Due to its nutty taste, walnut oil is not only very popular in the kitchen, but is also used in cosmetics and medicine.
Due to their high-fat content of up to 62 percent, walnuts are almost predestined for the production of oil. Walnut oil is not only very popular in the kitchen – especially in France – but is also used for a variety of cosmetic and medicinal purposes.
Walnut oil is 73 percent polyunsaturated fat, 18 percent monounsaturated fat, and 9 percent saturated fat. An essential component is the omega-3 fatty acids. These help to balance cholesterol levels and support blood flow. The oil is also characterized by its high vitamin E content. Vitamin E protects cell health and has a positive effect on lipid metabolism. Also included is vitamin B7 (also known as biotin). This is significantly involved in the formation of creatine – which in turn is essential for the healthy growth of skin, hair, and nails. Also included, albeit in lower concentrations, are the minerals zinc (which also supports skin and hair health) and potassium, which is important for the heart muscle.
The manufacture of walnut oil
When producing walnut oil, there are three different production methods: cold pressing, hot pressing, and extraction. In any case, the nuts must be stored for a few months before further processing. They are then ground – and optionally roasted.
Cold pressing is the best way to extract oil. Without the addition of heat, a press – often a screw press – is used to extract oil, which is then filtered. There is no further processing of the oil. This has one major advantage: all the healthy ingredients and the intensive nutty aroma of the oil are preserved through cold pressing.
Hot pressing and extraction
Hot pressing is far more complex. The resulting refined oil also no longer contains any undesirable additives such as bitter substances. More oil is obtained through hot pressing, the oil has a longer shelf life and is tasteless. But it also has a major disadvantage: it contains fewer valuable ingredients than the native oil that is obtained during cold pressing. The same applies in terms of quality to the extracted oil, which is obtained by adding solvents.
Walnut oil in cosmetics
walnut oil for the skin
Due to its ingredients – above all the high content of linoleic acid – walnut oil is well suited for skin care. Walnut oil is quickly absorbed into the skin and ensures that the skin remains supple. It supports the regeneration of stressed or cracked skin areas. It can also be safely applied to the lips. Walnut oil is generally well tolerated.
Walnut oil for hair care
But not only the skin, but also the hair benefits from treatment with walnut oil. Applied to wet hair, it moisturizes the hair and thus contributes to healthy hair. It can also be used as a care treatment and provide shine – it must be then washed out thoroughly. Care should be taken not to use too much oil when caring for your hair. This prevents the hair from becoming greasy too quickly.
Walnut oil in personal care products
Walnut oil is used as an additive in many care products. It is particularly popular for creams and ointments due to its moisturizing effect on the skin – but it is also often used for shower gels and hair shampoos. Walnut oil can also be used as a massage oil and applied directly to the skin.
Walnut oil in the kitchen
Due to its nutty, intense taste, walnut oil is also a popular oil in the kitchen. If you prefer the intense taste, you should use native, cold-pressed walnut oil. Oils in which the nuts are not roasted before processing are particularly popular – but that is a matter of taste. Walnut oil is not suitable for frying or cooking because it has a low smoke point of 130 degrees Celsius. Here, other oils such as sunflower oil are preferable to walnut oil.
Benefits of walnut oil on health
Walnut oil also has many health benefits. It regulates cholesterol levels, helps against high blood pressure, and strengthens the cardiovascular system. It is also said to help with stress. A teaspoon of walnut oil can be taken with nine walnuts per day – according to a study by American researchers at Pennsylvania State University, this can help against both stress and high blood pressure.