Walnuts are the only tree nut to contain a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid. As one of the best plant food sources of omega-3s, a 30 gram serving of walnuts provides 2.5 grams of ALA. In addition to essential ALA/omega-3 fatty acids, 30 grams of walnuts (a handful) offers 4.6 grams of protein and 2 grams of fibre.
Most consumers don’t get enough dietary fibre, which promotes healthy bowel function and helps you feel full – a key component in maintaining a healthy weight. Walnuts are also a good source of magnesium and phosphorus – both important minerals involved in the body’s processes.
There are three main omega-3 fatty acids:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Omega-3s cannot be made in the body, so they must come from food.
EPA and DHA are found in fatty fish, including salmon, mackerel, and trout.
ALA is found in plant-based foods, such as walnuts, flaxseed, soybean oil and canola oil.
Nutritional information based on USDA data: