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'The world is a big walnut tree...'

Prof. Dr. Aysun Bay Karabulut / Malatya Turgut Özal Üniversitesi1 Ekim 2021 Cuma 15:43 | Son Güncelleme: 1 Ekim 2021 Cuma 15:43


Walnut, which grows naturally in many parts of the world, including Turkey, is one of the oldest plants in human history and one of the most culturally interesting elements. Therefore, there are many legends and stories, folk songs and stories about it. For example, in Western Thrace culture, there is a widespread belief that the world is a large walnut tree, that the cold weather in winter is due to the fact that the sun is hidden in the roots of the walnut tree, and that the walnut tree represents the way from this world to the next world. It is also related to this belief that the women lay the walnut leaves they collected on the graves so that their dead could sleep peacefully.

The walnut tree is also something that is a little feared. Sleeping in the shade of the walnut tree is not welcome, as evil spirits rest under it, and it is thought that those who do so will fall ill with a nasty disease. If the person planting a walnut tree does not place a pulley on the trunk of the walnut or does not lay his belt on the ground and make a hole in the middle, he dies when the trunk of the walnut tree is the size of his neck. It is very dangerous to be under the walnut tree, especially at night. Because when it gets dark, this place becomes the place of fairy girls, and these dangerous creatures roam under the walnut trees. However, young girls and fresh brides can be protected from dragons and fairies if they carry walnut leaves in their sheep. Long story short, walnut wood is dangerous. As a matter of fact, the fact that no other plant grows under the walnut tree is related to this malicious feature of the tree. Healing that releases poison

Healing that releases poison

The main reason why the walnut tree is seen as something mysterious and frightening in various cultures is probably because it is a kind of poison that inhibits the vegetation next to and around it by being secreted by the tree, and can also cause a headache if people sleep under the walnut tree (it also has a repellent effect of flies and insects and therefore It is a chemical component called juglone (which is also used in the content of insect repellent preparations). However, although the tree secretes juglone, walnut is an ancient and important food source, the benefits of which are innumerable. It is one of the oldest cultivated hard-shelled fruits and is mainly consumed as nuts, but is also widely used, for example, in medicine and cosmetics, and in the carpet and textile industries. Walnut, which is the cultural and economic value of our country, is a food that can be stored for a long time and can be added to foods in different ways.

The walnut, which grows on a solid tree, which is preferred in the production of quality furniture due to its thick body, hard, dense and veined structure, durability and good polish retention, has a distinctive pleasant smell. Walnut, which has a higher antioxidant activity than other nuts due to compounds such as the hormone melatonin and polyphenol, which has an important role in the sleep mechanism of individuals and also a very strong antioxidant, contains healthy fats, fibers, vitamins and minerals. Contains minerals. In addition, it ranks second after blackberry in the list of foods rich in antioxidants, which are known to be effective in preventing liver damage caused by chemicals.

According to the World Healthy Foods (WHF) rating, walnuts, which are excellent in terms of Omega-3, which meets 85 percent of the amount needed by the body, the best in manganese, and good in copper and tryptophan, prevent wrinkles and signs of aging (due to this feature, many cosmetic products are used). In addition to B vitamins, it is also very rich in vitamins A and E, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron and zinc.

A traditional medicine…

Walnut, which has an important place in traditional medicine applications with both its fruit and leaves, has been used as a medicine for muscle treatment and soothing the digestive system since ancient times. . As a matter of fact, in folk medicine, it is believed that it is a stone-removing and diuretic, good for asthma, cough and anemia, prevents vomiting during pregnancy, and is believed to cause weight gain. and swollen glands, walnut oil is used to relieve sore throats, ointment made from walnut leaves, green bark and male flowers is used to treat skin ailments such as eczema, discharge wounds, boils and leprosy.

Walnut, which is a popular belief that "it is good for mental health because it resembles the brain" among the people, really has such an effect because it reduces oxidative damage and inflammation in the brain due to substances such as polyunsaturated fats, polyphenols and vitamin E. It is also important in this respect that walnuts are rich in Omega-3, which is described as "brain food". As a matter of fact, animal experiments have shown that walnuts increase learning skills, strengthen memory and are functional in reducing anxiety, although there is no doubt that more studies are needed for this purpose. It has also been demonstrated by clinical trials that it is also good for depression and contributes to the elimination of various disorders, especially in children, such as distraction or learning problems. In addition, it has been recorded to be effective in the treatment of cognitive disorders such as dementia and epilepsy.

Increases understanding

Observations made, walnuts contain much higher amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats than other nuts, and these are the ones that the body cannot produce itself and must be taken from outside, as well as protect the cardiovascular system, increase understanding and comprehension, reduce inflammation or inflammation in asthma disease, and over time. They are oils used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, which is a chronic disease that progresses and causes deformity and inactivity, and eczema and psoriasis-like diseases. In case of deficiency, in addition to the permanent mental retardation seen later in the babies in the mother's womb, they cause deterioration in hearing, vision and cognitive functions. It has been found that each gram of omega-3 and omega-6 fats reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 10 percent. It is also known that walnut is very beneficial especially for bone health with its copper, phosphorus and essential fatty acids and contributes to the cleaning of dental calculus.

Scientific researches on walnuts have shown that consuming walnuts during meals eliminates the oxidative damage caused by LDL, which is called bad cholesterol, which causes accumulation in the arteries when oxidized and causes atherosclerosis, a kind of vascular disease, in other words, it is beneficial in terms of cholesterol balance. Walnut, which is rich in phytostereol, which is structurally similar to cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol by raising good cholesterol, also prevents blood clotting and regulates blood circulation. It should be emphasized that walnut, which is known to reduce inflammation, which is a protective response of the body against a normal damage, and to reduce sweating in the hands and feet, fights against many chronic diseases, especially Alzheimer's and diabetes, in which inflammation indicators play a role in the formation mechanisms. Walnuts reduce the risk of heart disease in diabetes patients. It is known that walnut contains ellagic acid, which is known to prevent cancer-causing processes, and it is thought that it may reduce the risk of developing breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. Likewise, it is known that it increases immunity and thanks to the high amount of quality fiber it contains, it controls stomach acid and facilitates digestion, and reduces the severity of diseases such as reflux and ulcers. It should also be noted that there are some studies showing that walnut, which is effective in the treatment of colitis pain, menstrual irregularities, hair dryness, dandruff and head wounds, produces beneficial effects in terms of reproductive and sperm health in addition to preventing gallstone formation.

Perfect for weight loss

Although it is a calorie food, it is very functional in terms of appetite control, making walnuts effective in losing excess weight. For example, walnut juice, which is regularly drunk half an hour before breakfast on an empty stomach in the morning, will give a feeling of satiety, will provide less food consumption and thus contribute to weight loss. As a matter of fact, in some studies on individuals with obesity problems, it has been determined that walnuts and some foods made with walnuts control the appetite and reduce the feeling of hunger, and also blunt the tendency towards calorie-packed foods such as cake and french fries. Walnut, which contributes to the control of blood sugar with this feature, can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure who are susceptible to risks such as various heart diseases and stroke, and in healthy people under stress.

There is one last point that can be emphasized about weight loss. Walnut is a suitable food for vegetarian diets as it contains high biological quality and easily digestible proteins. The fact that it can meet the amount of protein needed by the human body, especially when consumed with legumes, makes walnut an important component of such nutrition regimes.