Want to see walnut benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are the pros and cons of walnuts and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers.
Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on walnut benefits and side effects.
You are going to learn about all walnut benefits and side effects such as walnut health benefits and/or risks, walnut water footprint and/or walnut carbon footprint, walnut sustainability, if walnuts are vegan, and more.
After learning if walnuts are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.
This post is all about walnut benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer must know.
Must-Know Walnut Benefits And Side Effects
Walnut health benefits may include:
- boosted energy
- brain function
- controlled appetite
- male reproductive health and fertility
- suppressed hunger
- stabilized blood sugar
- type 2 diabetes management and prevention
- Alzheimer’s disease and cancer prevention
- gut health
- reduced inflammation
- lower blood pressure
- lower cholesterol levels
- manage and prevent type 2 diabetes
- reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
- reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers such as breast, prostate and colorectal cancers
- hair growth and hair health
- weight loss
Water footprint: moderate, it takes 4,918 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of walnuts (with shell) / 589 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of walnuts (with shell), moderate, 5,293 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of walnuts (shelled) / 634 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of walnuts (shelled)
Carbon footprint: low, 0.76 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of conventional dry walnuts, a car driving equivalent of 1.75 miles or 2.75 kilometers
Destruction: low, walnut production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.
Kills: none, walnut production does not require any animals to be killed
Harms: none, walnut production does not require any animals to be used
Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from walnut production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat
- Harmful to wildlife and ecosystems unless organic
- “The clearest, most useful food book I own.”—New York Times bestselling author
- Uses three criteria—Is it good for me? Is it good for others? Is it good for the planet?
- Available in Kindle, Audio and Paperback formats.
- We love it!
Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible
Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation
Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits
- May involve worker exploitation, laborer issues, human rights concerns
The United States is the world’s top walnut export country followed by Germany, Chile, China, Moldova, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, France, Netherlands and Spain.
Almost all walnut production in the United States comes from California and even exports walnuts to Germany, Turkey, China, Japan, and Spain.
Yes! Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols and Vitamin E.
walnuts are acidic.
Are walnuts alkaline or acidic?
Walnuts are acidic.
What is the pH level of walnuts?
Walnuts have a 5.5 pH level, once digested.
When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.
Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List
walnuts are gluten free.
Are walnuts gluten free?
Yes, walnuts are gluten free. Walnuts do not contain gluten. Walnuts are a type of tree nut, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food.
While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…
Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:
- recurring abdominal pain
- chronic diarrhea
- numbness in hands and feet
- chronic fatigue
- joint pain
- unexplained infertility
- low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.
Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List
walnuts are a common food allergen: tree nuts.
Are walnuts a common food allergen?
Yes, walnuts are a common food allergen: tree nuts. Many people experience allergic reactions to walnuts.
A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:
Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.
Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List
walnuts are a low-fodmap food.
Are walnuts FODMAP friendly?
Yes. Walnuts are a low-FODMAP food and fit into a low-FODMAP diet.
A low FODMAP diet may help those with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
It’s all about knowing your body. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You body might even react negatively to a low-FODMAP food simply due to intolerance. Everyone is different! Be mindful and patient. Take time to get to know what’s best for your physical health and overall wellbeing.
See this High-FODMAP and Low-FODMAP List of Food
walnuts have a moderate water footprint.
Do walnuts have a high or low water footprint?
Walnuts have a relatively moderate water footprint compared to other foods.
What is the water footprint of walnuts? It takes 4,918 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of walnuts (with shell) / 589 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of walnuts (with shell), 5,293 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of walnuts (shelled) / 634 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of walnuts (shelled).
Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?
How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?
We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.
Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
walnuts have a low carbon footprint.
Do walnuts have a high or low carbon footprint?
Walnuts have a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.
What is the carbon footprint of walnuts?
It takes around 0.76 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of conventional dry walnuts, a car driving equivalent of 1.75 miles or 2.75 kilometers.
Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.
When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…
- farm equipment
- animal feed production
- hothouses (greenhouses)
- food processing
- package waste and more
But that’s not all!
It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:
- shopping locally reduces transportation emissions
- food without packaging reduces waste as well as the carbon footprint
- refrigerated and frozen foods increase carbon emissions
- seasonal foods reduce carbon emissions from hothouses (greenhouses)
- growing plant-based foods at home is the most environmentally sustainable method with zero carbon footprint
Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
walnuts are sustainable.
Overall, are walnuts eco friendly? Are walnuts sustainable?
Walnut production is relatively sustainable since there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.
A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.
Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.
walnuts are vegan.
Are walnuts vegan?
Yes, walnuts are vegan. Walnuts are a tree nut and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food.
Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.
Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.
Go vegan for animals!
It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.
Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List
walnuts may have labor issues and human rights concerns.
Are walnuts a product with labor concerns?
At this time there have been no major concerns with walnut production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!
It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may be associated with specific brands.
Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized.
Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death!
Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation.
Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards.
We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.
This post was all about walnut benefits and side effects.
Nuts, walnuts, english – FoodData Central – USDA
Beneficial Effects of Walnuts on Cognition and Brain Health
Shelled Walnuts Grades and Standards – Agricultural
Adriane MarieGrocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.
Hazelnut Benefits + Side Effects
Hazelnut benefits and side effects on health, environment, animals, laborers. Are hazelnuts vegan? Sustainable? See hazelnut pros and cons.
Chia Seed Benefits + Side Effects
Chia seed benefits and side effects on health, environment, animals, laborers. Are chia seeds vegan? Sustainable? See chia seed pros + cons.