7 Top Benefits of Black Walnut (Juglans Nigra)

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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The important health benefits of black walnut include its ability to treat a wide variety of skin conditions, improve heart health, provide antifungal protection, reduce inflammation, stimulate circulation, and lower blood pressure. This walnut has anti-cancer potential and also boosts the immune system and regulates digestion.

What is Black Walnut?

The black walnut tree (Juglans nigra) was introduced to Europe in the mid-1600s, but it has not spread beyond America and Europe. Black walnut is a large deciduous tree that is native to the United States, as well as certain parts of Southern Canada. The female flowers of this tree bloom and turn into a nut, usually in clusters of four or five. These can then be harvested for various uses, including the medicinal benefits of both the husk and the nut itself. Black walnuts are popular food sources in both America and Europe and can be found in everything from candy, ice cream, fudge, and salads, as well as chicken, pork, and pasta dishes.

Black Walnut Nutrition

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, black walnut is rich in fatty acids, carbohydrates, and protein. This high concentration of omega-3s and unique organic compounds is what gives black walnut such a good nutritional profile. These walnuts are a huge source of fiber and many vitamins and minerals as well. They contain magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.

Black walnuts on a wooden table

Black walnuts are a nutritional nut that contain the highest protein content of any tree nut. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Nuts, walnuts, black, dried
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]4.56
Energy [kcal]619
Energy [kJ]2590
Protein [g]24.06
Total lipid (fat) [g]59.33
Ash [g]2.47
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]9.58
Fiber, total dietary [g]6.8
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]1.1
Sucrose [g]1
Glucose (dextrose) [g]0.05
Fructose [g]0.05
Starch [g]0.24
Calcium, Ca [mg]61
Iron, Fe [mg]3.12
Magnesium, Mg [mg]201
Phosphorus, P [mg]513
Potassium, K [mg]523
Sodium, Na [mg]2
Zinc, Zn [mg]3.37
Copper, Cu [mg]1.36
Manganese, Mn [mg]3.9
Selenium, Se [µg]17
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]1.7
Thiamin [mg]0.06
Riboflavin [mg]0.13
Niacin [mg]0.47
Pantothenic acid [mg]1.66
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.58
Folate, total [µg]31
Folate, food [µg]31
Folate, DFE [µg]31
Choline, total [mg]32.1
Betaine [mg]0.5
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]2
Carotene, beta [µg]24
Vitamin A, IU [IU]40
Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg]9
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]2.08
Tocopherol, beta [mg]0.01
Tocopherol, gamma [mg]28.78
Tocopherol, delta [mg]1.51
Tocotrienol, gamma [mg]0.7
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]2.7
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]3.48
16:0 [g]1.93
18:0 [g]1.55
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]15.44
16:1 [g]0.04
18:1 [g]15.13
20:1 [g]0.27
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]36.44
18:2 [g]33.76
18:2 n-6 c,c [g]33.76
18:3 [g]2.68
18:3 n-3 c,c,c (ALA) [g]2.68
Stigmasterol [mg]1
Campesterol [mg]5
Beta-sitosterol [mg]115
Tryptophan [g]0.32
Threonine [g]0.72
Isoleucine [g]0.97
Leucine [g]1.68
Lysine [g]0.71
Methionine [g]0.47
Cystine [g]0.46
Phenylalanine [g]1.09
Tyrosine [g]0.74
Valine [g]1.27
Arginine [g]3.62
Histidine [g]0.67
Alanine [g]1.05
Aspartic acid [g]2.43
Glutamic acid [g]5.15
Glycine [g]1.19
Proline [g]0.93
Serine [g]1.23
Sources include : USDA

Health Benefits of Black Walnut

Health benefits of black walnut include:

Antifungal Action

Candida albicans is a very common agent in the body that can cause yeast infections and is exacerbated by poor dietary habits. Black walnut, however, contains juglone and tannins that can make the environment of the gut very inhospitable for the candida fungus, thereby protecting your body from the weakening of blood vessel walls and increased toxicity in your bloodstream. This same antifungal action makes black walnut effective against Athlete’s foot, ringworm, jock itch, and other common fungal infections.

Skin Care

By grinding up black walnut husks, a fine powder can be created and made into a paste for the skin. The rich levels of antioxidants and beneficial fatty acids can actually impact the health and appearance of skin, prevent blemishes, pimples, and acne, and clear up skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Direct use of the powder tincture may be too strong for the skin, so it can be mixed in with other carrier creams and natural salves.

Aids in Digestion

The natural anti-inflammatory activity of black walnut makes it ideal for soothing upset stomachs, inflamed walls of the colon or gut, which will then help to normalize the digestive process and regulate excretion. Black walnut is said to relieve both constipation and diarrhea, effectively balancing the body’s entire gastrointestinal system. Some people use it as a laxative in concentrated doses, but this isn’t recommended for an extended period of time.

Improves Heart Health

The high level of omega-3 fatty acids and beneficial compounds make black walnut vital for heart health. Eating a few walnuts each day can help to regulate the cholesterol levels in your body, as omega-3 fatty acids can help to eliminate dangerous LDL cholesterol from the body. This can help to lower your blood pressure, ease tension on your cardiovascular system, reduce your chance of developing atherosclerosis, and lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, and coronary heart diseases.

Boosts Immunity

Along with its antifungal activity to boost the health of the immune system, black walnut is also rich in antioxidants. It can significantly protect the body by neutralizing free radicals that can cause chronic diseases. Black walnut is also antiviral and anti-parasitic in nature, providing a comprehensive defensive line for your body.

Improves Respiratory Conditions

Gargling with black walnut extract can be very effective for soothing sore throats, as the anti-inflammatory nature can relieve irritation and inflammation.

Anti-cancer Potential

More research is being done on the anti-cancer effects of black walnuts and the results have been very promising till now. The organic compound juglone found in this walnut, in addition to the many polyphenolic compounds and fatty acids, contribute to anti-tumor and anti-carcinogenic activity within the body. This could help slow the growth or prevent the development of cancer (Umesh C Bhargava, Bertis A. Westfall et al, 1968).

Side Effects of Black Walnut

If you are planning on adding black walnuts to your dietary or herbal supplement regimen, consult a doctor and ensure that you are not sensitive to nuts. These are the common side effects of eating black walnuts.

  • Walnuts are common causes of anaphylactic shock in sensitive nut allergy sufferers.
  • Skin rash is also a common side effect when the powder or tincture is applied to the skin, but this usually fades and is not considered serious.
  • Pregnant women are not recommended to use either topical or oral use of black walnut.

So add black walnut to your health regimen and enjoy its benefits!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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