African walnuts are a seasonal fruit that is high in nutrition and has numerous health benefits. Walnuts have a lot of nutrients that are good for the body in a lot of different ways. African walnut is primarily found in Nigeria and a few other African countries. It is known as ausa or asala in the western part of Nigeria, and ukpa in the southern part. It’s also known as ngak or kaso in Cameroon.
When compared to other nuts, African walnuts are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fiber, which is one of their health benefits. Researchers have discovered that other parts of the plant, in addition to its nuts, are extremely important for medicinal, therapeutic, and pharmaceutical purposes. When the African walnut grows as a vine, it moves up a tree and provides shade for other plants that don’t grow as tall as it does.
It’s best if it’s planted near a tall, sturdy tree that can provide strong support and balance for this heavy-weighted plant. Especially when it has finally reached the tree’s apex. Walnut has a high content of anthraquinones, tannins, saponins, and alkaloids, making it medicinal, therapeutic, and stimulating.
Health Benefits of African Walnuts (Asala)
- Promotes brain function: Vitamin B-6, also known as pyridoxine, is found in walnut fruit and allows the human brain function effectively and improves cognitive ability. Certain neuroprotective compounds found in walnut fruits help to maintain normal brain functions. Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, folates, and vitamin E all help adults and children’s brain health. Biotin, also known as Vitamin B-7, is a soluble B-vitamin complex found naturally in these nuts. It has a number of functions, including preventing memory loss and enhancing brain function. African walnuts have alpha-linolenic acid, which is a fatty acid that helps keep your memory and cognitive abilities strong, especially in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Prevents cardiovascular diseases: According to studies, African walnut is very effective in lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases like cardiac arrest and atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in the arteries, thereby restricting blood supply to the heart). Walnuts, eaten as an after-meal dessert, have been shown to keep the arteries flexible and reduce the harmful effects of fatty foods on the arteries. This is because this fruit contains a lot of phytosterols, omega 3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. Walnuts also have a high concentration of L-arginine, an essential amino acid that can be converted to nitric oxide. I think it’s important for people to know that when blood vessels relax, nitric oxide makes the walls of these vessels a little smoother. Individuals with hypertension often struggle to maintain balanced nitric oxide levels, making them vulnerable to heart problems. However, including walnuts in their diet can help them overcome this problem.
- Reduces risk of diabetes: Consuming African walnuts on a daily basis lowers the risk of hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, which is the leading cause of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Experiments have shown that African walnuts are one of the best fruits for people who want to keep their blood sugar levels in check and avoid becoming obese. According to a scientific nutrient database, 100 grams of shelled African walnuts have 13.14 grams of carbs and zero grams of cholesterol, making them excellent for lowering the causes and effects of obesity.
- Quality sleep: Given the presence of melatonin in walnuts, studies show that eating them before bedtime is an efficient method of facilitating good sleep. Melatonin is a hormone manufactured by the pineal gland that can be used as a sleep aid as well as a treatment for certain sleep disorders. So if you have insomnia or trouble sleeping, you might want to consider eating some African walnuts.
- Reduces cholesterol levels: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, is reduced in the body when these nuts are consumed on a regular basis. African walnuts are single-seeded stone drupe fruits with a white-cream seed encased in thick black walls that are edible. The plant is primarily grown for its nuts, which are cooked and sold in most African markets as snacks. African walnuts are high in polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which have been shown to lower cholesterol levels in the body.
- Improvements in menstrual flow: African walnut is completely safe for both men and women. When I refer to African walnuts, I’m referring to both the nuts and their derivatives. Another natural antioxidant that helps to regulate menstrual flow is walnut leaf extract. A lot of women have problems with their menstrual flow, and this can help them have a better flow and keep them from having problems with their menstrual flow.
- Fertility booster: Such foods are considered fertility boosters, and medical research has shown that men who eat African walnuts on a daily basis are more likely to have better sperm quality. Healthy fatty acids found in these nuts, such as omega-3 fatty acids, play an important role in sperm production and fertility enhancement in both men and women.
- Promotes liver function: African walnuts or asala contain powerful antioxidants like tannin, tellimagrandin, flavonol morin, quinone juglone, and polyphenols, which help to protect the liver from food-borne toxins and eliminate free radicals from the body. And antioxidants like ellagic acid, melatonin, and others that have anti-aging properties.
- Weight loss management: When walnuts are included in a daily diet, they help with weight loss and management. It has been proven that an ounce of walnut contains high-quality fiber, protein, and fat, all of which contribute to a feeling of fullness in the stomach. Vitamin B-7, when combined with fiber, improves the body’s metabolism and allows for proper body weight monitoring. African walnuts are a top choice snack for shedding excess body weight, belly fat, and lowering body cholesterol. However, because they are high in calories, you must stick to the serving size.
- Prevents cancerous growth: Walnut fruits, consumed two or more times per week, can help to prevent cancers of various types, including breast cancer and pancreatic cancer. Natural antioxidants, phytosterols, and ascorbic acid, all of which contribute to inhibiting cancer growth in the body, have been proven by scientific researchers to support the above theory.
It’s an understatement to say walnuts are a nutrient-dense food. Walnuts are high in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and that’s just the start of how they can help you stay healthy. Walnuts are a nut that is high in nutrients. They have significantly more antioxidant activity and healthy omega-3 fatty acids than any other common nut.
This diverse nutrient profile contributes to walnuts’ numerous health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved heart disease risk factors. Scientists are still learning about the many different ways walnut fiber and plant compounds, such as polyphenols, interact with your gut microbiota and contribute to your overall health. It’s likely that you’ll hear a lot more about walnuts in the coming years as more research is done on their health benefits.