English Walnut: The Kernel That Supports Mental Health

Isn’t it funny how a walnut resembles the human brain? Aside from being added to pies and salads, walnuts have now been scientifically proven to be very effective “brain food,” considering one of the biggest benefits of consuming walnuts is the ability to support your thinking machine.

Walnuts can also help improve your mood as well as promote weight loss, but the benefits of walnuts don’t stop there. Here’s how you can reach your optimum health with just one serving of walnuts.

Botanical Name of English Walnut

Walnuts are known botanically as Juglans regia and have been used for up to 8,000 years for their beneficial nutrients. It is said that walnuts are the oldest tree food known to man, dating back all the way to 7000 B.C.

Botanical Family of English Walnut

The walnut is a species of edible seeds from the tree family of Juglandaceae. Ancient history indicates that English walnuts were derived from ancient Persia, where they were reserved for royalty, hence, why the walnut is often referred to as the “Persian walnut.”

What Are English Walnuts?

English Walnut: The Kernel That Supports Mental Health

Whether you had them with ice cream or in your favorite box of trail mix, everyone has had a taste of this pre-historic nut. Walnut is the kernel obtained from the Juglans regia tree, which grows well in the Himalayan mountains, China and Kyrgyzstan.

While the kernels are used in cooking and for their medicinal value, the wood of this tree is often used to make furniture, door handles, and knobs and flooring. This nut is widely used in traditional systems of medicine in Iran, China, and Austria, as well as in homeopathy.

Active Ingredients Found in English Walnut

English walnut is a rich source of the omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. It also contains the vitamins thiamine, pyridine, folic acid, and vitamin E. It contains minerals such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and manganese.

Health Benefits of English Walnuts

Walnuts have been used in Chinese medicine as an intestinal lubricant to relieve constipation, as well as a kidney tonic. Aside from that, walnuts have been recommended for a variety of ailments and include the following health benefits:

  • Helps improve bone health
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Prevents cancer growth
  • Helps relieve depression

In traditional medicine of Iran, walnuts have been used to treat diabetes. This use is supported by research studies that show these nuts to possess significant hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic action.

Studies have also found walnuts to have strong antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. Walnuts are considered good for skin and hair health, and walnut oil is often an important ingredient in cosmetic preparations.

Different Ways to Consume English Walnuts

The nut, its hull, and its leaves are used in treatment. A decoction may be prepared from the dried leaves. The nuts can be consumed as a snack or used in salads and baked foods.

Side Effects of English Walnuts

Walnuts are generally safe for use. Certain conditions or over-consumption of walnuts may not sit well with some people. For instance, walnuts have a high content of oxalate and, therefore, may contribute to the formation of kidney stones. They have been reported to cause bloating and diarrhea in some individuals. Some people are sensitive to walnuts and may develop an allergic reaction. Consult with your primary care physician to check if adding walnuts to your daily diet is a good fit for you.

Quick FAQs

What are English walnuts?

Walnut is the kernel obtained from the Juglans regia tree, which grows well in the Himalayan mountains, China and Kyrgyzstan. While the kernels are used in cooking and for their medicinal value, the wood of this tree is often used to make furniture, door handles, knobs and flooring.

How many calories are in English walnuts?

One serving of English walnuts (approximately 14 walnut halves) contains 185 calories per serving.

How to harvest English Walnuts?

Check for the ripeness of the walnuts first; if they’re ready, gather them all together and begin to remove the husks to expose the walnut shell. Rinse off the walnuts and lay them out to dry for about two weeks. After the drying process is completed, crack open the walnut shells and enjoy what’s inside.


1. Asgary S, Parkhideh S, Solhpour A, Madani H, Mahzouni P, Rahimi P. Effect of ethanolic extract of Juglans regia L. on blood sugar in diabetes-induced rats. J Med Food. 2008 Sep;11(3):533-8. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2007.0611. PubMed PMID:18800903.

2. Hosseini S, Jamshidi L, Mehrzadi S, Mohammad K, Najmizadeh AR, Alimoradi H, Huseini HF. Effects of Juglans regia L. leaf extract on hyperglycemia and lipid profiles in type two diabetic patients: A randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Mar 28;152(3):451-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.01.012. Epub 2014 Jan 23. PubMed PMID: 24462785.

3. Oliveira I, Sousa A, Ferreira IC, Bento A, Estevinho L, Pereira JA. Total phenols, antioxidant potential and antimicrobial activity of walnut (Juglans regia L.) green husks. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Jul;46(7):2326-31. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2008.03.017. Epub 2008 Mar 28. PubMed PMID: 18448225.