Omega-3, with its many health benefits, continues to garner the attention of nutritionists, medical professionals, and the general public. Walnuts are the richest plant source of essential alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant form of omega-3 fatty acid. One serving of walnuts contains 18 grams of total fat, of which 13 grams are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and 2.5 grams are ALA.
Omega-3 is an essential component to good nutrition. The strength of evidence supporting cardiovascular health led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve the first ever qualified health claim of a whole food in March 2004: "Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces of walnuts per day, as a part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet,
and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease."
Walnuts can also be a nutritious choice for people with diabetes. Researchers have concluded that adding walnuts to the diet improved the blood lipid levels of patients with type-2 diabetes and increased important polyunsaturated fat in the diet.
Studies indicate that there are 10 different antioxidants found in walnuts and that, of all the foods tested, walnuts ranked second only to blackberries in terms of antioxidant content.
Walnuts are also an excellent source of important nutrients such as protein, fiber, magnesium, and phosphorous.
Alpha-Linolenic Acid Content (grams/ounce)
Plant Based Omega-3 Fatty Acid
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release September 21, 2008.