Walnuts contain a complex mixture of bioactive plant compounds.
They are exceptionally rich in antioxidants, which are concentrated in the thin, brown skin.
In fact, walnuts ranked second in a study investigating the antioxidant content of 1113 foods commonly eaten in the US.
Some notable plant compounds found in walnuts include:
Ellagic acid: This antioxidant is found in high amounts in walnuts, along with other related compounds like ellagitannins. Ellagic acid may reduce the risk of heart disease and help suppress cancer formation .
Catechin: Catechin is a flavonoid antioxidant that may have various health benefits. It may also promote heart health.
Melatonin: This neurohormone helps regulate the body clock. It is also a powerful antioxidant that may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Phytic acid: Also known as phytate, phytic acid may impair the absorption of minerals, such as iron and zinc, from the digestive tract.