A 1-oz. serving of walnuts provides a day’s worth of omega-3 fatty acids according to the 2002 dietary recommendations made by the Food Nutrition Board of the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine. In addition to being a rich source of heart-healthy fats, walnuts provide a number of vitamins and minerals. Add walnuts to cereals, salads and baked goods, or simply have them as a snack to enhance your diet.
Eight vitamins are classified as B vitamins. These vitamins help you metabolize food and convert it into energy. A 1-oz. serving of walnuts, about 14 halves, provides 6 percent of the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for thiamin, 2 percent for riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid, 8 percent for vitamin B-6 and 7 percent for folate. The RDA is based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Folate is especially important for pregnant women as it helps prevent neural tube defects in the developing fetus.
Vitamins K, C and E
Vitamin K is important to blood clotting, while vitamins C and E act as antioxidants to help fight disease-causing free radicals in the body. Vitamin C is also intrinsic to collagen development and tissue repair. One oz. of walnuts provides 1 percent of the RDA for these vitamins.
You need large amounts of certain minerals to help regulate your fluid balance, promote proper nerve and muscle function and support bone health. A 1-oz. serving of walnuts contains some of these minerals, specifically 11 percent of the RDA for magnesium, 10 percent for phosphorus and 4 percent for potassium.
Trace minerals are no less important to proper body function than macrominerals, you just need less of them. Walnuts provide 5 percent of the RDA for iron and 22 percent for copper, both of which support red blood cell function. A 1-oz. serving also provides 6 percent of the RDA for zinc, 48 percent for manganese and 2 percent for selenium.