with high blood fats and the fatty fish lowered triglycerides and raised HDL cholesterol. Overall, the high walnut diet showed better results than the high fish diet in regulating cholesterol as well as improving antioxidant capacity.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients of walnut milk improve neurological function, increasing signaling, neurogenesis (development of new neurons), and reduction in the amyloid plaques involved in dementia, thus being neuroprotective. Walnut milk has been shown to assist in the maintenance of brain health and cognitive function in aging.
Despite the high-fat, energy-dense content of walnut milk, the high protein and dietary fiber components contribute significantly to the feeling of satiety. Along with the high levels of micronutrients, the net effect is that walnuts have an inverse association with higher levels of consumption (one handful daily is ideal) and lower body weight, helping prevent both obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Metabolic syndrome & diabetes
Regular consumption reduces the risk of the development of metabolic syndrome and types 2 diabetes due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Beneficial changes in gut microbial communities were shown on the ingestion of walnut milk. In rat studies, increased levels of lactobacillus were measured. Walnuts are prescribed for chronic constipation, intestinal toxemia, giardia, portal congestion, and hemorrhoids. Green black walnut hulls have been used as a traditional medicine to expel parasites, worms, and a variety of pathogenic organisms inhabiting the gut. The juglone component has shown antimicrobial, antiparasitic effects, which, when combined with its laxative activity assist in removing these organisms.
Walnut consumption reverses non-alcoholic fatty liver. It’s said that three things are necessary for a healthy liver: walnuts, coffee, and oily fish.
The proteins from walnut milk showed antiproliferative activity against cancer of the prostate and breast as well as melanoma and leukemia. Walnut milk has been shown to afford partial protection from colon cancer, possibly due to the beneficial changes to the gut microbiome. Ellagic acid from walnut milk is protective against UVA (sun-related) skin cancer by reducing DNA damage in skin cells. Various studies have shown that walnut milk improves pathways related to cancer initiation, development, and progression.
To get the most nutrients from walnuts eating them is your best option. It’s best to activate them by soaking in filtered water with a little salt for 4–12 hours then draining them before consuming.