Walnut oil is oil extracted from English walnuts (also known as Persian walnuts).
Culinary Use of Walnut Oil
Walnut oil is edible and is generally used less than other oils in food preparation, often due to high pricing. It is light-coloured and delicate in flavour and scent, with a nutty quality. Although chefs sometimes use walnut oil for pan frying, most avoid walnut oil for high temperature cooking; heating tends to reduce the oil’s flavour & nutritive value and to produce a slight bitterness. In addition cooking rapidly destroys the oil’s antioxidants. Walnut oil is at its most valuable in cold dishes such as salad dressings, where it lends its flavour to best advantage.
There are two types of walnut oil commercially available: cold pressed, and refined. Cold pressed walnut oil is typically more expensive due to the loss of a higher percentage of the oil. Refined walnut oil is expeller pressed and saturated with solvent to extract the highest percentage of oil available in the nut meat. The solvents are subsequently eliminated by heating the mixture to around 200°C. Both methods produce food grade culinary oils. However, cold pressing preserves more of the nutrients and flavour.
Walnut oil, like all nut seed and vegetable oils will rancidify and rancidification is accelerated by heat, light, and oxygen. (We recommend that you buy in small bottles and use as quickly as possible.)
Walnut Oil Nutrition
- Each 100.0g of oil provides about 63.3g polyunsaturated fatty acids, 22.8g monounsaturated fats, and 9.1g saturated fats. It contains no cholesterol. It is about 22.2% monounsaturated oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid, 52.9% linoleic acid, an essential polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid, and 10.4% alpha linolenic acid, which supplies the body with needed omega-3 fatty acids, another form of polyunsaturated fatty acid essential to human nutrition.
Substitutes for Walnut Oil
- Other nut oils such as hazelnut oil or pumpkin seed oil
Health Benefits of Walnut Oil
- Several medical studies have conducted research that indicates that walnut oil offers a rich source for antioxidants, specifically ellagic acid. This antioxidant has been found to detoxify several substances linked to the development of certain cancers. In addition, ellagic acid also helps to obstruct these cancer cells from replicating themselves.
- Walnut oil is also rich in manganese and copper, as well as melatonin, a hormone that aids in regulation of the body’s internal clock.
- Improves blood circulation: Walnut oil contains high levels of monounsaturated oils such as omega 9 which help to keep your arteries supple. The flexibility of the arteries promotes the flow of blood free of any hardening leading to hyper tension and heart disease.
- Lowers heart disease risk: The cardio-protective benefits of walnut oil come primarily from the high concentration of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3 fatty acid that ultimately is converted to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) A Yale University study in 2009 found that consumption of walnuts in daily basis may improve the health of blood vessels, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease.
- Cuts inflammation: Walnut oil has also high levels of polyunsaturated oils like omega3 and omega 6 which help to reduce inflammation and helps prevent diseases like arthritis.
- Maintains hormone levels: Walnuts are rich in phytonutrients and are an excellent source of selenium, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, iron, and calcium that are helpful in stabilizing body hormones.
- Improves skin: Walnuts and/or walnut oil provide hefty levels of vitamins B-1, B-2, and B-3, coupled with vitamin-E and niacin. Certain phytonutrients and fatty acids in walnut oil can contribute enhancing the texture and quality of the skin.
- Prevents eczema: A couple of teaspoons a day of walnut oil can be beneficial for people suffering from the skin rashes called eczema.
- Anti-ageing: Walnuts and walnut oil are also rich in antioxidants and among the best sources among tree nuts. Antioxidants are substances that counter the effects of free radicals that cause cell damage and accelerate the aging process.