With the Walnut crop in full swing, the perfect oil of the month this autumn is Walnut oil. Besides the great taste, the health benefits of Walnut oil are featured here especially. Publications by the FDA, various studies by the American Journal of Nutrition, Clinical Nutrition and the Californian Walnut Commission support the consumption of Walnuts and Walnut oil. Three key areas OPW would like to highlight in this months’ BLOG: 1/ Walnuts and walnut oil are reported as excellent sources of essential fatty acids. The cardio-protective benefits of walnut oil is based on the naturally occurring high levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This is an essential / omega-3 fatty acid which is converted to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which are readily metabolized by the body. 2/ Even a modest consumption of walnut oil is known to reduce total cholesterol levels: important in this respect is the content of LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and the ratio of LDL to HDL (“good” cholesterol). 3/ Walnuts and walnut oil contain a high level of natural antioxidants. Antioxidants are required to counter the effects of free radicals, which can cause cell damage and speed up the aging process. Walnut oil contain an especially high content of ellagic acid, a natural anti-oxidant which supports the control of malignant tumor development. Furthermore there are new studies that these anti-oxidants have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antiseptic properties. In summary; OPW supports and encourages to include walnut oil in a heart-healthy diet! Walnut oil gives access to a direct source of essential fatty acids and antioxidants. The practical benefits of this great tasting oil are substantial reductions in the risk of coronary heart disease. There is growing evidence of possible decreases in the risk of cancer and slowing of the aging process which will increase the polularity of walnut oil in the future!